A makeover with Sascha Jackson of Stila UK

Sascha Jackson is one of the UK’s most renowned make up artists, and last week she took a trip to Birmingham to promote Stila UK and their range of festive products and shades. I was lucky enough to be invited along to the stunning Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox in order to try some of the new products and get a chance to chat with Sascha, picking the brains of a bona fide beauty expert.

Even though I’ve had many years of practice at putting my face on, I still feel like I have a lot to learn when it comes to make up. Sascha was full of advice, recommending products from the Stay All Day range that is a godsend for mom’s who don’t have time to keep reapplying their make up. We also chatted about the Stila brand, a brand which was very familiar in the UK quite a few years ago, but then disappeared, only to make a comeback a few years ago, launching the brilliant, multi-coloured One Step Correct, which is a total hero product in my book and perfect for creating a base for your make up, or just correcting your colour so you can get that natural, ‘effortless’ look.



I wanted a natural make up look as I was off to do the school run after my pampering session. Sascha started with the Stay All day foundation, and then dealt with both eyes and cheeks with the ‘Perfect Me, Perfect Hue’ eye and cheek palette. Sascha explained that blush can double as an extra eye colour, as it can be swept both on the eye and below. We also looked at my eyebrows, which are plucked, but have not been threaded recently as I have decided I like them slightly thicker and more natural. Sascha’s tip for shaping eyebrows was that you draw your ultimate shaped eyebrows before you pluck to avoid taking out new, but actually wanted hair.


Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette £28.00 Click to view


STILA Morning to Moonlight Waterproof Eye Liner Gift Set 1.06ml £30 Click to view


Blusher is another product that I have trouble with, so much trouble I only started wearing it this year. Sascha’s advice is that if you smile slightly when applying it, and then just lightly brush over your cheeks, it should appear dewy and natural. I’ve been trying this and it definitely works. We then turned to lips. I really love the idea of a darker lip, but tend to stick to coral/orange shades. Sascha tempted me with darker violet shade, although I still balked at the beautiful plum lip that I really wanted to try. I really loved the shade used on my lips, and the effect a really good lip liner can have.


STILA Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick Gift Set (3 piece) £18 Click to view


Finished Face



With Sascha Jackson


It was a pleasure to spend time with Sascha and to learn just a little of her beauty know how.



Beauty Review – Shadow Switch

If you are looking for beauty stocking fillers for Christmas, I think I have stumbled on one that is both affordable, practical and comes in a rather cute tin, Shadow Switch, from the up and coming beauty brand Beauty Essentials is a dry brush cleaning tool that allows you to clean your brushes by just sweeping them over the sponge. This means you no longer need to use a new brush when you are using different colours, and allows you to travel light – no need to take a host of brushes when you are traveling on holiday or going away for the weekend.

Shadow Switch - Dry Brush Make Up Cleaner - Removes Shadow Color From Your Brush £5.99 Click to visit Amazon

Shadow Switch – Dry Brush Make Up Cleaner – Removes Shadow Color From Your Brush £5.99 Click to visit Amazon

The Shadow Switch allows you to use a single brush even when adding more that one colour to your eyes or face. It offers a quick and easy, and also hygienic way to clean and preserve your brushes, one that involves no spray or solution. It works, even when you are using darker, more pigmented colours – they still disappear once the brush is swept over the dry sponge. I really like the fact that this allows you to put your make up on in a speedy fashion, there is no need to be searching for a clean brush to add a new colour, a very quick sweep and the brush is clean and ready to be used again.

How to use.

  1. Choose a colour. img_20161103_131202

2.  Sweep the brush around the dry Shadow Switch sponge.img_20161103_131210

3. The Brush should be clean.


4. Now choose another colour.


This is all you need to do your eyes, and you could also use this if you are using different blushes to contour and bronze.


Shadow Switch is available at Sephora, and online at Amazon, where you can currently pick it up for just £5.99. As I mentioned earlier, I think it would be a great stocking filler for a beauty lover, or could be added to a larger beauty hamper.

A few more beauty ideas for Christmas


Why You Should Pay Closer Attention to Your Fingernails

There are a handful of surface signs that something is going wrong with your body; if your hair starts falling out, your skin gets red and flaky, or your eyes become discolored, you know you should see your doctor right away. Yet, there is one other home-grown tool to help you determine whether your health is out of whack: your nails.

In many ways, your fingernails are excellent diagnostic instruments. Because they grow so quickly, they can tell you (and your doctor) almost exactly what is going on inside you, and you can receive the treatment you need to feel better faster. Here are a handful of nail-related signs and symptoms that could mean something is seriously wrong with your health.

Brittle Nails

Like your hair and skin, your nails can lose their strength and become dry and brittle. Not only do dry, brittle nails look unappealing, but they are also at a higher risk for cracking, which is extremely painful and can take some time to heal.

Sometimes brittle nails are the result of vitamin deficiency ― particularly vitamins A, C, or biotin ― but more commonly, your nails are peeling and cracking thanks to your lifestyle. If you spend much of your time with your hands in water, using harsh chemicals (including nail polish remover), or dwelling in regions with high humidity, you could develop brittle nails. At the very worst, your brittle nails are symptoms of a serious thyroid disease, and you should visit the doctor immediately.


Clubbed Nails

Clubbing is a condition that pertains to fingers and toes, but most people first notice clubbing by changes to their nails. If you are experiencing clubbing, the tips of your digits might start to enlarge and turn red and warm, which will cause your nail to curve downward and your cuticles to stick out at an odd angle.

Clubbing is always evidence of low oxygen in your blood, which is incredibly dangerous. Usually, when a doctor sees clubbing, he or she diagnoses serious heart or lung diseases, which require substantial lifestyle changes to overcome.

Curved Nails

Also called “spoon nails,” nails the curve upward at the edges are inconvenient as well as unattractive. When your nails are snagging at fabric, scratching wood and paint, and even wounding yourself, you need a fix fast.

Fortunately, curved nails are most often associated with anemia, which is a simple iron deficiency. Consuming more iron, either in your diet or through supplements, should resolve your problem. However, if the curving persists, you should see your doctor about potential heart or thyroid issues.

Spotted Nails

White spots anywhere else on your body might be a cause of concern, but when you see white spots on your nails, you don’t need to worry at all. The spots are called “leukonychia,” and despite popular believe that they signal a calcium deficiency, they actually are the result of some long-past minor trauma to your nail bed. As your nail grows out, the spots should disappear on their own.

Ridged Nails

Nail ridges form according to a person’s DNA, which means for the most part, your ridges are a natural and unique part of you. Vertical ridges in particular are a common development of aging and pose absolutely no cause for concern.

However, white horizontal ridges, known as Mees’ Lines, have several acute and chronic causes which you might want checked by a doctor. Most often, horizontal ridges are due to the same type of trauma that causes harmless white spots, but illnesses that cause high fever, like pneumonia or scarlet fever, can also bring about ridges in the nails. However, Mees’ Lines are also caused by long-term arsenic poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other potentially unknown health problems that require immediate medical attention.

Conversely, your horizontal ridges might take the form of Beau’s Lines, which look more like deep grooves in the nail. In this case, you could be suffering from an underlying, untreated disease, like diabetes, psoriasis, or a circulation problem that requires medicine to remedy.

Yellow Nails

Usually, nails turn yellow thanks to stains in your environment. If you constantly paint your nails or use acrylics, your nails will eventually turn yellow. Alternatively, smoking is a common cause of yellow nails because the tar in tobacco and smoke adheres to the fingers holding the cigarettes. In both cases, taking a break from the activity will give your nails a chance to clean up. If smoking is your vice, you can make a switch to smokeless e-cigarettes while your nails regrow. In addition, taking B12 supplements helps to hasten nail growth so your stains don’t last long.


White Nails

It’s natural that your nails have a strip of white at the ends, but when your entire nails turn white with a strip of pink at the top, you must see your doctor immediately. Called Terry’s Nails, this inversion of healthy nail color is a sign of your organs shutting down. In particular, white nails signal heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas failure, and you need all of those to survive.