The Future of the Blog and Channel

Hey everyone,

This post has taken me a while to write properly because after around 18 months of doing Makeup Tips For My Sister and building up an audience, I suddenly realised that I wasn't sure where I was going with it. Initially it started out as a way to connect with my real-life sister, but that didn't really work out, and then it evolved into connecting with spiritual sisters in the form of friends and fellow makeup lovers... but I feel like my skills don't match my expectations.


And please don't get me wrong - this post isn't a plea for validation or anything like that. I've just found it increasingly stressful to come up with tutorial ideas, knowing that there are a wealth of better informed and better presented tutorials out there. Also, in the meantime, my art has suffered as the demand for videos and blog posts for makeup increased... and art is my sanity. Not a good combination.

Having built up both the blog and the YouTube channel, I didn't want to just completely abandon everything and move on. I still love makeup and I still want to get better at doing it - I just need a little less pressure at this point in my life, and a little more direction as to why I'm currently doing it. This is where my wonderful daughter comes in. CJ asked me a question about brushes today - she's at the beginning stages of getting into makeup experimentation - and we talked about me helping her out and so on.

She came up with a solution. From now on, until I get my confidence and skills up and get better equipment and more time to spend doing such things to the standard that I'd like to do them, I'm going to be teaching my daughter how to use makeup, and as and when she asks me, I'll do a post or a video or both and share it with all of you. It won't necessarily be a regular thing, and there won't be many of them, but they will pop up and hopefully help some people. Here's to the next phase. xxx

Hugs and kisses,


Tip: Lipstick as Blusher

Hi Tory,

Part of the fun of make up is being creative with it, and that includes multitasking. You've heard me talk before about using my brow kit colours as emergency neutral eye shadows, for example. Now I had my eye on the Bourjois Colorissimo Lip Palettes, but when MUA brought out their version - and at a third of the price - that's when this tip came into being.

trios like the one I've used are fantastic to pop in your purse!

As long as they're not too matte, glittery or highly frosted, lipsticks make excellent cream blushes in a fix. They have a similar texture to the real thing, come in the same colours, and save you both money and time spent fishing about in your purse or make up cabinet. Trios like the one I've used are fantastic to pop in your purse!

  • Use your finger to grab the colour you want and dot it along the cheekbone
  • You can still use your fingers at this point, but I like to grab a stippling brush
  • Blend the product out so that it's nice and diffused
  • Perfect! And so simple!

Hugs and kisses,


Throwback Thursday: Twiggy "Pin Ups" Cover

Hi Tory,

Our mum has never quite gotten over the shock of seeing Bowie on TV for the first time in the early 70s, or That Orange Haired Freak Who Isn't Long For This World to give him his full and official Mum title. He's 66 now and Mum still calls him that. Everything is Bowie at the moment thanks to the long-awaited exhibition at the V&A and the equally long-awaited album from the Thin White Duke. It seemed only natural that I do a Dave Look for Throwback Thursday.

the key here is in the layering and the blending

Except... I'm tired of faffing about with my eye brows and dear old Dave didn't have any until about 1982, bless him. This is where Twig the Wonderkid comes in... looking resplendent in shiny 70s blue on the cover of Pin Ups. I get to include two of my favourite make up obsessions in one tutorial and keep my eye brows. Not bad for a Thursday.


The key here is in the layering and the blending. You'll want to apply, blend, and repeat to get the depth of colour and the smooth edges. Keep everything else nice and glowing for that Studio 54 shine and it'll all fall into place.

These MUA trios are perfect for these kind of looks - they're beautifully coordinated with a smack of pigment and they layer really well too. Plus, a whole retro look for under a tenner can't be beat. If we can sparkle, and he may land tonight... the orange cockatiel hair is, of course, optional. ;)

Products Used

  • MUA Trio Eye Shadow in Smoke Screen
  • MUA Trio Eye Shadow in Blue Babe
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blusher in Shade 6
  • MUA Sheer Finish Lip Gloss in Let's Meet
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,


Nail Polish Textures

Hi Tory,

I talk a lot about different textures when I do my nail art tutorials, and you may be wondering what I mean by that. Nail polish is surely just that sticky glossy stuff that comes in millions of different colours?

Not so. The finish of the dried polish can give different effects, and combining them makes for very interesting nail art! Here are some examples of using the finishes to make the art:

The different textures or finishes of polishes include:

  • Cream: you could think of this as the generic nail polish finish - opaque and glossy with just the colour of the polish and nothing else
  • when you start experimenting with different nail polish textures it really opens up your eyes to the possibilities of nail art
  • Metallic: as it's name suggests, this one mimics the metals like gold, silver and copper and is notoriously hard to paint on without leaving streaks!
  • Glitter: from fine-milled to huge chunks, glitter polish can be stand alone or used as a top coat. Use it as the nail tip in a French manicure for an interesting twist!
  • Matte: either the polish itself, or in the formk of a top coat, matte polish will have no shine whatsoever and makes a great contrast when used with glosses in nail art. Go slowly and carefully when you appy it as it does show every streak and bump.
  • Gelly: made in a ratio of 25% pigment to 75% clear glossy polish, gellies have a beautiful translucency which means that you can layer polishes under them for amazing effects, sometimes known as a gelly sandwich
  • There's also holographic polish which gives a fantastic 3D effect, and various chemically induced finishes like crackle, magnetic and so on

When you start experimenting with different nail polish textures it really opens up your eyes to the possibilities of nail art or adding little decorative twists here and there - glitter tips, matte stripes, metallic half moons. It's a lot of fun!

Hugs and kisses,


Maybelline Tattoo - and Go!

Hi Tory,

When I reviewed the Maybelline Color Tattoos, I mentioned that On & On Bronze had become my Go To shadow of the moment, and how easy it was to get a look together using just that and a gel liner. I figured rather than just tell you that, I'd show you... with a little twist of a bold red lipstick to vamp it up.

the key is in the blending

My main tip for this seemingly effortless but sultry look is to layer the gel liner - a strong blended line first, then the colour, and then strengthen the black line again. If you want a softer look, dial the gel liner down to a brown. The key is in the blending.


In terms of staying power, you've got a gel liner and a gel-based cream shadow, so this look is not budging! You can even build on it with some additional smoky shadow around the outer V to take it into the evening, or add some false lashes for drama.

It's a good little neutral look with some depth that'll last you all day, takes minutes to create, and gives good payoff. Work that lipstick shade too!

Products Used

  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in On & On Bronze
  • Sleek In Pot Eyeliner in Dominatrix
  • MUA Mascara in Black
  • MUA Blusher in Shade 6
  • MUA Lipstick in Shade 1
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,


Review: Barry M Nail Art Pens

Hi Tory,

I'm always trying new ways with nail art, from pin heads to old pens, from dotting tools to sellotape. When I heard that Barry M were launching a mini range of nail art pens, I knew I just had to go out and try them. So here's the skinny!

the problem I've always had with conventional nail art pens is their construction

The problem I've always had with conventional nail art pens is their construction: a squeezable plastic body filled with polish that dispenses through a hollow "needle". I find these incredibly fiddly and difficult to control. The Barry M pens are a hard plastic nib that acts like a felt pen so you can actually draw as you would normally but with nail polish rather than sharpies or acrylic paint.

The range is currently four colours: black, white, hot pink and silver, contains 3ml of product and retails for £4.99. I had no problem getting the polish to flow, and managed a crisp and precise line each time. You do need a clear top coat as the polish itself is not very stable and will rub off, and bear in mind that the line is relatively fine if you want to do more chunky work.


I'd like to see a wider range of colours - gold, anyone? - and hope that they expand! For the price of a polish (and their polishes are good) you get a world of art at your fingertips. Really pleased with this pen - I'm going back for the full set and can't wait to get started on some tutorials!

One More Thing...

  • Comes in 4 different colours
  • Available on the Superdrug website here
  • 3ml of product in each wand
  • Retails at £4.99

Hugs and kisses,


***CLOSED*** 100th Video Giveaway!

Congratulations to Abigail Wright on YouTube who won the prize!

Win ALL this:

By doing this!

Winner will be drawn at random at noon GMT on April 12th - good luck!


Drawing the Perfect Natural Eye Brow

Hi Tory,

My friend Mandi had a plea: if you either don't want to or don't feel confident in plucking your eye brows, how can you make them look good?

it's all a question of polish and delicacy

It's all a question of polish and delicacy. You don't want to end up with Scouse Brow, so take your time and go gently. You really only need to fill in the bits that need help - don't just draw the whole eye brow in.

Most companies do brow kits now - some with built in brow gel, but you can just as easily use a clear mascara as a gel. You also want to look out for brow shadows that are somewhat grey in tone rather than red. (Back in the day, women would use regular drawing pencils for their brows as it had the perfect cool grey tone.)

I'd always recommend a shadow over a pencil to fill in the brow - it's much softer - reserving the eye brow pencil to draw in fine little hairs for texture. Be gentle!/p>

Hugs and kisses,

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