About Me

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Vegan. Ex-makeup artist. CFS/ME sufferer. Cares about human rights, equality, animal rights, conservation/climate change.


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Becoming a Vegan Makeup Artist: Storage and Organisation

So now you have all the stuff you need to be a vegan makeup artist, you're gonna need somewhere to put it. That 'somewhere' will need to be easy to carry and travel with as you travel to and from jobs.

The Zuca Bag was my kit bag of choice for most of my career. It's sturdy, on wheels, and the fabric part is washable for when something inevitably spills. The Pro Artist Bag comes with clear plastic inserts to organise your kit. It's also suitable to take on a plane as carry-on luggage. 

The £229+ price tag is pretty steep, so if you aren't likely to be jetting off with it, you might want to consider the cheaper Zuca Sport.

This comes without the inserts, but you can buy your own clear plastic cases to separate products by type. Clear cases are vital - you need to be able to see what you have quickly without rummaging around! This'll set you back by around £130+. I highly recommend the model with flashing wheels!

For your hair kit, the Zuca Artist backpack is ideal. It's designed to sit on top of the Zuca Bag, it has removable pouches and a thermal pocket so you can put away hot curling irons safely. 

I know these cases are expensive, but I've done my research and carried other cases, and honestly, these are the sturdiest, most hardwearing, most user-friendly cases available. They aren't even paying me to say this! I've linked the cheapest UK shop I've found, as prices vary a lot between retailers. 

If you happen to find yourself in a state of monetary deficit, as I often do, then a second hand Zuca is ideal. As the fabric inserts are removable and washable, you'll have no problem getting your case clean and looking like new again. 

  • Organisation
Your kit should be arranged by type. Each category should have its own place, normally a medium clear PVC bag. My kit categories were as follows;

  1. Skincare, including wipes, tissues and cotton pads (kept in the door pockets of my Zuca)
  2. Foundations, concealer palette, setting powder & single blush/highlight/contours
  3. Airbrush foundation minis (came in their own small PVC bag)
  4. Single eyeshadow pigments, gel liners and cream shadows
  5. Eye pencils and mascara (kept in a small PVC pencil bag or wallet)
  6. Lipsticks and lip palette
  7. Lip Pencils (kept in a small PVC pencil bag or wallet)
  8. Liquid lipsticks/glosses (kept in a small PVC pencil bag or wallet)
  9. Large Palettes (kept at the bottom of my Zuca, under everything to stop them moving around and getting broken)
  10. Disposable lip brushes, mascara wands, and cotton buds (in small Cozette vessels or wallets)
  11. Powder/foundation brushes and eye brushes (in large Cozette vessels or tube holder)
  12. Nail polishes, file and clippers (just those I'll need, not my full collection, kept in a small PVC case in my Zuca's side pocket)
  • Pro Picks
Here are some bits that I think are pretty nifty.

Magnetic Palettes - 

Pic via etsy.com

I no longer support Z-palette after the owner went on a bit of an Instagram rampage insulting customers, and these are some great alternatives.

Pic via love-makeup.co.uk
These clear plastic palettes are perfect for melting cream products into or storing bobby pins or lashes.

On set or location, it's not possible to take your entire kit with you for touch-ups. This is where a set bag is useful to have the essentials on hand. This one has a tissue dispenser built in, and will keep things dry if it rains on location!
Pic via love-makeup.co.uk

When working on a single job for extended periods, such as a film or TV series, it is often necessary to organise each actor's particular products and shades separately. 

So there you have it, you now know all you need to become a vegan makeup artist and hairstylist. The most important thing, when you're learning, is to practice constantly! Makeover all your friends, take pictures, track your progress, take notice of your timing. Get a couple of hairdressing practice heads to practice your techniques on. It's best to get the highest percentage of human hair as you can afford, because synthetic is too slippery and not realistic. (For anyone wondering about the vegan-ity of human hair - humans can give consent, animals cannot!)

I have now imparted my wisdom, bestowed it upon you. Use it wisely. For now, I must bid you farewell. If I ever manage to claw back some precious health, I fully intend to continue this blog! If you'd like more info on my illness and to perhaps donate towards research for a cure, click here.

Til Next Time,


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Becoming A Vegan Makeup Artist: Kit Recommendations, Hair Session Styling

It's very rare to be a makeup artist without needing to work as a session hairstylist too. Here are the tools to get the job done. It's a lot, but the trick is to know what you'll need beforehand and only bring the items required.

Pic via denmanbrush.com

Denman Brush - This is the best hairbrush. Great at detangling, kind to hair (the kind of brush with bobbles at the end of each tine can trap the strands and cause breakage.) Super easy to dismantle for thorough cleaning. It also comes with a beechwood handle for those trying to reduce the use of plastic.

Tail Comb - for sharp partings, precise sectioning, and general combing. Wooden version for those reducing plastic use.

Backcombing Brush - Be careful with these, as they often contain boar bristles, make sure they are synthetic.

Sectioning Clips - vital for creating styles.

Pic via salonsdirect.com
Pincurl Clips - to hold a curl in place while it sets.

Bobby Pin Set - in a variety of colours and shapes.

Hair Ties in various colours - get the kind without metal to avoid snagging.

Clear small hair elastics

Bun doughnuts and hair padding in different sizes and colours.


Heat Protectant Spray

Dry Shampoo

Hair Gel

Matte Wax

Heat Protective Mat - safety first, kids!

Straighteners Useful for straight looks and loose curls or waves.

  • Tongs

I liked to have 2 of each set of tongs so I could work faster. The kind with a clip to hold the hair is best, as it can be held with one hand. Wrap one section, clamp and ask the client to hold the tongs. Wrap next section, swap tongs with the client, slide off the curl and pin if necessary. Repeat until the full head is complete. (Be careful, if you're too slow with the next section, the first section could burn! Time is of the essence.)

Tongs, narrow barrel

Tongs, medium barrel 

Pic via salonsdirect.com

Tongs, large barrel

Tongs, extra large barrel

Hairdryer - This won't often be needed, but it's necessary to have.

Hood Attachment Great to set velcro or bendy rollers.

Bendy rollers of various sizes - you can often find the greatest selection of these for the best prices at your local beauty supply or Afro-Carribean beauty supply shops.

So hopefully, these posts have helped you get a good idea of what to carry in your kit. But how to carry it? Don't worry, I've got you covered with the next post.

Til Next Time,

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Becoming A Vegan Makeup Artist: Kit Recommendations, Lip Edition

Welcome to this instalment of my Kit Recommendations series. This time we've got lippies galore, and no pesky beeswax or carmine in sight!

  • Lip Liner

OCC (Trick is an amazing nude)
Pic via occmakeup.com

  • Lipstick
OCC Lip Tar 

Lip Palettes -
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette - The expensive option, includes primary colours plus white and black to mix custom shades, plus a metal mixing palette, and a lip brush.

Pic via anastasiabeverlyhills.co.uk

Freedom Makeup Pro Lipstick Palettes in Naked, Reds and Noir. Great value - may be worth it to combine these with OCC's lip tars in black, white and primary colours to mix if you're on a budget.

Matte Liquid lipsticks -

Barry M Matte Me Up SingleMetallic Lip Kits. These are such great value (the lip kits contain liner too) and don't feel crusty on the lips.
Pic via barrym.com

Aromi Liquid Lipsticks,

Milani Amore Matte Lip Cream. Beautiful and smell amazing.

  • Lip Gloss
I don't believe in spending a fortune on lipgloss, and these quality products are perfect if you're on a budget.

Elf Lip Laquer - Standard clear gloss is a kit staple.

Makeup Revolution Amazing Lipgloss/My Sign Lipgloss Wide range of shades, bargain price. What's not to love?
Pic via tambeauty.com
This concludes our vegan lip selection.The next Kit Recommendations post will be up next week, teaching you how to build your vegan hair session styling kit!

Til Next Time,


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Becoming A Vegan Makeup Artist: Kit Recommendations, Eye Edition

Welcome back to my series covering the awesomest products to stuff your vegan kit with. This post is all about the eyes.

  • Eye Primer
Elf Eyelid Primer
Quality product, and an absolute bargain. They just brought out medium and deep shades.
Pics via eyeslipsface.co.uk

Elf Glitter Primer Perfect for sticking glitter to the skin.

  • Eyeshadow
BH Cosmetics Palettes (check vegan list.) The Second Edition 120 Palette is a real favourite in my collection!
Pic via beautybay.com

Shiro Cosmetics High quality, interesting shades.

Neve Cosmetics Palettes (All vegan apart from blush palette.) If my house was burning down and I only had time to save one palette, it'd be the Elegantissimi palette. Blendable, pigmented neutrals. Beautiful.

Pic via nevecosmetics.it

Makeup Revolution/ Freedom Makeup Palettes (vegan items labelled on website) 
Surprisingly good quality, for the most part.

Elf Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow 
  • Eyeliners
Pencils -
Barry M Kohl Pencils (vegan apart from black glitter shade), 
Pic via barrym.com

Neve Cosmetics Pastello Eye Liner Pencils

Gel - 
Medusa's Makeup Eyeliner Paint, all shades, fantastic bright colour range!

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner
Pic via Illamasqua.com

  • Brows

Makeup Revolution Brow Pomade

Pic via tambeauty.com

  • False Lashes
Ardell Demi Wispies - My all-time faves - buy the multipack, you'll get through them fast! 
Pic via falseeyelashes.co.uk
Helen Dowsley Lashes Ethically sourced, synthetic but look like real hair.

Social Eyes Lash Glue Latex-free. YouTuber favourite. 

That's your lot for this week. If it's lip recommendations you're after, word on the street is you'll find them here next week. Keep it on the down low, you didn't hear it from me.

Til Next Time,


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Becoming A Vegan Makeup Artist: Kit Recommendations, Face Edition

Creating smooth, even, healthy-looking skin is the bread and butter of makeup artistry (or should that be the dairy-free spread of makeup artistry?) The following products are best for getting the job done, the vegan way.
  • Concealer

RCMA Color Process Foundation (can be used as concealer or foundation. Comes in convenient palettes.Thinning fluid isn't vegan, but moisturiser can be used instead to sheer out product). Perfect for contouring and highlighting, too. PalettesSingles
Pic via Guru Makeup Emporium

Kett Fixx Creme (can be used as concealer or foundation. Comes in convenient palettes.)
Palettes, Singles. 

Elf All Over Cover Stick

  • Foundation
Kett Hydro Airbrush Foundation (Only for use with an airbrush.)

Wet n Wild Coverall (Poor shade range)

Illamasqua Skin Base
Pic via Illamasqua

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation

  • Colour Corrector
Barry M Colour Correcting Kit
Pic via Barry M
  • Powder
RCMA No-Color Powder
Cult classic. Cuts through shine like no other. Colourless and invisible.

  • Highlight
Can be airbrushed or used with a sponge.

  • Contour
Kett Hydro Contour
Can be airbrushed or used with a brush or sponge.

Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Contour Book Palette VOL 1
Buildable and mixable - a tap of each colour on your brush creates a custom shade.

Pic via Lunatick Cosmetic Labs

  • Blush
Freedom Makeup London Pro Blush Palettes in Peach & Pink

BH Cosmetics 10 Pan Blush Palettes in ProfessionalGlamorous and Nude
Pic via Beauty Bay

  • Setting Spray
Skindinavia Bridal Finish. This stuff is legendary. Shake well and spray liberally to ensure the makeup lasts all day!

What are your favourite vegan face products? 
Check back next week to hear about some killer eye products!

Til Next Time,

    Tuesday, 21 November 2017

    Becoming a Vegan Makeup Artist: Kit Building & Skin Prep Recommendations

    In this post, I'm going to talk about building your vegan professional makeup kit.

    Buying your kit will be pricey, even if you only go for the cheapest products to start out with. I recommend signing up for an industry discount once you've enrolled onto your course. You will need to sign up with each individual retailer separately and show proof that you're enrolled, then you will receive a discount. Also, when buying online, try to go through a cashback site like Top Cashback. You'll get a small percentage of each sale back, and it adds up rather quickly if you're buying a lot. I've earned £267.45 so far! You can sign up at topcashback.co.uk, or go via my  referral link if you feel like helping me out! :)

    To figure out if a brand is cruelty-free, just search for them on lists such as Cruelty-Free Kitty and Logical Harmony. You will need to decide whether you are okay with using products from a cruelty-free company with an animal testing parent company (such as Tarte, Urban Decay). I personally try to avoid brands with animal testing parent companies, except when there is no other option, or the company is extremely dedicated to making vegan products (such as Superdrug or Kat Von D). Here is a good post by Lovely Witches about parent companies.

    • Brands that are 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan


    I highly recommend their airbrush makeup - if you plan to airbrush, I would purchase the whole kit from them.


    A great way to get a lot of lip colours is to buy a set of Lip Tars and mix any colour you can imagine from them. They can be topped with gloss or blotted and powdered, and come in metallic, glitter and tinted gloss finishes. Their pencils for eyes and lips are also great quality.

    Lots of quality products for cheap prices. Read reviews prior to purchasing as they have a couple of dud products among the many great ones.

    Shiro Cosmetics

    Great for unique powder eyeshadow shades, especially duochrome shadows.


    Great for duochrome shadows, colour shifting shadows and Pixie Epoxy - a kind of 'primer' to bring out the shimmer in eyeshadows.

    Skin Illustrator

    A post shared by @skinillustratorofficial on

    Skin Illustrator makes alcohol based makeup for film, TV and SFX. The vast majority of films and TV shows you see use these products to produce realistic skin effects like freckles, tanning/sunburn, bruising, ageing, scars, tattoos, dirtying down, the list is endless. They also produce tooth lacquer, dirt for different dirt effects, blood under the name 'Fleet Street', and heavy-duty sealing sprays (Blue and Green Marble).

    Brushes - Nanshy, Spectrum, Real Techniques and Cozzette make high-quality vegan brushes. Ideally, you will have multiples of oft-used brushes to save time sanitising them between clients, but it's okay to start out with less.

    Great Brands With Vegan Lists -

    Refer to these websites when shopping for the same brand on other websites. It's often cheaper to buy many different brands from the same retailer rather than make several purchases from the brand websites.

    BH Cosmetics

    Neve Cosmetics


    Barry M (Vegan products are labelled in the drop down ingredients tab of each product)

    Wet 'n' Wild (Hard to find in the UK, but good quality and cheap if you can get it)


    Skin Prep Recommendations

    It's essential to start with a clean, moisturised base when building a look. The right products will cleanse quickly without drying the skin, add moisture without grease, and help makeup adhere to the skin to last all day.
    • Skincare
    A small pot of homemade sugar and sunflower oil lip scrub to be used before cleansing if needed.

    B. Pure Micellar Water (they sell two micellar waters, this one is a larger bottle)

    Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum
    A cult favourite with moisture-boosting ceramides, and only £2.99!

    EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 (if model/client will be in the sun)
    Perfectly matte, high protection without flashback. Bieberino knows what's up.

    Superdrug/Sainsbury's Petroleum Jelly or pure shea or cocoa butter for lips.

    • Primer
    Hylamide HA Blur*
    Effectively blurs wrinkles and pores.

    Niod Photography Fluid*
    'Lit from within' in a bottle.

    (* - Deciem is part-owned by Estee Lauder, but the company itself remains cruelty-free)

    I hope you're now suitably prepared for next week's post about foundation and concealer recs!

    Til Next Time,


    -All pics from the instagrams or websites of the brands in question-