I love makeup. I love the way it looks, I love the packaging, the colours, the smells and textures… and I love all the grand London beauty halls, packed with aspirational beauty brands whose shelves are filled with tiny containers of bright, pastel, shimmery and sparkly powders and creams…
But the tragedy is, I have no idea what to do with any of it. Well, that’s kind of a whopping falsehood – I do know what to do with some of the bits. Maybe three bits. I am far better with an eyeliner than I ever used to be, I’m a dab hand at mascara and once I found a foundation that suited me, I never looked back.
However, that still leaves me with a makeup bag, bursting with bits and pieces that I’ve never really mastered and certainly don’t know if are actually right for me and my colouring.
And I’m not talking about party make up, or any kind of dramatic look – I’ve always wanted to nail the natural looking ‘I’m-not-wearing-any-make-up-but-I-totally-am’ look. The perfect makeup for a meeting, for a business lunch, or just for running about town and looking more put together. And as though I’ve had 10 hours sleep in a 5 star hotel. THAT look.
That’s the look I wanted and that’s why I booked in for a personal shopping session with Natalie James – the ‘Business Makeup Artist’ who totally gets it and breaks down your perfect ‘Game Face’ like a ninja. A gorgeous looking ninja at that.
I met Natalie in the private suites at Liberty. She had sent me some questions over email before we met, which helped her understand more about my beauty routine (I smoosh on a bit of moisturisor when I remember) what I find tricky and areas of my makeup I’d like to work on etc…
She wanted to see what products I was currently using and work out what was working, what wasn’t and to make some suggestions for new products… which was definitely exciting.
The first thing we did was empty my makeup bag all over the floor and then started to move products around into groups, to make my makeup bag more manageable. We also ‘deleted’ some products that just weren’t working for me. (What was I thinking?!)
Being a blogger I have been sent some beautiful makeup over the years, but actually knowing how to use it has been a completely different thing. Natalie spent time showing me how to apply, blend, layer and where to put that blush! (Not where I thought it meant to go).
We played around with a day look, a moving into night look… and when I told her that I didn’t have a hero lipstick, her eyes lit up and she announced that she knew EXACTLY which lipstick I should have in my makeup arsenal…
And with that, we left the suite and headed downstairs to the beauty hall at Liberty, where we waltzed about from counter to counter and Natalie showed me some wonderful products, which she called ‘investment pieces’.
These are products that I would use every day and would last for ages. And ages. Fantastic makeup is often expensive, but I have learnt over the years that buying anything cheap is usually a complete waste of money. These are products we’re putting on our actual faces! They’d better be wonderful, no?
The beauty of the session is that because Natalie is independent, she is impartial and honest. She encouraged me to pause and think before buying anything and there was zero pressure to purchase products she recommended (which was refreshing). She highlighted the products she felt would make worthwhile investments and I took notes as we went around the beauty hall.
I ended up buying a couple of the products Natalie suggested and then bought another one when I went back to Liberty the following week to listen to her talk, ‘Find Your Game Face’. (Natalie does fabulous makeup talks and she’ll even come to your office – contact her for more info).
I now have in my streamlined makeup bag, the perfect lipstick, blush, concealer, corrector and primer… and I have worn all of these products every day since, and I know they’ll be staples in my now capsule makeup bag, for years to come.
If I had invested with a session with Natalie a few years ago, I’d have saved myself a small fortune, from buying all the (often cheaper) wrong products. I left Liberty armed with a better understanding of the best shades for me and a much clearer idea of what products I should be using and why.
And strangely, that brings great piece of mind! I know that the products I now have aren’t just in the ‘ballpark’ of my skin tone or eye color, but they actually are the very best shade for me. (And in the case of bases and concealers – an exact match).
I also bring good tidings – a 2 hour session with Natalie usually costs £195, but she currently has a special offer on, meaning you can book a session for just £145. This is running until the 10th September and if you are in two minds about it, I say go for it!
You won’t regret it – it’s one of the best presents a girl could give to herself, her self confidence and her wallet for the future.
Go on – get your Game Face on.
I was invited by Natalie to this session, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)