MY MALL BOX US TO UK SHIPPING: Bath and body works uk

There is nothing as exciting as getting  a parcel in the mail. And nothing more frustrating than discovering your favourite brands do not ship to the UK. (I’m looking at you, Colourpop!) or discovering extreme shipping costs like £15 before taxes. So I’m going to tell you how I get US goodies over to the UK without inordinate shipping costs.

My Mall Box is a international shipping company which provides you with a US postal address and store your items until you are ready to ship. They also provide a re-packing service which allows you to bundle your items together in one package to save money.

You just check out your items with YOUR Billing Address, and your unique My Mall Box delivery address

WHAT IF THEY DONT ACCEPT UK BANK ACCOUNTS?

If, like Ulta or other stores don’t accept your card type or billing address, you can use Buy This For Me. You select the items you want and they purchase the items for you.

So – How much are you looking at spending?

 LARGE ITEMS 
My Mum wanted to order some Bath and Body Works Candles from the sale – 12 Large Bath and Body Works 3 wick candles cost $93 to ship to the UK.

Once repackaged – with 4 other 3 wick candles candles, 2 pairs of socks, 2 Candle holders, 2 soap holders and 2 foaming hand soaps – the total for is $109.

Small Items 
3 Lipglosses, 3 Face Palettes, 2 Blush Compacts, 1 Foundation, 1 Concealer and A heap of samples cost me $30. I had these repackaged, and when they arrived they came packaged REALLY well. They took the time to carefully wrap each item for me.

Customs
As you may know, importing goods into the UK over the value of £15 incurs a charge of 20% and £8 handling fee. This can be a problem if your goods were bought on sale, but are declared as full price. You can edit the customs value of your goods in the My Shipments page – for example free samples you may mark at a customs value of $0.

Use thisMy Mall Box Code for $5 free shipping credit!

 

Keratin Revolution – AMAZING RESULTS with Sam of Hair Boutique

No good story starts without a disaster, and this, my friends is a tale of tragedy, of love, and awesome hair.

My night began as I pulled my Qashqai (my chariot, if you will!) into a side road in Sale. The electrics flickered, and everything died. Several attempts too restart the engine later, I called the RAC begging for rescue, chatting away with my head resting on the steering wheel in despair. This is NOT what I needed tonight, frost on the roads, 12 miles to home and a dead engine.

Its 8 o’clock at night, and Sam has generously opened the salon late to accommodate me – but  unsurprisingly, I stumbled into Hair Boutique flustered, my hair knotted from the wind and freezing cold. Luckily for me – Sam – who had been charged with transforming my over-the-top, wild, curly hair into sleek and manageable hair worthy of a Disney Princess – was an absolute doll. The RAC promised to meet me inside so I didn’t turn into a Pip-sicle in the mean time, and Sam popped the kettle on. From the moment I walked in, it was like we have been besties for years. Consider her the cute sidekick in this tale!

First – we discussed my hair type, routine and how often I heat treat it. (Curly, textured, i wash it every few days and very rarely use heat!)
Sam then  washed and dried my hair to remove any product left in there,  then applied the Keratin Revolution treatment in small sections. Then my hair was set in this very attractive plastic cap, and stuck me under the dryer for 30 minutes. I actually really enjoyed this bit, it might have been getting warm under there – or a chance to catch up on all my emails! About this time RAC showed up and I declared undying love to anyone who could fix my car before we finished the treatment.  (This is the love story bit!) 1
The RAC man (the new love of my life) had arranged someone to drive a battery from Stoke to fit in my car. Sam washed my hair again to remove the excess product, and then carefully sectioned off and straightened my hair to give it the smooth straight look and complete the treatment. The RAC  engineer returned my car keys and my car was working! Triumph – now all I need is the Disney Princess hair.

Are you ready for the end result? I am in AWE of my own hair in these photos

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Before and After : Photo Credit to Samantha Walker – Image Taken from here.

Look at that shine!!! Its amazing! And the real test for me was how my hair would behave after the first wash – but since this treatment – my hair is so much more manageable – its natural unruly curl is now straight and sleek. With Keratin Revolution – you do not need to leave your hair unwashed for days like traditional keratin treatments – however I left mine the usual three days. When washing – the hair feels soft and the Keratin Revolution Shampoo and Conditioner contain hydrolysed keratin to maintain the smooth effect at home.

I didn’t think I would be converted – but I am. My hair dries naturally in a beautiful straight sheet, it dries quicker and feels incredible.

I can’t thank Sam enough- not only did we not stop chatting for the whole two hours – but she was an incredible calming presence when I was so stressed out. I cannot recommend her enough.

Sadly – my love affair with the RAC engineer did not last – after fixing my car he left, to rescue another Damsel in distress.

You can Contact sam at
Hair By Sam
Hair Boutique Sale

  • Thank you to Stephanie and the staff at Ledigo PR for this opportunity.
  • Thank you to RAC for rescuing me – the engineer arrived within 20 minutes of my initial call and they had fixed my car in under and hour and a half.

 

 

NEW! Blog Sale May 2015 – Chanel, Mac, Jemma Kid, MUFE, Make Up Forever, Illamasqua, Revlon

Welcome to the big desk clear out!  Theres a large selection of items here, all priced to move!

Spend over £30 and get a free gift! Spend £50 and get a free gift and Free Shipping in the UK. 

All Items Listed are 100% genuine, purchased at appropriate retailers. And have been sterilised appropriately.

Blog Sale Rules 1. Comment below with your order, and Paypal email address and I will invoice you.

2. Postage is £4 (this includes the cost of a bubble wrapped envelope to prevent damage in the post) Free over £50. Recorded first class delivery. INTL shipping rates apply

11356190_10155642614425038_198149208_n11303728_10155642614420038_751001586_nEye Products £5 Each 90% + Left Top- Bottom Bobbi Brown Shimmer Ink Eye Liner Chocolate Shimmer £5 Make Up Forever Aqua Cream 28702 £5 Make Up Forever Aqua Cream 8 £5 Make Up Forever Aqua Cream 01 £5 Make Up Forever Aqua Cream 15 £5 

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Cheek Products  4. Mac Restores Dazzle Cream Blush £8 (90% + Left) £9 5. Mac Something Special Cream Blush (90%+ Left) £9 Jemma Kid Pomegranite Creme Blush £3 (On the left) Jemma Kid Guava Creme Blush (on the right) Bobbi Brown Nude Pink Blush (£3)

mac1Mac Lipsticks LE (Limited Edition) £12 Each! (All 90%+ Left) Top- Bottom 1. Red Racer (Hey Sailor) 2. Sail La Vie (Hey Sailor) 3. Innocence Beware (Venomous Villains) 4. Heartless (Venomous Villains) 5. Violetta (Venomous Villains)

mac2Mac Lipsticks – £8 Each (90% + Left) Top to Bottom 1. Relentlessly Red 2. Made to Order 3. Kinda Sexy 4. Lustering 5. Hug Me

mac3Mac Lipsticks £8 Each (90%+ Left) Top to Bottom 1. London Life 2. Dressmaker 3. Sweetie 4. Prolong

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Eye Liners £4 Each (L-R) 1. Mac Superslick Liquid Liner – Signature Blue 2. Mac Powerpoint Liner – Blue Stripe 3.. Mac Eye Kohl – Float On By 4. Mac Powerpoint Liner – Blue Noon 5. Urban Decay 24/7 – Ransom 6. Urban Decay 24/7 – Electric 7. Urban Decay 24/7 – Corrupt 8. Urban Decay 24/7- Rockstar 9. Urban Decay 24/7 – Baked 10. Illamasqua – Eerie 11. Illamasqua – Obscene 12.Illamasqua – Please 13. Eyeko Skinny Liner – Black 14. Make Up forever Aqua Lip 14c Rosewood (not pictured) 15. Illamasqua lip pencil Bait (not pictured)

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Lipgloss (not currently pictures) 1. Mac Mini Dazzle Glass Rags to Riches £3 2. Mac Mini Creamsheen Richer, Lusher £3 3. Mac Mini Dazzle Glass Eurobeat £3 4. Mac Mini Dazzle Glass Phiff £3 5. Mac Lipglass Best Of Breed £7 6. Mac Lipglass (archies girls) Summer Sweetheart £7 7. Mac Lipglass Jealousy £7 8. Mac Lipglass Frozen Lame £7

sleek1Sleek Palettes £3 Each L- R  Original – Curacao Chaos – Ultra Mattes V1 Glory – Primer Palette

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Sleek Palettes £3 Each  L-R Respect – Good Girl Monaco – Snapshot Supreme – Acid

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Sleek Palettes £3 Each  L-R  Bad Girl – Sparkles

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Mac Nail Polishes – £4 Each. 1. Bad Fairy (duochrome) 2. Formidable (duochrome) 3. Mean And Green (duochrome) 4. Blue Ming 5. In The Dark Purple 6. Ocean Dip 7. Deep Sea 8. Festive Finery 9. Earthly Delights 10. Get Noticed! 11. Screening Room 12. Salad Dressing 13. Endless Night 14. Vestral Right 15. Touch Of Red 16. Double Trouble

Using Hop Shop Go – how to ship US goods to the UK .

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Ive had a lot of people ask me how to get clothes/goodies from the US to the UK, especially much lusted after items like Bath and Body Works items. Heres how it goes – you sign up to Hop Shop Go using your Paypal account, this is a fab service, some websites won’t ship international

1. Sign up using your paypal account, you make your payments through paypal and so its as secure as it can be.  They will issue you a International Address in portland, which is a state with no sales tax (this is good for you!)

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2. You can either –
Order the items yourself: by checking your items out and having your delivery address as your Hop Shop Go address, when it arrives it will be under the ‘Packages At U.S Address’ Tab. (If its not there, just email them the tracking and they’ll update manually! )

Or have Hop Shop Go check it out for you: This is a little more complicated, you add  all the information to a form, with links, and they check it out for you, using a US billing Address. This is great when companies don’t accept Billing Addresses outside the US. They do charge a fee, so avoid it if at all possible (The fee is 10% of the total of items and shipping)

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Buy For Me – Process

3. Shipping to the UK – This bit is where you have to pay.
Now your items are at the US Address, you have 30 days of free storage to ship them over to yourself. They will charge you for the shipping (7 Dresses cost me $47, or around £28 to ship express)  If you have bought the items yourself, you will be asked to enter the value of the items for customs declaration.

Shipping is done (in my experience) with DHL and you receive tracking info.

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Below are some IMPORTANT NOTES. READ ME!

At this point, you can say whatever you like on your customs form. Below is all you need to know, except that if you have £100 of clothing and you declare it as £15 and are caught, the items can be destroyed and you could be prosecuted, generally, they will not pursue criminal action, but there is a penalty to pay if you are caught. Do so at your own risk.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 16.03.01Happy Shopping! 🙂 

 

How to get motivated to exercise – 5 top tips.

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Did i tell you i used to hate exercise? I went through phases of punishing my body with tonnes and then doing none for ages. I think it goes back to PE in school, i hated it, and spent a lot of my time sat out, i have hyper mobile joints and my hips would dislocate randomly, and my school wasn’t very well equipped so there wasn’t much variety. Recently I’ve developed a healthier relationship with exercise. When you’re e self employed and studying, motivation can be thin on the ground after a long day. So here are my tips for getting motivation to exercise.

1) Get the Kit right  
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Recent Research shows that half of girls are put off doing PE because of the kits, and i can believe that, some families can barely afford to buy it at the beginning of the year, let alone when they outgrow it around february, so generally they’re bought too baggy in september, and then too small by march. This can majorly affect the way you feel,

So now I’m older, i like to treat myself to some nice work out clothes. They don’t have to be expensive, i get La Gear Shorts or Capris  from Sports Direct (around £12 for 2 when they’re on sale) and i get tops from the Nike or Adidas Outlet  (a little more expensive, but the fabric is stretchy and comfortable and washes well, you can find similar here.) they’re around £12 each.

Invest in good trainers, again shop the sales, the outlets but invest in a pair that suit your feet.

2. Get the right support (Part 1 and 2)

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I. Get an amazing sports bra – Even if you aren’t a big size, remember that the bounce caused by running or movement can stretch the ligaments and leave you with well…saggy maggies… Its important to get the right size, so go try some on, and yes,  jump up and down. They get very expensive in the bigger bust sizes, so i get mine from here. This is cheaper than anywhere else for me, and i know my size already.

II. Try to have someone go with you, or at least be nice to you when things are hard. Funnily enough, I go with my husband, even though I don’t spend much time in the same bit of the gym as he does. Its good to have someone to motivate me to go, and to go find when I’m having a shitty time.

3. Don’t do it if it’s not right for you. 

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I bought a few of those at home work out DVDs a while ago, thinking it would be easier to work out when i get half an hour instead of going to the gym, boy was i wrong.  I hated every minute of it, and by the end of it wanted to smush Jillian Michaels face into her yoga mat. I find working at the gym is better, I have a set amount of time and a plan of what to do. I am also responsible for my own workout, I push as hard as I want, not until I ‘faint puke or die’.  I can stick my headphones in, and do my work out with relative sanity at the end.
This isn’t true for everyone, some people love work out DVDs, for me, its for the bin.

4. Get into a routine 

giphy3I go to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and I go to pole fitness on a Thursday evening. Thats five days a week, and from next week ill be doing 6. My Physio recommends not doing any more than 5 days a week to allow for proper rest and recovery, so one of my gym days (usually saturday cos I’m knackered) is a more relaxed day and I don’t beat myself up if I can’t work as hard as I usually do.

Find a time of day to work out that is best for you, some people like to do it in the morning, I’m better in the evening!

But again, don’t feel terrible if you skip a day, I skipped friday cos i was exhausted, and I would have done myself an injury if i’d have gone. I’m not beating myself up about it, I did an amazing work out on Saturday instead!

5. Don’t worry about the weight.
And don’t compare yourself to them… 

giphy2I personally don’t weigh myself, I don’t think its a healthy way to measure my progress. And I don’t think one persons ideal weight is relative to anyone else.
I have a large chest for my frame, and really big hips, so my ideal weight for my height is very different to someone with a small bust and smaller hips.  I prefer to see change in my strength, endurance, and clothes instead. Remember, our weight changes naturally all the time, and its not necessarily fat gain or loss, we gain and lose water weight (especially around that time of the month) and we carry the weight of the food we’ve eaten in our bodies too. And muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re getting stronger but not loosing weight quickly, thats great, you’re gaining muscle!

Working out consistently is the key to getting the results you want, not burning yourself out working your ass off for the sake of a bit of water weight.

What are your top tips for getting motivated?

Pippa xxx

How to budget for University – a guide to budgeting, cash back and bargain hunting

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Budgeting isn’t something most 18 year olds have had to do, the stability of a family home is a safety net for your finances, but moving to uni can be scary if you are worried about money too!
I start university this september (late… admittedly!) So I starting lurking on The Student Room to get a feel for the community. The number one worry I see is ‘I have no idea how I’m going to afford to live’, and seeing as hell, i’d probably be worried too if my husband wasn’t full-time employed, i thought i’d talk through some budgeting tips that we have used to get by the hard times, that apply to uni!

First up, we have a comprehensive guide to HOW to make a budget, and know your living costs. Below, i have some tips for making that money go further, just whizz in the numbers that apply to you, and off we go!

Know Your Limit

The first bit goes like this, add your total loans and grants – online, the majority seem to be getting around £7500. 

Divide this by the full 12 months, as there is a larger gap between your April and September Student Loan than any other payments, this is because generally you will go and get a summer job, as you aren’t in uni for the summer, but bear with me, if things don’t go to plan, you’ll be glad you did it this way. Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 10.07.06

Now add any money you will get from your parents, judging by what I’ve read online, £50 a week (£2400 a year) is the average.

£7500 Student Loan and Grants, + £2400 from parents.

£9900 a Year, £825 a month. 

Prioritise your expenses.

Living in student halls is more expensive than renting a room (sometimes £100+ a week?) but that covers your internet, gas and electric, water etc. so you don’t have those bills to worry about. My calculations include gas, electric, water, internet etc. This is something to think about once you’re out of halls.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 10.16.40Don’t forget to account for things like Home Insurance (student houses DO get broken into, and are often targeted specifically, get student home insurance, it’s fairly cheap and will make sure you get a Laptop and Phone if they’re stolen.) and things like Pens, Notepads, and any equipment you need for your course.

Add all your monthly expenses up, accounting for bus passes, travel home to see family, and food. As long as this is less than your income, or line of credit, perfect. On my calculations, this leaves £192 spare income a month.

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Do you have any other expenses? I’ve put Christmas and Birthday on, as these are times you might want to spend a little more. These are under ‘Planned Expenses‘.You can also add ‘Additional Income’ such as Bursaries, i haven’t added them to my budget because not everyone gets them.

Put this all into a table (I use Apple’s – Numbers, it does all the math for me!) The total ‘Savings’ at the end in August is basically the total spare expenditure you’ll have for the year, assuming you get no summer work or extra money. so £1854 after Expenses, Christmas, And birthday money is £154.50 a month.

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Extra Tips

Don’t Blow The Budget
Only take out with you what you can afford to spend. On a night out? Budgeted £30? Only take out £30.

Go Bargain Crazy
You know at around 7 o’clock they reduce all the food thats at the end of the display date to ridiculously cheap? Don’t be afraid to buy it, freeze it, or eat it that night. To be honest, its generally good for another day or two, just make sure to smell it and check it looks ok. We get whole extra large cooked chickens for £3, and can make two or three days of Chicken Pie with them, and a £1 roll of pastry and 50p of veg. (Bread £20p a loaf? Freeze it!!)

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Get a Jar
It doesn’t have to be one of these, these i got on Ebay for a few pounds (they’re about £10+ in shops) at the end of every week i empty all of my change into the jar, pound coins into the blue ‘Holiday Fund’ and silver into the other one. I pulled all my money out with tweezers (I didn’t want to smash them…) before our holiday this year, and it was over £400. Our copper change goes into a emptied out Yankee Candle Jar. Crack it open at christmas, for a weekend away, or whenever you get a bit skint! I don’t tend to notice the money gone, a few £££’s here and there.

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Good Friends Split The Bill
Does anyone have a Costco card? You can save a fortune buying in bulk, admittedly, you may have to buy a lot to begin with, but if you want cases of energy drink for exam time, Big packs of danish pastry, cereal, tea bags, meat, go as a team. Shop as a household, and split it all when you get home. When we’ve been more hard up (when my husband was in uni and student loans didn’t pay him…) we’ve had a freezer full of Costco chicken and danish pastries. Pick up a leaflet on your way in, they often have extra offers in store, great for the pricier items like Washing Liquid and Fabric Softener. If you haven’t got one, ask everyone you know. If you know someone with an account, its only £12 to be added too the account.

Go Cash Back Crazy. 
I use an app called Top Cashback on my phone –  basically if I’m buying anything online i just search the merchant, visit the page via the app and I get cash back in a few weeks time, if you think its a waste of time, below are my stats since joining last year.

The best student bank accounts do cash back too, only in certain places though (a lot less than top cash back) but I’ve still managed to get £11.60 from Natwest. Make sure you’re signed up!

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I hope that this helps someone!
Do you have any more tips? How do you keep your spending in check? 

Throwback Nails – OPI My Private Jet

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Can we talk about this? Seriously. This is my dream holo polish. Its so pretty! Its like a rainbow on the night sky, in fact i had to tilt my nails away a little so that it didn’t shine so much my camera wouldn’t pick it up. Its a Brown – Black with tonnes of holographic glitter. Its AMAZING. I can’t stop looking at my nails. This one originated back in 2007, in the Night Brights collection (Thats vintage!!!) but my bottle is newer, more opaque, and completely free of all the controversy that surrounded it back then.

I forget, until i use other polishes how good OPI is. They are generally opaque in two coats, or one even, and wear like iron! Do you have any polishes from the 2007 collections? Or even earlier?

Pippa xxx

 

Throwback Nails – OPI Road House Blues – Touring America

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P1020212I am sorry, Road House Blues, that i neglected you, that i overlooked you in favour of OPI Ink, No Room For The Blues, and I’m Not Really A Waitress. I forgot how long and elegant you make my stumpy fingers look. I forgot how smart and sophisticated you look, even when i break my index nail and can’t bear to cut down the rest of my nails.

OPI Road House Blues hails from the Touring America collection of fall 2011, and is a beautiful rich smokey dark blue.
This looks AMAZING with a glossy topcoat like seche vite. Its opaque in one coat… but i ALWAYS do two… mostly so i can neaten up the edges.

What do you think? Do you have any polishes from this collection?

Pippa x

 

Whats in my Pro Make Up Kit – Neutral Eyeshadow Palette!

I think in the last few years I’ve taken for granted my ability to navigate make up counters and find products that are valuable to my kit, so when i recently met the lovely Alex, my fitness instructor who wants to train to be a make up artist, I immediately sent her links to everything I had written on getting into the industry and building a kit.

However, i thought it might be helpful to start a series for everyone, focusing on the palettes and essential parts of my kit. Today, ill be showing you my most used palette from my kit, its my Neutral palette. This palette is my go to, i grab it and create any number of looks from natural, to smokey, to serious drama with just a handful of shadows, and they get repurchased pretty regularly!

Right now, I’m using the Z palettes to store my eyeshadows, i can store between 26 and 28 mac sized shadows in each palette, (11-13 more than the Mac Palettes), they come with sticky magnets to put on the bottom of your shadows so they stick, and the clear tops are a bonu! I can see the colour i want, grab it and get to work straight away. Some eyeshadows in here were limited edition, but ill label them (LE) so you know.

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L-R
Top Row – Gesso, Blanc Type, Dazzlelight, Nylon, Daisy Chain (LE), Flip (LE), Naked Lunch
Second Row – Jest, All That Glitters, Amberlights, Mythology, Expensive Pink, Patina, Woodwinked
Third Row – Bronze, Sable, Mulch, Twinks, Satin Taupe, Omega, Cork.
Fourth Row – Charcoal Brown, Mineral (LE), Shale, Cranberry, Sketch, Diamond Dove (LE), Carbon

If i could only pick 5 – i’d grab Blanc Type, All That Glitters, Patina, Shale, Sketch. Don’t underestimate the lesser known colours!

Z Palettes Can Be Found here.
Mac Eyeshadows can be found here.

How to become a make up artist – a guide

There are few questions I am asked more than ‘how do I get into make up?’ and there  are so many aspects to the role as professional make up artist I couldn’t possible fit them into one short, conversation. So I thought it would be best I address the basic steps in a post. A lot of people will tell you that getting into make up ‘is super easy’ (queue me shaking my head in the background) and others will say it isn’t easy, and they aren’t lying. If you dream of working at a make up counter, this is probably easier than being freelance and being entirely responsible for your own income, with freelance comes pressures you wont expect, and may not be ready to face. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but here is my guide.

Training
I wasn’t lucky enough to be trained in a school or on an intensive course like a lot of people are, there are plenty of short courses out there and lots of schools i have visited and can highly recommend (Cassie Lomas would be top of my books) there are free courses run at local colleges, and paid for classes that tend to offer a more personal and intense education. If you are young and a 2 year course is free to you, take it, I promise it will be worth it.

On the other hand, I know some amazing make up artists who are self taught, like myself, who decided we wanted to do make up and picked up a brush and started doing. If you have the skills and are willing to build up experience, you can achieve just as much as those who are trained. I taught myself by watching other artists work, constantly applying and reapplying make up to myself, my mum, anyone who would sit still long enough, and reading every make up book I could get my hands on.

Being self taught can still be expensive, at make up schools you are generally provided with a start up make up kit, to help you through your training, something which isn’t provided when you are self taught and starting out. When i started i had £200 to buy everything i needed for my kit, which wasn’t a lot. So I was forced to reinvest my earnings in products, meaning it took a little longer to make a living from make up.

Building a Kit
An artist is only as good as their tools… Don’t fret if you’re still rocking MUA 12 eyeshadow palettes when you start up, with proper primers etc. they can be amazing! Remember it takes a great deal of time and money to build up a professional standard kit. As i mentioned before, during a lot of courses you are given a start up kit. People generally don’t want to pay you to use make up they can buy on their own, girls often coo over my Mac Palettes, and ogle at lipsticks and demand i write down where they can get it. Theres nothing wrong with mixing in a little drug store with your high end, but remember what your clients are paying for, not just the application, but the exposure to new products. 

If you are lucky enough to attend a course that links with big brands that allow you a student discount, great! Buy an item or two a week if you can and by the end of your course you should have a good selection, but don’t be lured in by new shiny products when you’re lacking in staple products. You’re shopping for your kit, not yourself.

High street Vs High End?
I personally don’t use high street (drugstore) foundations in my kit, this is because i feel they do not last as well, and although there are plenty out there that are good for the everyday, I don’t want to use a product that doesn’t feel like pure luxury on a client who is paying for my service. Most of the products i use are high end, i enjoy some high street lip liners (MUA do some lovely waxy ones for £1 that stand up to hot studio lights) and eyeliners, such as Barry M. I will occasionally use drug store mascaras on clients, but it really depends on the job.

Keep it clean
I cant even tell you how many make up girls I’ve seen starting out with filthy train cases and brushes rattling around inside. Get rubbing alcohol and clear the inside of your train case, the packing of your make up, and brushes. Lets not give anyone an infection now? I knew a girl who had studied make up yet had never been taught about about hygiene, so please keep your kit clean and sterile, Please.

Before you start.
There are three things I think any make up artist needs before starting out, the last two will be addressed later, but first and foremost you should get Public Liability Insurance. This protects you in the event your kit is stolen or damaged. It also protects you against law suits by clients. Things happen, we can’t always anticipate problems. People who are fine with a product one day can have an allergic reaction the next, infections can occur even if you have been as careful as possible. Part of our job is too protect our client, with proper sterilisation, but its best to protect yourself first and foremost.
Secondly, Business cards and self promotion material.
Lastly, a good understanding of the tax man.

Pro Discount
Once you have acquired a certificate to prove your trained, and/or have done some professional work (usually publications or film and TV) you can apply for pro discount schemes. The general requirements are certificates, call sheets, tear sheets, business cards, letters of recommendations etc.) and these range from 20-40% depending on the brand, most big brands do them, but the bigger the name, usually the harder to acquire. For a list of discount schemes i belong too, please let me know and I will do a separate post. 

Getting experience
Generally, before you can start to make a real living from make up (joining agencies, acquire paid work) you need to build a portfolio to prove your work is worth paying for. This is a record of your experience and skills, and is essentially a visual CV that can be presented to anyone interested in hiring you. There are a number of ways to do this, but personally i did Time For Print (TFP) with models and photographers all looking to build portfolios together. This gives your portfolio a professional edge, as a few snaps of a smokey eye done on your mum from your smart phone will not cut it.

Contact them, don’t wait for them to contact you. Set up a profile on TFP sites, such as model mayhem, the creative book, pure storm, etc. and start emailing photographers and models in the local area, hook up with hair stylists and any other professionals working to the same goal, if the shoot has a range of professionals on set, that can only make the images better. Its always good to contact local colleges or fashion schools, and ask if you can come in and do make up for any shows or end of year productions. Ask the coordinator for a letter of recommendation at the end, take your images and move on.

Know when its ok to get paid.
If you’re working for more than a few hours on a set that is going into print or publication, ask for pay. Don’t expect to be able to charge the high rates right away, but if you were located through a TFP site, its probably best to ask for expenses (Travel, Lunch) plus a fee for your time. There are a small number of people out on these sites that just want a job done for free, so make sure you read comments on pages and make clear your terms. If you have a healthy looking portfolio, move on and get paid.

Portfolio
When i started it was standard to have a portfolio book. A nice folder (standard size 11 by 14) where you would place photographs of work you have done. Nowadays, its acceptable to have a website instead. I personally feel that having both is ideal. You can take your Portfolio book to meetings with Clients and let them mosey through it (this always works in my favor, they love the personal touch of browsing my work at their leisure, instead of at a computer) but they also often ask for a link to the website to get an idea of the work you do before arranging a meeting. This can also be sent to agencies who represent other MUAs if you want to do some assisting work.

Social Networks and Self Promotion
Its so easy now to get the word out there that you can do make up, but just because you can hold a make up brush and take lots of photos of make up you’ve done on yourself doesn’t make you a make up artist.
One thing I’ve really struggled with in the last few years is the amount of girls on twitter and instagram labelling themselves ‘make up artists’. Just like the girls who pay for photo shoots and then call themselves a model. Personally, I think you are a make up artist if you can make a comfortable living. Please be aware of fakes out there. This makes it much harder for real working make up artists to gain clients, if they are charging £20 and we are charging £50, theres probably a good reason we get to charge so much.

Don’t forget to be humble, if you have the chance to work with a celeb, don’t tweet all day about it. Generally any contract I receive to work with high profile clients bans the use of social media while on set, and I respect that. Celebrities suffer from an inhumane lack of privacy, so stick their eyelashes on without telling the world.

Going Freelance
It takes time to build a client base that will support you in the longterm, so freelance is a great way to go to gain experience, clients and a little bit of money. You should be building relationships with other brands and will hopefully be becoming known for your work in your field over time. It can take years to build up a client base that will keep your diary busy.
Most people I know in the industry go into Bridal and Prom make up first, they are great earners, relatively easy looks and can be done in the local area (I personally do not enjoy dragging a 20 kg train case on the train to London often…)
Drop your business card in dress makes, wedding shops, florists, bakeries, and make sure you introduce yourself and talk passionately about your business. Its these little places that bring in the big business.

I find being freelance very rewarding, and self motivation is a big part of my life. A lot of new make up artists do both freelance work and have a day job, this can be great if you’re struggling with bookings for a few weeks at a time. Don’t be disheartened if you aren’t swimming in bookings right away, treat each client like a superstar, and word will soon travel about what a great service you provide. 

Remember the Tax Man.
When you receive your first paycheck, remember that you have to pay tax on that. Especially if you’re freelance. A lot of young girls coming into make up i speak too have no idea how about taxes, national insurance, and i think it should be a part of any curriculum teaching.

When any money i earn hits my account I separate enough for my Tax and NI at the end of the year into a separate account, this means no nasty surprises when i receive my tax bill for the year!

And learn to do your taxes and invoices. I have a folder I have labelled ‘ OUT ’ and one labelled ‘ IN ‘ this is where i keep copies of my invoices, and mark them as ‘paid’ once they are no longer outstanding. I usually give clients 30 days (four working weeks) to pay my invoice, unless it is an agreed pay on the day job.
I put all my receipts in the folder OUT organized by month, I then also include a copy of my bank statement with highlighted sections. At the end of the month I total the amount I spent on work related items, and the amount I earned and write the difference down.  When you start out, you will not likely be in profit for a little while, don’t be scared, it does get better.

Be Brave.
It can be scary to put yourself out there for the world to see, to hope that people will want to pay you for what you love doing. There will be knock backs, but remember to take them constructively, and remember why you are doing it. Its a huge financial burden at first, you have no real promise of steady work, but remember you can do this, and you will if you try hard enough! Good luck!

Pippa x