Do I need to set my base?

Hey everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying this amazing weather! So today I thought I would chat to about setting your base. A question I always get asked is ‘Why will my makeup not last all day?’ There are lots of different reasons for this but one of which I always ask is ‘Do you set your base?’ I often find the answer is usually ‘no’. Now before I begin, each person is so diverse from the next. I cannot guarantee that any of what I am recommending will definitely work. In my experience, the majority of people aren’t sure what their skin type is. Therefore, I can only make suggestions for you to try and see which works. Unless I have your face in front of me, it is hard to be sure what will work for you. Of course, if you follow all the correct steps then there is no reason why your foundation shouldn’t last from morning until night.

What products should I use?

So think of it this way, when you apply your foundation is it wet? Some foundations will set to a powder finish, however the majority of foundations will remain sticky and this is why you need to use a powder to lock it into place.

When your foundation is dry it makes application of bronzer and blush a lot easier.


Will powder make my fine lines stand out more?

Another good question, unfortunately there is no magic wand that we can wave to make fine lines disappear. It is important to set your under eye area as soon as you apply concealer, to avoid it settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Setting your under eyes will make sure your concealer will be able to do its job, (which is usually to brighten the area and conceal any darkness) all day without fading.

What would you recommend?

Depending on your skin type you will need different types of powders. For someone who has mature skin, you might be more comfortable using a pressed powder. This can often be easy to apply and you wont be as tempted to go over board and apply too much.

For an oily skin I would use a translucent powder and plenty of it, paying particular attention to the t-zone area. A translucent powder will not add any extra colour to your face or alter the appearance of your base, which some pressed powders with pigment can. If your skin is very oily you may wish to use both a pressed powder and a translucent powder. A pressed powder is also good for touching up your makeup during the day if you find oils breaking through.

How can I learn how to do this?

I offer 1-1 lessons that are catered exactly to you and your skin type. Every single person is so different and if you would like to know which products are best for your skin and learn techniques on how to apply these products, then I highly recommend a lesson. You will leave with all the skills and knowledge to apply a full face of makeup. I offer the lessons in my home salon and at Fab Beauty Salon in the Armagh City Hotel.

The top 3 that I would recommend are:

Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

This is probably my all time favourite, as you can see by how much of this has been used. I use this for my bridal parties as it is the most soft, finely milled powder and it leaves a flawless finish. With no flash back, your photos will look absolutely flawless.

This product is £29.

Airspun Translucent Powder

Next up we have this product which I initially tried based on the recommendation from makeup artist LMD. This is the most used powder in my kit and my clients usually comment on how they love the smell of it. It is very similar to the Laura Mercier powder, however it is a cheaper version and I use this on myself every day. This powder can be purchased from Amazon or the LMD wesbite for approximately £14. There are different shades in this powder and I use the translucent one, which of course is colourless. You will require a fluffy brush for applying this product and as an oily skin victim, I layer up on my nose and chin in particular.


MAC Studio Fix Powder

The perfect addition to your handbag for on the go touch ups. What I love about this product is that it has a medium, build-able coverage and you can select them based on the colour of your foundation. So if you happen to rub off some makeup during the day, or your base starts to wear off, this powder is amazing. As you can see from the photo, mine is well loved and I continue to repurchase this product time and time again. In my opinion this powder is great for all skin types, it is easy to use and you cant go wrong.

You can find this in Debenhams or on the MAC website and is approximately £24.50.


As usual, I could chat all day about different powders and over time I will definitely feature others. My one piece of advice is to NEVER skip this step and you will find that it will make such a difference to the longevity of your makeup.


I hope you enjoyed this post.

Love, Sarah

Can I live without Note Cosmetics?

Hey guys, most of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook will be aware that I am OBSESSED with Note Cosmetics and in particular their Detox & Protect foundation.

So I thought I would give you the low down on my thoughts regarding their foundations in particular.

I first used the foundation around Christmas time and I didn’t fall in love with it immediately.  As I have very oily skin I first tried the Mattifying Extreme foundation.


I found it very heavy on my skin and too drying. After a day or two of giving me time to work with it I really didn’t like it. At this stage I considered giving up but thankfully I didn’t.


I headed back to the Medial Hall in Newry and purchased the Detox & Protect foundation. This has been one of the best decisions I have made in years. This foundation is full coverage, easy to blend, long lasting, yellow toned and complete magic on the skin! I honestly cannot recommend this foundation enough for oily skin.

I have a number of different shades that I mix on different days depending on whether I have tan on or not. I use shade 05 when I have a full tan on, 03 when my tan is wearing off and I mix 05 and 01 on days when I have no tan on (which isn’t very often). I don’t like the lighter shades on their own without mixing a darker shade with them as they just seem really chalky on the skin, so be aware of that.

I would compare this to the Urban Decay All Nighter foundation which is pretty much £20 more.

Detox & Protect foundation retails for approximately £10.95


So what about all you Dry skin folks? Well Note have you covered! There are very few lucky people out there who are generally considered ‘Normal skin’. The majority have a level of dehydration so the above foundations are going to make you look very dry and can lead to dry patches on your face as they are oil free. Everything you should be using should generally have the terms ‘hydrating’ or  ‘luminous’. This brings me to the next foundation.


The luminous foundation is absolutely stunning on dry/dehydrated skin. I would highly recommend that you give this a try and see if it works for you. The formula is full coverage and gives you a healthy, radiant, dewy complexion.  The ingredients are very nourishing which your skin will love.

As I have oily skin I don’t use this foundation but I found some swatches for you so you can compare shades.


Luminous Moisturizing foundation retails for approximately £7.95

I could talk all night about this company as there are so many products that I absolutely love. But that’s enough for now as I need to go and clean my makeup brushes.

Just as a side note, (no pun intended) all opinions are of course my own and everyone’s skin reacts differently to makeup.

Have a lovely day.

Love, Sarah

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Three of my favourite concealers

We all know how important concealer is and if you don’t then you will find out why in this post. So I am sure many of you skip this important step but in terms of creating a flawless base and improving the longevity of your makeup then you need to use a concealer.

How important is it to find the right concealer i hear you ask? The short answer is very! Depending on your age then the brand of concealer you use will affect how it sits on your skin. The eyes are a very sensitive area and we should all look after them correctly (that is a post for a different day). There are different techniques for applying concealer for example i would apply it differently on every face shape as well as applying it differently on a younger skin compared to mature skin.


My top three concealers than I always turn to are as follows (and are in no particular order)

  • Note Cosmetics Mineral Concealer

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The applicator is very cooling on the skin and is very hygienic for makeup artists as it is easy to wipe, which is always a huge factor that I consider when adding products to my kit. A little goes a very long way when you are applying to the face. If you squeeze out too much at once then it is going to be too heavy on the under eye especially and you will loose the illusion of contouring if you blend too far down the face. So, my first tip is less is more. You can always go back in and add more if needed. I use this for carving the brows, disguising those dark under eyes and concealing the eyelid to prep for eye shadow. Overall this concealer is up there in comparison to high end alternatives.

For light skin I use shades 201 or 202.

Retails for approximately £10.99


  • Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer

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The packaging was what initially attracted me to this product. That rose gold lid and labeling is just gorgeous and the product inside is even more impressive. This conceal does exactly what it says on the tin and honestly is full coverage. There are darker tones which can be used for defining (contouring). The applicator applies the correct amount of product each time you dip it in and it applies it effortlessly. It is harder for makeup artists to use these type of applicators which is why I tend to use this product on myself and not clients. For the price it is such value for money and I repurchase this time and time again.

The shades I personally use are C1 and C2.

This retails for approximately £4


  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

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Another absolute staple concealer in my personal kit which is one of my all time favourites. Full coverage, easy to apply and a dream to blend. The absolute perfect concealer which I always turn to. When applying this on a client I of course use a brush to remove the concealer from the applicator. I rave about this during my 1-1 lessons and I know a lot of my clients and followers on Instagram have told me that they have purchased this from hearing me talk about it and absolutely love it. Give it a go, you will love it!

My favourite shade is Fair 1

This retails for approximately £3


I hope this helps when you are on the look out for a new concealer to purchase! There are so many that I love but these are three that I regularly turn to and I hope you love them too!