Sunday, 25 March 2012

All in a days work...

Fortunately for me, I get to work with some incredibly talented fellow make up artists, photographers and models. 

Recently, I was kindly asked by my friend Chip to do her make up for a photo shoot. In the industry, this is known as a test shoot where rather then getting paid to attend the shoot, you get paid in prints. This is handy for someone like me who is trying to build my portfolio and also really great for getting to meet photographers. It also gives you a 'behind the scenes look' at what goes on behind the camera. (FYI, you spend more time finding the right lighting then you do taking photos!)

Chip has a great 'pin up' type look and this was great for me as 'pin up', is one of my all time favourite looks. It mixes sexiness, glamour but also a very ladylike vibe. We shot on location at The Waterfront, Norwich, which is a local venue for gigs and themed nights and has housed many fantastic musicians etc. 
The photographer was Al Pulford ( who is an exceptionally talented photographer based in Norwich. He is also the official photographer for The Waterfront so we were able to use the venue during one Saturday.

I've attached a few of the photos, but I would definitely recommend checking out Al's work. The other photos from the shoot should be with me shortly and I will update this post once I have them.

Love Marissa

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Boots No 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator

As I mentioned at the very beginning of this blog, my new years resolution of 2012 is to find a skincare routine that works. I've been fortunate as my skin is pretty low maintenance however, that doesn't mean I don't suffer with the typical skin issues that everyone else does. Blemishes, blocked pores, dry patches, oily patches and so on. 

Generally, I have combination skin. Which means that it's dry in some areas and oily in others. This means that when looking for a product for my skin, I need to make sure it ticks all the boxes for me.

I've managed to find a cleanser that I love (Liz Earle Hot cloth cleanser) however, my skin still has moments where it needs to be scrubbed and scrubbed until it's smooth. One product that has been recommend over and over (namely by my good friend Amanda Branford) is Boots No 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator.

RRP £11.00

It's sold exclusively in Boots and retails at £11. Now, Amanda has always had amazingly radiant skin so of course I was going to try this product. 

Before reviewing the product in depth, I wanted to go into a little detail about what Micro-dermabrasion actually means and why it is so beneficial to the skin.


Dermabrasion basically means 'controlled abrasion of the upper layers of skin.' In previous years, this involved a surgical procedure in which layers of the skin were 'worn away' using mechanical devices or more commonly, chemicals. This would require local anaesthetic and left the skin red and raw. The skin would then take a few months to re-produce the new skins cells.  However, companies have since realised that not such a dramatic procedure is required to remove those upper skin layers. 

Micro-dermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure and not as invasive as dermabrasion. Its a combination of a deep cleansers and small crystal like particles that you literally massage into your skin. This then removes the upper layers of the skin  This in turn then allows skin care products to penetrate deeper into the skins surface and as a result, skin appears smooth, shiny and healthy.

As a make up artist, I know that skin that has had some kind of micro-dermabrasion treatment to it, is a lot easier to apply base make up to (such as foundation.) 

It creates a flawless finish and skin will immediately appear more radiant. 

Boots No 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator

So, back to the actual product itself. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be re-purchasing this product again & again. It's absolutely fantastic. I use it twice a week and it always gives me fantastic results. My skin feels smooth, refreshed and my make up always looks better. For £11, it's a bargain and one I would recommend you checking out. 

Here's how you use it;

  1. Thoroughly remove all make up from your skin.
  2. Cleanse until any remaining make up or dirt has been removed. 
  3. Ensure your skin is wet and apply about a 50p sized amount of the product all over your skin. 
  4. Massage it in really well. I find that 4 or 5 minutes is long enough. 
  5. Then carefully wash the product off you skin. Please make sure you don't get any in your eyes or mouth! 
  6. I then cleanse again, use toner on my skin and finish with a moisturiser. (I'm currently using Liz Earle cleanser, toner and moisturiser.
  7. Voila. You're all done.

You will immediately notice the difference and your skin will feel very smooth. I probably wouldn't recommend this for sensitive skin as it may cause some harsh redness. My skin does tend to quite red just after but the toner and moisturiser helps calms this down.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, happy scrubbing! 

Love Marissa xoxo

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Primark Haul

Although technically not make up or beauty related, I wanted to share with you my mini Primark haul!

I tend to go through phases with Primark. Sometimes me and my friends can go in there and find soooo many things that we have to re-evaluate our potential purchases before we go and pay. However, lately I've been finding it a little rubbish. The dresses have been super tacky and not really English weather appropriate! So I can honestly say I hadn't bought anything from there in months...Until I strolled in there today with my Mum!

I managed to spend under £40 and bought the most beautiful items that I'm now going to share with you!

Pastel pink blazer - £15

Chiffon navy top - £10

Satin bow pumps - £6

Metal statement necklace - £4

Mint green feather earrings - £1.50

Hope you liked my random post! See you soon!

Love Marissa xoxo

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap day ramblings!

Firstly, I just wanted to say a big thank you to you all for taking the time to read my blog! I've now had over 1,470 hits and it's so overwhelming. So thank you :-)

Next a little apology for the lack of blogs this month! It's been a manic one and well, I'm back on it! One of the things I wanted to do was to go over three of my favourite beauty items from the past month. Now, I've tried to not spend ridiculous amounts on beauty products but I have made a few wonderful purchases so here it goes...

My top purchase from February has to be the Bioderma Créaline H20 Cleansing Solution. Now, it's something I've heard about through the industry and one of the essential tools in a make up artists kit. One of the reasons is because as a make up artist, you are working with all skin types. Dry, sensitive, oily and so you need a make up removed that isn't going to cause any irritation. The fantastic thing about Bioderma is that it has been created to be a 'water like' product that actually 'eats up' the product rather then just remove it from the skins surface. It's used backstage at Paris Fashion Week and unfortunately is only available for purchase in France. However, many reputable companies are selling this product online for roughly £13. So it's a good idea to shop around but always check reviews! Although £13 seems quite a hefty price for a make up remover, the bottle is 250ml and you literally need the tiniest amount on a cotton pad. Because of this, it's bound to last a very long time. It's a great product to remove make up before you cleanse! 

Another beauty related purchase is my amazing new perfume. I was fortunate enough at Christmas to receive from my lovely mother, an imported DKNY perfume. It's gorgeous but I felt it will be more suitable for summer. So recently, I popped into John Lewis and tested out (probably) every single perfume I could get my hands on. I immediately headed for the Prada 'Candy' perfume as I had heard wonderful reviews and the bottle was divine. However, I was sadly disappointed and felt that it was a little too grown up for my taste. Eventually, I found one I love. Which is my next favourite beauty purchase of February.... Vera Wang 'Princess'. 

I think I stumbled in at a good time as I managed to get 100ml for £40 which considering that normally 100ml is £59, I was pretty pleased with myself. It's the most beautiful, floral scent and every time I've worn it, someone has complimented me on it. It's a mix of pink guava, waterlily and vanilla and I've found it stays on the skin perfectly without being too overwhelming. To top it off, the bottle is very beautiful and looks lovely on my vanity table. 

Finally, I wanted to share with you my new favourite blush. I tend to go through phases with blusher. In summer, I like the colour to be more of a brown than a peachy/pink colour and in winter/spring, I revert back to peachy or pink colours. Historically, I've always been a Benefit blusher kind of girl. My first 'high end' make up purchase was 'Dallas' by Benefit which I still repurchase every year. However, since becoming a make up artist, I've been open to different blush colours and have stumbled across one that I'm starting to really love. It's MAC blush in Peachykeen.

It retails at £17 which may seem a lot, but it does last a very long time. And on top of that, Benefit blushers start at around £20 so I still feel that I'm getting a good deal. Peachykeen is one of my kit basics as it suits all skin tones and has a really nice application. It does last all day (although can become patchy towards the end of the day) but this isn't uncommon with blushers. 

So there we have it. During March, I'm going to be continuing my mission on finding a good foundation (as currently I mix one or two!) and hopefully find a fantastic serum for my skin.

I also wanted to announce some fantastic news. I've been selected as a UK blogger for a brand new skincare company called Biao Skincare. They are based in the USA and I will be doing a blog sometime this week on Biao to explain what the company is all about and what I'll be doing over the next few months! It's a very exciting time! :-) 

Again a big thank you for reading and I will speak to you soon.

Love Marissa xoxo

Follow me on twitter: @MDR_MakeUp

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Lipstick - Chanel Rouge Coco in Destinee

Before I became a make up artist, I would had never worn lipstick. To me, lipsticks are one of those cosmetic items that older (or rather, more mature) women always seem to have in their handbag. And it's always on they wore when they were about 20! My mum genuinely has one that she's probably had since before I was born! 

However, the more I got into make up, the more I loved lipsticks. Now, I could quite happily spend hours swatching lipsticks. I've been known to be in MAC for a good couple of hours, swatching lots and lots of lipsticks on my hand. The end result is quite hilarious and I look a bit mental. But, I always leave with a lipstick I know both I and my clients are going to love. 

The first lipstick I ever bought was a very, very red lipstick from Avon. I loved it! It took me a while to feel brave enough to wear it out on the town and I've never looked back since. 

Photo courtesy of

So, I wanted to do a review on my current favourite lipstick, Chanel Rouge Coco in Destinee....

Now, it does look very dark in the above photo but the colour that transfers onto your lip is completely different! Which is why it's always so important to never trust the actual colour of the lipstick but always swatch it on your hand. One of my relatives works for Chanel so I spent some time with her going through Chanel's spring 2012 collection. I'm still debating on whether to purchase the new Chanel Pro Lumiere foundation but I couldn't leave the counter without buying this lipstick in Destinee. Luckily, there was only one of these left which shows just how popular this colour is.

It's a plummish, red colour and I find it a very grown up colour to wear. 

Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Destinee swatch

It retails at about £22 and is definitely worth the money. It is long lasting and can easily be worn day or night! Overall, I was very impressed and will definitely be re-purchasing this lipstick! 

My lips with the lipstick on (please excuse the terrible photo!)

Love Marissa xoxo

First blogger award!

Firstly I want to say a big thank you to Claire (I'll attach her blog link below) for awarding my blog with the 'Versatile blogger award'. It means so much and it's always nice to know that people actually enjoy my ramblings on here! So thank you very much Claire!


So the rules of this aware means I have to give 7 'facts' about myself. So here goes...

  1. I have no idea what my natural hair colour is any more after several failed dye jobs.
  2. I am obsessed with curling my eyelashes and have been known to do so before bed.
  3. My friends are truly hilarious. 
  4. My favourite make up brands are Chanel, MAC & Benefit.
  5. I spent 4 years studying German but can speak more Italian than German.
  6. I'm a typical Libra. Easygoing, indecisive, sociable & caring. 
  7. I fancy the most interesting characters. Kevin McCloud being one of them. 

Come back soon.

Love Marissa xoxo

Claires blog:

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Framing your face - Eyebrows

Now for those of you that know me, know how I've been through many different eyebrow phases. Having a mixed heritage, I've inherited dark eyes & dark hair and with that came big, out of control eyebrows. 

In my teenage years, I plucked them within an inch of their life. Seriously. I might even have a photo.....Not a great one but you can see how thin they were. This was about a year after I plucked them into oblivion and even then, they were too thin.

My non existant eyebrows about 3 years ago

Now, I'm not suggesting everyone dashes out and gets HD brows (otherwise known as the scousebrow) but I can definitely tell you that by focusing on your eyebrows, it completely transforms your face.

Take my dear friend Bethany (who probably won't mind me mentioning her here!) She has blonde hair and very fair skin. Generally, her eyebrows are quite fine and light and so I suggested we take a trip down to MAC to look at the eyebrow pencils. We found one in 'Fling' for £11.50 which is a retractable eyebrow pencil in an ash blonde kind of colour. As soon as she was shown how to fill in her brows, you could immediately tell the difference. Beth has amazing eyelash extensions as the moment and having the eyebrows as a 'background' per say, just made her eyes look amazing. 


So, now we've established how important eyebrows are, I want to go through the steps of creating the perfect eyebrow. It's important to remember that everyone is different. We all have different eyebrow shape, colours and you need to find one that's right for you. I tend to follow the eyebrow shape I already have and then just exaggerate it. 


The perfect eyebrow kit consists of the following;

  • Tweezers for any stray hairs. I tend to use my pink Boujois ones which are under £5 from Boots. Personally I don't see the point in spending a lot of money on tweezers as long as they do the job!
  • A good shaping brush. Now, you ideally need a slanted one. I use one that looks like this. This will then enable you to create a perfect line and help blend in the eyeshadow. 

  • An eyeshadow & eyebrow pencil that matches your natural eyebrow colour. Now, this may seem strange to use eyeshadow for your brows, but trust me, it works. Mixing eyebrow pencil and eyeshadow on your brows creates a fuller, more natural look. I use MAC corduroy eyeshadow and MAC spiked eyebrow pencil. 

Creating the look

Okay so first of all, use the tweezers to remove any stray hairs!

Then take the eyebrow pencil and start to draw small, short lines along the natural flow of your eyebrows. This can take some time and don't be afraid to go just under your eyebrow hairs. 

Once you have done this, take your eyeshadow shaping brush and your eyeshadow (only a small amount needed on the brush) and start filling in your eyebrows. This will start creating the fuller look. 

Now, there's an age old technique to checking how long your eyebrows need to be in correlation to your face. I use the end of a make up brush and line it up along side my nose and follow it out to the corner of my eye.

Finally, stand in a mirror and check that both of your eyebrows are of similar shape. It's so important to remember that your eyebrows will never be EXACTLY the same so don't panic if they don't look perfectly similar. 

And voila, you're all done! 

The above photo is of my eyebrows now and if you scroll back to the beginnning of this post you will see the difference (apart from being a lot older!)

Good luck and if you need any more tips, leave me a comment below :-)

Love Marissa xoxo

Friday, 3 February 2012


For any typical 20 something, a perfect night in consists of a bath, a dash of pampering and a glossy magazine. 

I've been reading magazines for years now and I think if I consider how much I've spent over the years, I could probably afford the Mulberry of my dreams! However, I've always been drawn to the adverts. (My favourite book as a child was The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allen Ahlbeg which mainly consisted of pictures, pull out letters and so on.) 

I've always found it fascinating how immaculate the models appear. Not a hair, freckle or eyelash out of place! Now, as I've become a lot older and wiser (supposedly) I now realise this is due to the fact the make up takes about 3 hours, there is always a make up artist on hand and it's pretty much guaranteed the final photo will have been airbrushed to perfection.

To be honest, the majority of fashion & beauty product adverts don't intrigue me. They are dull, lifeless and I hate that they convince me that I want to buy something that I probably wouldn't think twice about in a shop.

However, one brand has ALWAYS grabbed my attention....Guess?

Guess is a typical, America brand and is world renowned for it's absolutely amazing models! Think Victoria's Secret but circa 1991! The models look like modern day pin up girls and everything from the hair to the winged eyeliner is just perfection. Maybe I'll attempt a guess tutorial at some point.

Every make up artist has a 'style' and I think I'm slowing starting to find mine. I love the 1950's / 1960's style of make up. The pouty red lips with stiking winged eyeliner and very smokey eyes and guess seems to tick all these boxes!

So, a bit of a random blog this one but I thought I would share a few of my favourite Guess campaigns ....Enjoy

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

To BB or not to BB?

One of the things I've always struggled with was foundation...

In my teens it was extremely orange and now in my 20's, I'm just not finding that I'm getting that 'glowing' finish that the adverts promise me. (I later learnt that those models on TV get it thanks to air brushing!)

So for us minions who don't have time to photoshop our faces on every single photo, there seems to be a new cure for our foundation woes...BB cream.

Now, I'm sure you've seen the adverts promising us beautiful, radiant skin. It's a craze that appears to have taken over Asia with the women there are buying BB cream by the bulk load! 

So what's so special about BB cream? Well, BB stands for blemish balm. It's basically a liquid product you put on your face before you put any make up on. For someone like myself who's only recently dabbled into the world of primers and bases, I'm interested in this magical cream.

Originally designed for patients who have undergone facial laser surgery, the effects of the cream were so impressive that it's now gone global. Before I recommend a product to you guys, I wanted to test it out. I spent the past week using Boots No7 BB cream in normal/oily. Every single time I applied make up and here is what I've found.

How much is the product?

- £12.95. For me this is expensive for a drugstore brand. I would expect to pay something along the lines of this for a MAC primer so it was a little pricey. Especially given the fact it's only 40ml.

What does the product promise?

- An all in one foundation, moisturiser, primer, plus 5* UVA & SPF 15 protection.

Does it meet it's promise?

- Firstly, it doesn't feel like a foundation. It's quite an oily based product and a little goes a long way. It definitely felt more like a tinted moisturiser than a foundation. I like the idea of it having SPF 15 in it but to be honest, so does a lot of foundation products on the market.

Would you recommend using this product?

- This is where I'm not sure. I like using it and have found that by mixing it with my MAC studio sculpt foundation in NC25 that it gives me a good, fresh finish. However, if I didn't mix it with a foundation, it would look patchy, wouldn't cover any blemishes and would feel very shiny. So I do not feel this is a product I would recommend.

Overall I would give this a 3.5 out of 5. 

My hunt for the perfect foundation continues. I have receieved a sample of the new Chanel perfection Lumiere (in 20) which I adore however at £36 a bottle, it's a rather large investment! 

Any recommendations? 

Love Marissa xoxo

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Golden Globes 2012

Now, I've never been a massive follower of award shows but since I couldn't sleep the night the Golden Globes was on, I thought I'd give it a try.

I could not pull myself away from watching all the celebrities arriving on the red carpet! I found myself checking out their make up, skin, dresses, jewellery! It was the exact same feeling as my year 11 prom. Minus my fail at '50's glamour.'

A lot of the blogs and magazines are arguing over who was best dressed that night. For me, the ultimate award should go to Zooey Deschanel. Now, I've always loved Zooey since 'Elf' and what I love about her most is her down to earth nature. She's a girl you just want to be friends with. (If you haven't already, check out New Girl on 4OD....hilarious!)

Many celebrities tried too hard at the Globes (Lea Michele I'm looking at you) but some, hit the nail right on the head. For me, Zooey was the ultimate Globe Girl. 

I found myself wanting to google '60's hair' immediately and I can't help but suspect we might be onto something here. For me, my favourite make up looks are the ones us 'normal' girls could wear. Zooeys look was absolute perfection. Not only are her eyes absolutely stunning, just look at her skin. Wowza.

How to get Zooeys Golden Globe look

Firstly, cleanse your skin. 

I would then start with the eye make up. As you want the eyeshadow to stay on for as long as possible, I would add a small amount of concealer or eyeshadow primer ( Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance is also good). Smooth it all over the lid.

Colour wise, it looks as if Zooeys make up artist used a slight grey/ light blue eyeshadow all over the lid so I would go for something such as MAC's Silver Gull. You want to use a slightly angled brush to hit the corner of the eyes. To add definition, I would use a very small amount of MAC's Carbon eyeshadow to create a very slight smokey eye. 

Zooey is known for her winged eyeliner and this is something to bare in mind for this look. I tend to do eyeliner in small and steady strokes. Don't be afraid to wing out the eyeliner at the end! I would then go under the bottom eyelashes with a pencil eyeliner to add the dark definition Zooey has in this look.

Next I would add either mascara or maybe even very small fake eyelashes. (I will be doing a fake eyelash tutorial soon.) The key to this look is the white eye pencil along the water line. This gives the illusion of a wide awake, fresh look.

Now it's skin. Once you have cleared up around the eyes with a face wipe, apply your foundation (I've been mixing No 7 BB cream in Medium with MAC studio sculpt in NC 25). I would then add a very slight pink blush and brush very softly along the cheekbone (Benefit Georgia would work really well.)

Finally it's the lips! I would say a nice colour like Chanel Rouge Allure in Hyde Park topped off with a little pink lipgloss (MAC Baby Sparks.)

And you're all done!

Enjoy :-)

MDR Make Up