Cruelty Free Guide to life

Issys cruelty free guide

Last year (2018) I wanted to further delve into being a full fledged environmentalist  activist and really pursue bettering my impact that I leave on the earth.

I grew up in the inner suburbs of Melbourne where being environmentally conscious was very accessible and surrounded me.We had environmental studies starting from primary school, not to mention I was a kid when the drought hit Australia. Making changes and swaps has been something already ingrained and practically  a no brainer.

Additionally being in hospitality  all my life I have been exposed to the production of food . I have always been conscious of the process of how the food got on the plate (plant produce and live stock) . From a young age I was taken to exposed at Vic Market seeing carcass of animals,  warehouses or farms and parents would openly answer questions and would sit down myself and sister to watch documentaries such as Food Inc., Blood, Sweat and T-shirts, Jamie Oliver Food revolution.

2018 I got my first retail job, oh boy dis that ignite my interest in consumerism , Working for a cosmetic company opened my eyes to the sheer amount of waste produced in everyday and the industry.

For me being cruelty free goes beyond animal cruelty, it extends to the earth including not just makeup but clothes, the production/ how it is made, resources , if the workers are are good conditions (wages, factory conditions, fair treatment) and of course plastic. With so many elements of being sustainable/ earth friendly, to take into consideration it can be pretty overwhelming.

Here are a few swaps I have adopted in my lil 22 years of life to better my impact.


People are often hesitant to go the eco friendly option because things ‘don’t last’.

See that’s the positive and negative of plastic , the aim of it is to be cheap to mass produce and it’s suppose to last forever….. But that’s also the negative of plastic it is cheaper to create. not to mention the average piece of plastic takes 500 years to break down.

The goal is to use and create the least plastic and waste as possible

Reusable water bottle.

Plastic single use water bottles often have BPA and can’t properly be recycled if you don’t take off the sticker and caps, and cost money every time you purchase a bottle. *note* Living in Australia i’m fortunate enough to have clean running water as the bathroom and toilet water is cleaner and more drinkable than a local river in a third world country. Still what do you do if you are out and you don’t have a water bottle. Opt for a glass bottle or cartoned water ( VOSS or Carton JUST CARTONED) find which are the recyclable bottles and only using plastic when it is no other option. Then see how it can be properly disposed or how you can give it a another life and repurpose.


Plastic shopping bags.

You can use tote bags, backpacks. People think you need fancy bags , use what you’ve already got. You can always reuse your plastic bags every time you go shopping until you can get cotton, cloth bags.


Ditch the flimsy and non-breathable plastic produce bags and use organic cotton mesh bags when you shop for fruits and veggies. Similarly You can always reuse the same plastic produce bag until you find a suitable breathable one.

Straws …

I have a personal gripe with these buggers! Unless you have a disability or condition where you need a drinking straw, there isn’t a need for them.(love to hear your thoughts) Jessica Kellgren-Fozard does an incredibly informative video , watch Jessica’s video here.

However there are so many alternatives such as metal, glass, bamboo and paper.


Your first toothbrush you owned as a kid is still somewhat in tact on this earth! Bamboo toothbrush You can reduce plastic waste by opting instead for bamboo toothbrushes, a much more sustainable option that takes plastics out of the equation, they wont splinter and they can be thrown in the garden.

Reusable cup

If you are a take way beverage kinda person, this one is for you ! Billions of coffee cups get thrown away each year and most have plastic lining so they can’t be properly recycled or break down bringing your own cup can also get you up to 50cents of your coffee at tour local cafe.

Reusable containers

If you are a take way food kinda person, this one is for you too ! Again billions of takeaway containers are singularly used and thrown out . You can buy your own tupperware like containers to reuse as many times as you need. Go a step further and free yourself of BPA and other chemicals that might leach into your food, opt for glass food storage containers are so much longer lived and healthier than their plastic tupperware  and other counterparts. Airtight and leak-proof, Glass containers are safe for use in the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

Garbage bags bin liners

Swap them out for compostable and bio degradable liners.
The question is what do you put in your bin that actually needs protecting? The average household just has wrappers and scraps … it’s nothing toxic or harmful or actually un-hygienic that causes a actual necessity to have a liner. Alternatively don’t use a bin liner, wash out the bin container on an as needs basis. If it’s the smell you are concerned about, you can add your favourite smelling oils or air out the bin.

Cotton rounds & makeup wipes

Firstly single use makeup wipes don’t properly remove your makeup or cleanse the skin often leaving makeup residue. Some contain harsh ingredients that can be worse off for your skin.

Cotton rounds; These are are so incredibly resource intense, yes they being made from cotton , they do break down but the footprint it takes to farm and create and produce a cotton round is hefty.  Instead makeup cloth, Konjac Sponge or reusable makeup pad. For greener and less resource intense you can find pads made from bamboo and linen, or DIY from your own from old t-shirts. All which are will remove makeup, assist with skin cleansing but gentle enough for your skin.

Wax Wraps

instead of using plastic wrap to store food, opt for Bee/ Soy wax wraps, stretch lids, containers, reusable lock bags and packs. All store food just as freshly.

Naked Kitchen & Bathroom

Anything we use in the bathroom goes down the drain and ends up in the water ways.  Start out with using ‘natural ingredients’ that are reef safe and less harmful to the water ways.
For detergent, soap , shampoo and conditioner opt for naked product or refillable. When you can go for a glass or recyclable bottles and only using plastic when it is no other option. Then see how it can be disposed . For 10 points to Gryffindor check if the company you are using is local to your geography, what ingredients are being used, how they are sourced grown , derived, and how they treat all aspects of their workers .

Menstrual products

Many mainstream menstrual products contain synthetic fibres and chemicals, that can be harmful for yourself increasing the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome . Where possible opt for cotton, biodegradable or compostable pads and tampons. After years of myself using more eco friendly menstrual products, I went the step further to by using a menstrual cup and cloth pads.

Just like tampons and pads, cups come in different shapes, sizes and firmness, it can be a learning curve but it is a swap for the better.

there are also Period Undies, Cloth Pads, Sponges and many more. PUT A CUP IN IT has a fantastic article of alternative menstrual products


Where to waste?

Educate yourself and others how to Compost,  recycling and knowing where to properly dispose rubbish.

Priceline Cruelty Free Makeup Guide


Cruelty free brands and Vegan products Priceline stocks in store and online!


Vegan Lashes from synthetic hair, super comfortable.
Their Demi Wispie lashes are the best and most versatile I find this style suits most eye shapes


Not only are they an Australian brand, they have amazing quality products, at an affordable prices.

Australis pride themselves on being cruelty free and having an impressive Vegan range(See here for a list of their vegan products)

Their eyeshadow palettes are a standout for me


Only just recently added to the cruelty free list! Cover girl has officially joined the leaping bunny foundation, leading the way for many other drugstore brands


What a company, EcoTools an earth conscious cruelty free in every way of the sense they have stablished fair work standards , including child labour restrictions .

“Our products are vegan, 100% cruelty-free, and PETA Certified. We never test products on animals”


Underrated makeup brand from Europe , with products being super affordable hovering around the $5 mark. They meet the 2009  European Union regulation, which means their products not tested on animals. Below is a blog post by Ethical elephant on their Vegan Makeup Range.

They have such a fabulous and affordable collection and their I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara, Sun Club Bronzer and Eyeshadow singles are ones to pick up.

Face Of Australia

a smaller lesser known brand, that are super underrated in the Australian makeup world. they are an Aussie brand and you guessed it 100% cruelty free.

face and body illuminator Angel kiss and Blush in Terra & Peachy


Innoxa concentrates onIf you into natural simple beauty,  they have mineral based products, and focus on making  hypo-allergenic makeup and skincare products that are great for sensitive those with of skin. Focusing on making products that are perfect for if you want simple classic beauty.

Karen Murrell
This NZ beauty brand has a beautiful long lasting lipstick formula, Made from all natural ingredients! Some lip products contain Cera Alba (Beeswax), for vegan options check the product ingredient description.

Created by Jessica Hart, focusing on multi-use products to give that model glow, based on the illuminating properties of crushed pearl.

If you love a good highlight try their On The Glow Highlighter sticks, they are stunning!

Models Prefer

The offspring of Priceline they are  budget friendly cosmetics brand, everything I’ve used has been great They have some very close dupes to high end brands and there are a few vegan makeup products available throughout their range too.

my personal favourite is their soft focus highlighting powder, for a subtle glow from within.

Models Own
Relatively New to Priceline, They are cruelty free and offer vegan products. their sculpt and glow range has a beautiful range of products to contour, bronze and highlight .

Link of Models own Vegan Product list


An exciting new edition Priceline’s to stores, Napoleon is a classic in Australian beauty, renowned for their auto pilot primer, raising awreness of the importance of primer , with their moto of ‘It’s a crime not to prime’


Natio’s is a well known beauty brand proving skincare to makeup for Australians. they’re brushes use synthetic hair and fibres (vegan friendly) and  makeup and nail polish range is also mostly free from animal by-products. However, vegans please note some of our lip products may contain lanolin or beeswax FULL STATEMENT
Their blusher in Rouge is so beautiful on so many skin tones,adding the perfect amount of colour and glow to the cheeks and complexion.

Nude By Nature

Nude by Nature is proudly cruelty-free and PETA certified. Some of the range may contain beeswax and or lanolin, which are both ethically sourced and no animals are harmed in the production of these ingredients. Nude by Nature  do have a selection of vegan friendly products, including Vegan makeup brushes.
Nude by nature was one of the first makeup brands I was introduced to as a teen, The Natural illusion eyeshadow tri in Rose is Love at first swatch  


What’s not to love from NYX, they do so much for the beauty community, they are constantly leading the way for brands big and small! Although NYX is associated with parent company L’oreal , they are 100% Cruelty free and have a massive range of vegan products

check out which are vegan in the link below

It’s so hard to chose just one fave but I can’t not mention their metallic glitter, comic shadows and brow products are quality and easily compare to high end brands which together create such a beautiful eye look!

Physicians formula – Amazing skin care and makeup. One of my favourites is their Organic care CC curl mascara


Too Faced Hang Over Primer ~ Review

A fellow dry skinned friend of mine walked into work one day with the most gorgeous, glowing, smooth and plump looking skin I had seen on her in a long time.
said she it’s the T
oo Faced Hang Over Primer!

I’m the first to admit I haven’t been the most primer loving in the past, there are so many gimmicky primers that are just another step and product for a brand to sell without having benefit. Many primers out on the market are targeted towards the oily crew, making my experience with primers in the past, less than desirable. I decided to join got onto the T
oo faced cult of pink packaging, food themed and smelling products and teen themed advertising when i was generously gifted some wonderful Mecca vouchers for my birthday . On joining the Too Faced bandwagon, (buying Born the Way and Better than Sex) I scored a generous sample to Hang Over Primer to test (thank you Mecca babes). I didn’t want to spend my money on a product not knowing if it would work for me, or worse have a reaction with my skin and brake me out.

Too Faced Hang Over Primer

With many beauty enthusiasts I heard about this primer from gurus such as Kathleenlights raving about it as if it was the best thing and a saviour to their skin. I’m always hesitant to buy something purely based off hype.

”Got a beauty hangover? Our replenishing face primer is your instant cure. It hydrates, smoothes and brightens skin for a dewy, healthy looking finish….without excessive shine, makeup glides on smoothly and wear is extended”

  • Hydrates and boosts skin’s radiance
  • Promotes skin’s elasticity
  • Soothes and smooths the skin
  • Infused with hydrating coconut water

(Sounds like a moisturiser…..)


Ingredients: Aqua/Water/EAU, Lactobacillus/Salix Alba Bark Ferment Filtrate, Propanediol Dicaprylate, Propanediol, Ceteareth-6 Olivate, Olive Glycerides, Lactobacillus Ferment, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Cellulose Gum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Pectin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Xanthan Gum, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Lauryl Alcohol Diphosphonic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Lecithin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Parfum/Fragrance, Lauric Acid, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid. Including coconut water and probiotics, which Too Faced says help ‘brighten and smooth your skin, while improving its elasticity and tone and replenishing moisture levels’


  • Lactobacillus: A probiotic which is often used in anti-aging products, to condition the skin
  • Propanediol: A glycol often derived from corn or synthetically. It has hydrating properties that leave a smooth, dewy finish, that can enhance the absorption of ingredients- hoping that all the good skin ingredients are absorbed.
  • Propanediol Dicaprylate coconut derived ingredient helps lubricate and give a light feel

Hang over primer swatch

Initially This primer feels like a thin moisturiser or lotion, blending in seamlessly absorbing into the skin, leaving my skin feeling plump and soft. As if my skin is drinking the product giving me a dewy but not shiny finish,yet nothing incredibly hydrating or brightening that I could pick apart from my day to day moisturiser. It does leave with a slight tacky feel which I suppose is beneficial for helping the foundation stick, as this primer does not claim to have long wearing properties( for those with oily skin exercise with caution and at own risk) . I’ve only been using it for about a week, and have a sample which isn’t enough time or product to determine if it delivers on skin care claims.

The scent is a faint coconut that isn’t too in your face, disappearing a few minutes after applying it. Decadent at times, but if i’ve been sick or with a headache it can be a bit strong for my sensitive lil nostrils.
I apply about a pea sized amount to my face after moisturising. My foundation applies really well over the top of it with no pulling or issues with blending. So far I haven’t gotten a reaction from any of the ingredients.
Here it comes….

Whether I apply more or less, I really don’t particularly feel like it does all that much.
Coming from someone who already moisturises their skin, this primer I feel is more targeted and marketed at those who don’t already do that step. I do find it is a good primer to ‘lock in’ the moisture and give an extra initial boost of hydration where needed, but by the end of the day my skin feels the same on the areas where I put this primer and don’t.
This primer may work really well maybe as a spot primer , if you have combo skin and you have areas you want to give an extra boost of moisturisation, or as a
beauty hangover primer (as the name suggests) for those times where you’ve been wearing really heavy makeup. At $46 AUD It is a bit pricey for a 40ml moisturiser (essentially).

VERDICT : If you don’t moisturise before applying makeup or you’re not a fan of silicone primers and want to try out something different , then the Too Faced Hangover Primer would be a great addition , especially for mornings where you need to pep up your skin.
If you have a skin care routine that you are loving, try this primer in conjunction to see if it is beneficial.
If you are still indecisive: either a good plumping moisturiser
alone or in conjunction with mixing skin care products and moisturises will you get a similar effect.

At this point I won’t be purchasing the full size, but who knows, by the end I may love this and be welcomed into the Too Faced bandwagon by a primer.


Green Smokey Eyes

Why Hello Beautiful human,
Long time no Upload….
Well I’m Bach, as the musical composer would say !

Products Used.


  • Maybelline Dark circle eraser
  • Chi Chi Brow Pomade- Blonde
  • Mac Fluidline- Dark Envy
  • Morphe 12P Palette
  • Morphe Single Shadow – Bronzed Ivy
  • W7 Absolute Lashes Mascara
  • Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick – Posh Spice

Favourite 15 Under $15

Hey Hey Hey!!!!

Here are my favourite products under $15. All which you can get in physical stores, so no need to worry about shipping fees ontop WEWWW!

All can be found in Pharmacys, unless otherwise specified

Priceline stores

Chichi Brow Pomade  $14.95 (MYER and Chichi

This Brow Pomade is my go to !

The blonde shade leans on the warmer side, I’ve had mine for over a year, although it has dried up a little, it’s nothing that a little RoseHip oil can’t fix

Essence ‘Must Have’ Eyeshadow $3

Essence ‘All About Nudes’ Eyeshadow Pallette $8.20

Essence Shadows have upped their game unbelievably. Most of the range is under $10AUD. Packing a punch of pigment for the $3 and coming in a variety of shades and finishes.

Nyx Eye shadows 

Prismatic, ($10.95 ) have some absolutely stunning metallic and frosty finishes.

Hot singles, ($6.95) Fabulous standard eyeshadow shades

Primal Colours ($9.95) . These shadows pack a ton of pigment, Fantastic for theatrical bold looks

Australis Velour Lips $10.50

Classic cream to matte formula, colours come in a variety from nudes to dark purple and black, you are sure to find a colour to suit you

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick $12.95. Colour intense lipstick with a velvety Matte Finish.

Rimmel Lipsticks in general. $10 Colour rich with shiny finish

Honestly Rimmel has one of the most varied Lipstick ranges in the more affordable price range. Additionally always keeping up to date with the trends.

Nyx lip Products $5-15

I can’t just choose one Lip Product by NYX so here we go!

High Voltage Lipstick $5 – Full of colour with a super rich shiny finish

Soft Matte Lip Cream $5-  This lip cream isn’t the traditional matte lip cream. Unlike most, these don’t completely dry down, more so you are left with a comfortable demi- matte finish .

Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – $14.95-  Skimming just under the 15 buck mark .  This cream lipstick goes on opaque, dries to a matte finish.

Sportsgirl lip chalk $10  

Sports girl Lip chalk are super underrated as they are one of the longer lasting formulas to date, dries to a matte finish.

Elf brushes $3-15(Kmart and Elf Cosmetics)

Not only are they cruelty free, ELF is an afforadable as heck brand all up. Most of their brushes are fabulous, with near to no shedding.

W7 Mascara $5 (Chemist Warehouse ,

In Australia, you can only get it at Chemist WareHouse stores, most of the range only costing $5.

Not only is this super black ,it is perfect for separating and curling the lashes.

Face Of Australia Loose translucent Powder $11.95

With a whooping 20g , it’s a definite bang for your buck! Despite the name it isn’t ‘translucent’ , it does give off a slight colour which works for most people. Never the less ,a super finely milled, face powder to set makeup.

If you are willing to pay a little bit more. RCMA No Colour Powder goes for $24 for a massive 90g of Product

Rimmel Blush

Nyx HD blush 11.95

AUstrlis Fresh and Flawless 12.95

Rimmel Stay MAtte 11.95

Australis High Life Highlighter 14.95

Where Do I Buy makeup?

A question that I constantly get asked is “Where can I buy makeup / product x ? I don’t want to spend $50  on one tiny lipstick or foundation that I barely will get any wear out of.

Well lovely humans , do not stress your sparkly magestic souls. Makeup DOES NOT I repeat DOES NOT need to cost a weeks rent. 90% of my makeup supply for myself and my kit is from Pharmacies.  As a university student and creative being, I am not at the ability to be spending money every week to test out and review new products , trends, let alone spend my non existant spare $50 on a product at any given time. 99 times out of 100 I put thought and time into what I buy, if I need it VS want it.

My Favourite Affordable brands that can be found in most local pharmacies:

Covergirl, Loreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Rimmel,


Chemist Warehouse



Big W

  • seasonal discounts and sales
  • Specialises in brands Boe Beauty, Face of Australia, Australis, Barry M, Nude by Nature


  • seasonal discounts and sales
  • Specialises in brands BYS, ELF, OXX, Australis

Why do I have Pharmacy brands/drugstore brands in my kit…isn’t that ‘unprofessional’

well… I have found that there a quite a few products on the market from highend brands that , how do I say this …… are crapoooola.

the quality of pharmacy brands have improved and really gotten incredible quality, ingredients, standrdds. I have found more affordable brands have become more consumer friendly and diverse interms of shade range, ingredients, becoming ethical, Cruelty free, Vegan, more affordable pricepoint, thus makeing them more accesable to people in nomatter where you live, income and age. there isn’t an exclusive prestigious club that some higher-end brands hold.

Therefore showing when I do a clients face, yes it may be beautiful and luxuious to use $500+ worth of products of their face however for a 13 year old to recreate that for a concert, party or formal it is unreasonble. I’m hoping to show people that they can create their own glam and fabulousness without giving up their arm and leg.


I am a self confessed makeup addict,  I love trying out new products, scoping out new ideas and colours BUT the student life has been hit me in the god damn face the funds aren’t exactly rolling in. It feels as though Chi Chi’s new brushes are staring me in the face… teasing me. With so many products to try and so little funds these are the tips I use when there is a product I want to buy. Hope it is helpful



You can pay anywhere from $50-$120 for a high end department store for a product that may not even work for you or that you will like(YIKES) . People tend to forget, that the way you apply your makeup equates to the finish product, not nessicarily the amount you spend.  When it comes to any skill, including makeup, sticking at it with practise and patience will go along way. Learning how to apply the product and makeup you can look much more professional on a budget. Learning with affordable products also helps with the WHYYY factor of $50 on an eyeliner that runs out after 3 months. When using affordable low end brands you can wipe off the product,start again, break or lose it with out the guilt.

Some fantastic easy to follow YouTube tutorials on how to apply makeup are:


When you buy a product take into consideration its counter uses. You get 2 or 3 uses of the one product. Some Ideas can be:

  • Using a touch of lipstick as a cream blush
  • Brown eyebrow pencil as eyeliner
  • Shimmery eyeshadow as a highlight
  • Light pink Eyeshadow as blush
  • Moisturiser to a foundation as a BB cream
  • Cream eyeshadow as gel liner




Reading reviews and looking up swatches of the desired product(s) is a great way to get a second opinion to see if it would really suit you or not. Often I find people want a new product because of a trend and get caught up in the hype of the product. websites such as Makeup Alley are fantastic for getting other people’s honest and true opinion to know if the product is really worth the money.

As well as asking for samples/testers/demo of the product, particularly if it is a product you may only want for an occasion that you may not use it often after wards. In a sample there is  generally enough for a few applications.


If you have never heard of a dupe before, boy is your makeup game going to change! A dupe (duplicate) is an alternative to a more expensive product, the product elements including colour, formula and finish. There are many photos, videos and reviews comparing the affordable with the high end product. Affordable makeup has stepped up it’s game and some has become on par or even better than the expensive high end product.  A lot of the time the smaller ‘low end’ brands are made under the same parent company as the higher end brands, meaning a lot of the ingredients are similar.  With a lot of the dupes that i own I actually like using the affordable option more because not only can i be more free with it , but I can justify buying it too!


Article from Modernquinceranera: Dupe examples


5.  GLAMBOT is an awesome website, it’s kind of like hygienic second hand thrift shopping but for makeup! All makeup is checked and goes through various processes before it gets put up for sale to ensure you aren’t getting  counterfeits, items arriving damaged or in unusable condition. There are 60 brands featured on the website include : Anastasia, Benefit, I.T Cosmetics, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Elizabeth Arden , Chanel, Tom Ford, Colourpop , Estee lauder , Kat Von D, Kevyn Aucion, Marc Jacobs, Koh Gen Do, Nars, Sigma, YSL.

I haven’t brought from them (yet) but the concept is fantastic and if you have unwanted makeup that fits the criteria you can send it in and get paid for it too!!!

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 21.32.29
GLAMBOT brands


This one may seem obvious but people often skip out on sales that occur. Particually with pharmacy and lower end brands (PharmaSave, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse) There are sales on at least every month of some kind. Whenever events or holidays such as Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter, even Melbourne Cup they had sales. The sales can be up to 50% which can sometimes mean that stock is low, so give them a call to hold the product to make sure you’ve got it.


As my makeup expands, I really have to think about if the product that I want isn’t one that is similar to a product I already own and love. Sometimes it can be hard to remember if it is close, so I take a picture or lookup swatches of the products that I have to refer to before contemplating my fate.


Issy xx

Foundation Basics: Prep

As part of my little foundation basics series this post will focus on preparing the skin for application of foundation. Including  skincare regime and Primer recommendations, skincare is a part of cosmetics, where it doesn’t hurt to invest in and it is usually worth the spend. Our skin type can determine how a foundation, settles, emphasises, blends and a multitude of other factors of how it wears on the skin. Every persons skin type had different requirements, hence why preparing your skin in a way that is suited to you is significant for creating that flawless canvas. 

Having a good and consistent skincare regime is one of the first steps to creating a flawless canvas for your painting. Making sure you remove your makeup and cleanse your skin before you go to bed gives it a chance to rest, repair and do it’s natural thing.    


Removing your makeup at the end of your event or day at times can feel heart breaking as the makeup can be the only remittence and memory of the night. Making sure you remove your makeup and cleanse your skin before you go to bed gives it a chance to rest, repair and do it’s natural thing.    


What is primer? If we think of a canvas or painting a wall we would prime the surface with something like gesso or a thick paint, or gap filler so the surface is smooth with no bumps holes, the paint glides on so there is no patchiness or uneven colour or skip to the surface. Essentially that concept also equates to your face. A primer can be applied with fingers or a brush and should only a thin layer should be seamlessly blended. Primers also assist with the longevity of your makeup, others have mattifying properties , or they may have a sheen or glow to it to give your skin a subtle radiance. 


A cleanser os a product used to remove oils, impurities, and makeup from the skin. Using a cleanser assists in unclogging pores which helps with preventing blemishes or break-outs. 


A toner is a liquid used to remove impurities, natural skin build up or the residue of cleanser. Using a toner can be beneficial in completing the cleansing of your skin,functions of other toners include restoring PH levels, hydration and soothing. If you don’t want to fork out for a toner there are many DIY toner recipes online or using Rose water can be just as effective.For more information about toner CLICK HERE


A moisturiser is a cream, lotion, balm or gel product that is used to keep the skin soft and hydrated. Using a moisturiser will assist with replenishing the skin, and should do so without feeling greasy. A moisturiser will benefit in keeping your skin soft so rough patches and dry skin aren’t accentuated.


What is primer? If we think of a canvas or painting a wall we would prime the surface with something like gesso or a thick paint, or gap filler so the surface is smooth with no bumps holes, the paint glides on so there is no patchiness or uneven colour or skip to the surface. Essentially that concept also equates to your face. A primer can be applied with fingers or a brush and should only a thin layer should be seamlessly blended. Primers also assist with the longevity of your makeup, others have mattifying properties , or they may have a sheen or glow to it to give your skin a subtle radiance. 


The aim of colour correcting is to neutralise the colour so you can have the most flawless and true foundation colour.  For example; if you have very prominent redness and you find that skin coloured concealers don’t quite conceal enough and redness is still peaking through, using a green concealer will help in neutralising the red. Using an opposing  coloured concealer on the colour wheel will dramatically reduce the appearance of featured such as discolouration, dark circles, redness, bruises, and in some cases tattoos.



 I have written up a guide of appropriate products,for a regime to complement different skin types as a checklist of some steps to take before application.  CLICK HERE to find your skin type

  1. Ensuring our skin is clean with no residue use a cleanser, exfoliate if needed.
  2. To keep the skin supple, plump and smooth apply a moisturiser suited to your skin
  3. Prime if necessary 

Normal : Normal skin types are reasonably balanced, few blemishes, looks plump and smooth. You most likely don’t need products that are ‘rich in hydration’ or ‘mattifying’

  • Apply a gentle cleanser or micellar water, or toner to ensure there is no residue on the face. A foaming cleanser,gel based or cream that doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight, a lightweight daily moisturi ser would be suited to you. Lush 9 to 5 Cleanser
  • A light moisturiser with SPF with help the skin keep supple and retain moisture, to ensure the foundation will on smooth. Wait a few minutes for the moisturiser to sink in. Simple Kind to Skin moisturiser or Cetaphil daily moisturiser
  • As individuals with a Normal Skin Type have few blemishes, and already quite smooth skin a primer isn’t necessary, however if you feel your makeup doesn’t glide on as well as it could a silicone based primer can provide with giving a bit more slip or Revlon Photoready Primer glycerine will help it stay on the face longer Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer

Oily: An oily skin type through-out the day will become shiny, and feel greasy

  • With oily skin you want a cleanser to remove oils without over drying the face.A cleanser that is Soap and Alcohol free, makes sure your skin doesn’t get stripped from it’s natural oil, otherwise it will produce more oil to combat the dryness. Like wise a cleanser with oil with promote the production of oils and can leave you feeling un-wantingly  greasy. Oily skin can be prone to acne, you may find that cleansers targeted towards acne may also suit you. A foaming cleanser such as or Neutrogena fresh foaming cleanser  which is soap/oil free and good for sensitive skin. Biore Charcoal Cleanser targets drawing out oils and impurities from pores.
  • You may find that using a toner such as Witch Hazel , can help balance the skins PH levels and help your moisturiser absorb into the skin. 
  • Contrary to popular belief you oily skin individuals need moisturiser too! A moisturiser that is non greasy, alcohol free, and lightweight. A moisturiser like Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Moisturiser  or a different formula such as a gel usually dries down leaving the skin feeling as though there is no product so there won’t be a heavy feeling. Same goes with a sunscreen, a light weight and fast drying won’t leave a greasy film or residue .
  •  After your moisturiser has dried using a primer that is mattify-ing and fills in pores will be a game changer. A primer that fills in pores will minimise the size of the pores and prevent more oils coming through creating a smoother, even surface. A mattifying primer with provide a dry or powder like finish on the skin, so oils are kept at bay for a bit longer, Benefit Porefessional  is a classic in the makeup world. Another is one that is newer to the makeup world Revlon Photoready prime+ anti-shine balm is a two in one, it primes the skin providing a smooth base and the anti-shine helps minimise shine throughout the day.
  • If you are some-one who gets extremely oily I would suggest to keep blotting tissues with you to touch up excessive oils

Combination: Combination skin consists of both oiliness and dryness. Generally the T zone becomes oily where areas like cheeks and eyes are dry. You may need to adjust your products according to the climate or skin changes.

  • Conquering combination skin at times can be tricky, especially if different sections vary. Sometimes it is a process of trial and error to see what works for you. For a cleanser, you don’t want anything that will strip your skin nor leave a film or residue . At the moment I have really been loving Clinique Liquid Face Soap it is suitable to most skin types, it is non-drying and doesn’t leave the skin feeling ‘taunt’, and it is also recommended for oily T-zone .Myself along with my teenage sister and mum all use this cleanser and it suits all of our needs .
  • For Combination Skin an all rounder moisturiser should do the trick. Of course if you lean more oily or dry you can adapt to a different product. One that I liked a few years back when I started skincare was Botani Boost Balancing moisturiser it has tea tree in it which was fantastic for blemishes. Sukin Facial moisturiser is a bit richer and leaves the skin feeling plump.
  • Combination skin may need a different primer for each section such as a pore filling or mattifying primer for the T zone that gets oily Maybelline Baby Skin and a smoothing primer in dryer or textured areas. Smash Box Photo Finish Primer
  • Dry: Dry skin doesn’t maintain or hold natural oils, often flaky, appear matte, feel tight, feels rough
  • Having dry skin you may need to exfoliate any flaky or dry patches, use a very gentle exfoliant and DO NOT over exfoliate becasue that will make your skin drier. I find using a Coffee scrub or a Konjac Sponge works really well.
  • For a cleanser, rich cream or lotion products tend to be the most appropriate because they don’t foam up, they tend to say ‘soothe’, ‘moisturising’ or ‘hydrating’. Avoid cleansers with alcohol, fragrance and soap as those ingredients often strip skin. I like Jacqueline Evans Castille Cream Cleanser and massage it into my skin and to rinse it off with a warm wash cloth.
  • I know dry skin individuals can be quite iffy with toners, using a hydrating mist or Rose-water is just as effective with restoring your skins balance and absorbing moisturiser.
  • MOISTURISER our best friend! As with everything if you use too much or too often it can be counter productive. I find putting on moisturiser with a slightly damp face leaves skin feeling much more plump and soft. Lately I’ve been liking Natio intensive day cream it takes a bit longer to dry but it doesn’t feel greasy or heavy.
  • Nower days it seems like all you hear it “mattifying”, “Long Lasting with no shine” which to us dry skin individuals is  everything we don’t want to hear. You can find hydrating primers that generally have glycerine in them with helps soften skin but  provides a bit of tackiness so makeup will stay to the face, one I haven’t tried but heard good things about is Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer and a smoothing primer like Revlon PhotoReady Colour correcting Primer for  texture . If you are wanting radiance or a glow L’oreal Magic Lumi Primer can be a nice bonus


Sensitive/Eczema/Extremely Dry : Someone with Sensitive skin often will have a reaction when trying new products that don’t work with skin ( irritation, increased redness, swell/inflammation)

  • You may find it really difficult taking off your makeup due to the irritation, wear a lot of makeup due to the reaction your skin may have, DO NOT LOSE HOPE cosmetic technology has come a long way and there are products out there that will work for you ( for more sensitive skin info CLICK HERE ) .My friend who has dry sensitive skin uses Clinique and Sukin such as  Sukin sensitive skin cleanser or a cream cleanser like Jacqueline Evans Castille Cream Cleanser . Products that have fragrances, alcohol or parabens should be avoided because they will cause irritation. If you find traditional cleansers too harsh a Micellar Water like the Simple Micellar water or Sukin Micellar Water is far more gentle to the skin however it still removes makeup and cleanses the skin.
  • Toner may be too harsh or irritating for your skin, trying a Rose-Water on its own or combined with some water to dilute it may be more suited towards you. Even using water in a spray bottle just to dampen the face so the moisture will be retained may work also.
  • Moisturiser is our friend! We want to create a soft smooth based for our makeup to go ontop of. However I would always suggest to do a patch test first to see if your skin reacts. For eczema, using a petrochemical free pawpaw ointment to assist with soothing and adding moisturiser to the effected areas. If your skin is extremely reactive I would suggest consulting a dermatologist on specific products for you. To replenish the skin a moisturiser that is targeted for sensitive skin, such as Clinique Dramatically different moisturising Gel has been said to be effective with very dry skin. Preferably with natural ingredients may cause less irriation like the  . Also Cetaphil has there own line of sensitive skin face products (Cetaphil Senstive range) including moisturisers with SPF 15 and 50 as well as some targeted for acne prone skin, which  was the range I used when I had acne prone sensitive skin.
  •   For Primer some can feel that it’s another that will dry out or accentuate the roughness and texture of your skin. You can mix in a light weight moisturiser to hydrate as well smoothening. To reduce the appearance of redness you might want to colour correct with a green or yellow tinted primer. 
  • For a Video on colour correction for eczema CLICK HERE

Texture/Mature/Aged: will have noticeable texture and lines/wrinkles around mouth, eyes, cheeks 

  • You don’t want to expose or emphasise the texture that you have, using a gentle cleanser like  Cetaphil gentle cleanser or a Micellar water. Olay also has their own range of skin care targeted at Mature Skin.
  • Individuals with more mature skin often have quite dry skin which causes emphasis of lines and texture. suncream or a type of SPF is vital for textured skin, due to sun damage causing the texture to become more prominent. For day time wear find a  SPF or moisturiser with an SPF with a consistency that you like.
  • A serum or facial oil such as Rose-Hip oil or Jojoba oil, can also work wonders, going into a skincare specialist such as The Lab Organics (like their Facebook page HERE ) You can get skin analysed and receive fantastic advice and recommendations, better then most things you will read on the internet. You will also receive a range products and information specific for you.
  • As primer goes a plumping/firming, hydrating primer like the is suited to you, Yet you may still need something to smooth out texture/lines,the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light helps to reduce shine and it is water based as well as a blurring primer will also help smooth out the surface .

We’re almost there everyone! Until next time 

Issy x

Foundation Basics : Skin

As part of my little foundation basics series this post will focus on skin type.

When you ask a makeup artist or retail worker for foundation recommendations the first question that they will generally ask is your skin type. Why? Our skin type can determine how a foundation, settles, emphasises, blends and a multitude of other factors of how it wears on the skin.  As stated in my first series post, foundations have come a long way in being complimentary for an individuals needs, rather then just a standard one size fits all for the 7.1 billion-ish of us.

I’ve have written up a little guide to help you find your skin type. From here we can see where to go with preparing of your creating a flawless canvas 

Normal : Normal skin types are reasonably balanced( not oily or dry) with no/ few imperfections or breakouts.

You may not do much with your skin in regards to skincare (cleanse, moisturise ect.) however it looks and feels smooth, plump and is practically blemish free.

  • you may not take much care or notice in your skin and it skill looks and feels relatively smooth and plump
  • little to no sensitivity meaning you can try out new products without having a reaction
  • pores aren’t very noticeable. skin is relatively smooth and soft, doesn’t change throughout the day.

Oily: An oily skin type will produce oil even after cleansing,

  • you probablly need to blot after around 4 hours or less of cleaning depending on houw sevre your skin gets
  • oily or shinyness around nose, forehead, chin, most-likely have larger pores and may have acne prone skin due to oiliness  soap free cleanser

Combination oily: mostly ‘normal’  may occasionally be dryer in the winter months particularly, but more so gets oily

  • with change of climate skin may become more or less oily.

Combination: Combination skin is the most common.

  • Some areas of your face , commonly T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) get slightly oily through-out the day
  • other parts of the face such as cheeks and around the eyes are dry.
  • Can be sensitive and react to certain products. Your skin also may change with the climate or season

Dry: Dry skin doesn’t maintain or hold natural oils, often flaky, appear matte, feel tight, feels rough

  • skin looks textured or emphasised
  • may look tired, sallow or dull, loss of elasticity or plump, may easily be irritated or red

Combination dry: mostly ‘normal’  may occasionally be a bit oily particularly with change of climate, but more-so slightly dry

  • with change of climate skin may become more or less dry

Sensitive/Rosacea: Someone with Sensitive skin or an individual with Rosacea often will have a reaction when trying new products that don’t work with skin ( irritation, increased redness, swell/inflammation)

  • can easily be irritated or triggered by fragrance, alcohol, redness. The skin can have patchiness in texture depending on how sensitive each area is on skin.
  • Have caution of what products are used, each area should be treated differently according to the skins needs . 

Mature/Aged:  Mature or aged skin will have noticeable lines/wrinkles around mouth, eyes, cheeks,

  • over time may have a loss of elasticity and tone,
  • colour may look sallow, dry, may have hyper-pigmentation/ discolouration , skin can become more sensitive/fragile or rough

Acne/blemish prone: skin is sensitive to products that clog pores causing breakouts,

  • scarring can linger and be hard to diminish ( can cause to have dry patches), acne/blemishes can also be hormonally triggered.

Sun damage:  An individual with Sun Damaged skin will often lean on the dryer side, Fine lines/wrinkles may occur prematurely as well as sun spots, discolouration and blotchiness. Using a moisturiser and SPF of 15 or higher can give your skin a chance to rehydrate and can prevent an further damage

Eczema: Skin is easily irritated leaving little bumps on the skin, the affected areas are often dry and flakey (and itchy), if a product doesn’t agree with the skin it often will have a severe reaction  so take caution and be careful of what you try.

  • Some reactions can  sting, irritation, increased redness, swell/inflammation, if these reactions occur stop using the current product.
  • Avoid rough products and ones that contain irritants such as alcohol and fragrances .

For more information on Skin types