Tuesday, 29 April 2014

My Top 3 Illamasqua Must Haves!


Illamasqua is, hands down, one of my favourite makeup brands out there! It started off with a sparkly nail polish, then a gold eyeliner... and then I was hooked.
Whether you're a working makeup artist or if you're self taught and just starting out, you need to have a basic kit. These three products are a must have and here's why...

1) Sealing Gel.
This tiny little bottle may seem pricey at £7 for 6ml, however, one drop of this product goes a long way and if you use it sparingly it will last you. The Sealing gel allows you to take any product, whether it be eye shadow, pure pigment or even lip liner and mix it in. Once mixed the gel and the product combined form a paste. This means you can now use your favourite eye shadow as an eyeliner, or give your lip liner that added bit of protection by brushing a drop of the sealing gel over your lips once filled in.

2) Skin Base Foundation - Shade 01
Having a white foundation in your kit is a must! You can mix this product with any other shade of foundation to make it a bit lighter, or a bit sheerer on application so the skin can show through a bit more, giving your overall skin finish a more 'natural' look. This foundation has buildable coverage without it looking 'cakey' on the face and is suitable for all skin types, (dry, oily or combination skin.) You can also use it as a highlighter along the brow bone or in the corners of the eyes. It's an incredibly versatile product and a good investment for your makeup bag.

3) Hydra Veil
This has to be my favourite product out of the three!
Hydra Veil is the perfect base for your skin! The pot comes with a hygienic little spatula, which you only need one scoop of for the face... apply the gel like product to the skin using a foundation brush and let it settle for a minute or two... then away you go with the foundation! It's 'instantly, hydrating gel formula' means that you can get that even and perfect finish on the driest of skin, as it adds a bit of moisture and hydration to the face.
What I also love about this product is it's quirky appearance. In the pot, it's a bit like a jelly/ gel mixture, but if you get the spatula and mix it up, it turns into a blobby, jelly mixture! Don't panic though, it'll turn back into that smooth, jelly, gel like product that you were looking at when you first opened the pot in a matter of minutes.. magical!

All products mentioned above can be found on the Illamasqua site *here!*

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Friday, 25 April 2014

Chemo Cravings!

'A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.'

Today for the first time in ages I had an omelette... I know what you're thinking.. why am I telling you about my really uninteresting lunch?! Well, it actually jogged my memory!

The first time I started on my omelette craze, was when I was allowed to go home from hospital after my first round of chemo... when I was first admitted into hospital I stayed there for just under a month and when my levels had climbed their way back up to a 'safe' number after completing my first cycle of chemo, I was allowed home. (But I had to be wary and careful of anything that might cause me to get an infection.) I'd been briefed by the nurses about foods that were better for me to eat, that didn't contain any live bacteria, as my immune system wasn't as good as your regular person's, so I had to try and avoid foods and situations where I might be at risk of picking up an infection, or cook everything thorougly. There was my next problem... what could I eat?! There was a whole list of foods that I could have eaten, but then it came down to the fact that I didn't really fancy anything.. however, my Mum was a woman on a mission... a mission to fatten me up! She kept popping her head round the door with endless suggestions and combinations of different foods and I eventually settled on a cheese omelette. Little did I know, that when I was at home that was literally all I'd want to eat! To liven things up a bit she added a bit of greek salad and tomato salsa dip... which I ended up eating at least two pots of a day! It's good stuff!

Throughout my treatment, when I was at home all I ate was...

1. Cheese Omelette
2. Greek Salad
3. Tomato Salsa Dip
4. Dark Chocolate

These foods were all I could think about when a meal was suggested.

When I wasn't at home, but in hospital, I ate the hospital food. In the defence of hospital food everywhere, it really wasn't as bad as people make out! I became very fond of potatoes, yoghurt and toast.. so much so, that the lovely ladies taking down what I wanted for breakfast, lunch and tea each day could predict what I was going to choose each time! Haha... I'm so predictable! During my stays in hospital though, which was usually about 3 weeks minimum for 3 out of the 4 cycles of chemo, my parents would pop in each day to see me armed with chocolate, chocolate... aaaand more chocolate! Dark chocolate was something I definitely had a soft spot for and when one of my best friends came to visit me in Brighton, she'd run round the supermarket with her Mum beforehand on a serious quest for dark chocolate! Which was lovely of her!

One thing the doctors and nurses also stressed, was that if you want to eat something.. eat it! Being in and out of hospital and on treatment can effect your weight, so it's important to just eat what you want and when you want to. I suppose it all depends on how the chemo effects your taste buds and appetite too, but those were my funky little chemo food cravings!

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Final Shoot Photos!

Face chart - planning for my final makeup look.
Last month I posted up about my time at Davinia Fermi's Makeup Academy, having done a 5 week intense makeup course in TV, Film and Theatre Makeup and Hair, which you can read all about *here!*

On the last day of the course we had a model come in so we could showcase what we'd learnt and how far our makeup skills had come since the start of the course. Included in the last day of the course was a professional photographer, so we could get the best start to building our new portfolio for potential clients. I have now got my photos back from Roger Charles Photography and I am incredibly happy with them. My lovely model Poppy looks beautiful and I'm really pleased with the makeup and hair that I manages to create on the day! Obviously I didn't just rock up in the morning and improvise, we'd been planning our looks in the final week, as well as having lessons on different makeup looks each day and we had the day before to practise, so that we felt more confident with our designs for the final day. I was sent four photos in total from the photographer, but the two below are my favourite.

I have now set up a facebook page, 'Emily Eva Alice' which I'm using as a blogger and makeup artist page, so feel free to head over, check it out and give it a 'like' if you fancy! Emily Eva Alice

Makeup and Hair - Emily Parker (me)
Model - Poppy Fuller
Photographer - Roger Charles Photography

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Pick Me Up... literally!

Pick Me Up published my 'Cancer Story' across a double page spread in their magazine, which hit shelves in newsagents and supermarkets a couple of days ago. This issue is out until the 24th April and you can pick it up for only 68p.

My story itself reads like a twisted fairytale. But it contains all the information and of course some of my tips for products that I found (and continue to find) very useful. There is also a link to my blog address, which contains a lot more detailed information on products, dealing with hair loss, buying a wig and much more!

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Venom Bodypainting - Step by Step

Products used - Mehron Paradise AQ Cake Makeup in colours..
- Black
- White
- Dark Pink
- Purple
- Light Green
- Light Blue

Step 1 Using a white eyeliner pencil draw on your outline. For Venom the basics are eyes, open mouth, with sharp teeth and a long tongue. As well as a spider logo on the chest.

Step 2
Fill in the lighter colours first, using the white for the teeth and eyes and the dark pink for the tongue and gums.

Step 3
Outline what you've done so far using the black.

Step 4
Fill in the empty spaces in black. Going back to the white eyeliner pencil, draw on the spider logo.

Step 5
Outline the spider and fill in the empty spaces using the black. I then added a bit of shading to the tongue and gums using purple. You can also add a bit of grey shading to the teeth by mixing the white and black together. I also added a few speckles of light green and light blue on the tongue and mouth.

Step 6
Stand against a black background to get the full effect of the bodypaint and finished character.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Makeup - Venom Bodypaint

I've seen a lot of this bodypainting done by different people, so I thought I'd give it a go myself! Venom is a character in the Spiderman series published by Marvel comics and is a parasite that requires a living 'host' (usually a human body) to take the form of and survive.

I took pictures as I went about creating this look, so I shall post up a 'step by step' a bit later on! It looks impressive as a whole, but is relatively easy to recreate.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hair Growth Update - April

Looking back at my March hair update, I thought it was about time that my April update popped up! To be honest, I didn't think my hair had grown that much since my last hair post. However, looking at the pictures (especially those comparing the side and the back) it has! My hair is getting quite thick now, it's still wavy and still completely out of control, although it is long enough to get my straighteners in there in an attempt to try and flatten it down! Thank goodness!

As you can see from the March and April pictures, there is definitely more hair on my head! The back is getting longer and slightly straighter with length, the front/ top has got more volume (and more hair) to it and the back near the nape of the neck is growing more and getting slightly less curlier as it goes.                             

I'm still using Lee Stafford's Hair Growth Products - Shampoo, Treatment Pot and the Conditioner and I definitely think it's making a difference compared to if I'd been using just ordinary shampoo and conditioner. The treatment pot that you use between the shampoo and conditioner definitely nourishes the hair and I definitely notice a difference in the feel of my hair if I don't use it in between, instead just using the shampoo and conditioner, so I'd definitely recommend them as a trio.

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

United Makeup Artists Expo

The United Makeup Artists Expo (UMAe) took place last weekend up in Islington in London. I hadn't heard of this expo before, but when we were given information on it during my course with DFMA it looked and sounded great and I am so glad that I went!

Over the weekend various brands set up their stands at their exhibitor spaces in the business design centre, (where the expo was held) selling their products, many being sold at discounted prices. I was so pleased to get my hands on a Dermacolor Camouflage Creme Palette consisting of 12 colours from Charles Fox's stand at half price! Dermacolor products are renowned for being highly pigmented and they are extremely good at correcting and covering any blemishes or even severe acne on the skin, so it was a wonderful product to pick up! As well as the palette I picked up some Stargazer lashes at £2 each and some special effects products that I'd used on my makeup course from PAM's stand.

Another little gem I picked up from the expo was Illamasqua's Hydra Veil. Illamasqua is one of my favourite brands, all their products are so wonderfully put together and their promotional makeup images for their current and new ranges always look stunning. Going over to their exhibitors space in the business design centre was like walking into a really glam living room, there were even little glass dome display cases on side tables, which was a cute and quirky way of displaying some of their makeup products.

After convincing myself not to buy everything on show, I settled on the Hydra Veil and their Skin Base Foundation in 01. I chose to get the skin base foundation in white, because it's very useful to mix in with other coloured foundations if you want them a tiny bit lighter or not as strong coverage. It's a kit must have! As for the Hydra Veil, it is a little pot of heaven. It's a jelly like formula and all you need is one spatula of this smoothed onto you face as a base layer before applying foundation. It'll smoothen out any problem areas and hydrate your skin in one, acting as a primer and a perfect base to then apply your foundation onto. Ta daaa! It's a wonderful product!

I had an incredible time at the expo, the highlight had to be going to a talk from Mike Smithson. Mike is an American makeup artist and has done so many different project, but his best known for his work in Avatar, Austin Powers, Lone Ranger and Star Trek. When he was talking he was very humble about how he started out and where he is now. There were images of his work being displayed on a screen behind him and it was all perfectly done with incredible attention to detail, he really is an extremely talented man. UMAe was one amazing and inspiring event, I would 100% recommend it to anybody who is interested in makeup!

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL) - Symptoms

Something I realised the other day was that I hadn't actually done a post about the signs and symptoms that come along with having Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia, (which is shortened to APL or APML... let's be honest I don't know if anyone can actually pronounce the full name, haha!)

Before I was admitted into hospital last year in June, all I'd experienced was feeling completely run down and generally feeling rather rubbish. I'd been helping out the art teacher at the school where my Mum works, so I'd be up in art all morning breaking for lunch and then back up in the afternoon and finishing when my Mum was ready to go home. It was your average school day. But thinking back, even standing for too long caused me to feel worn out and by the end of the day I was completely drained. Mother nature was doing her monthly rounds and I was losing a lot more blood than usual, but I honestly didn't think anything of it. Standing for long periods of time was causing me to feel breathless and being on my feet for just one school day was completely wearing me out. Looking back, I probably should have realised something was wrong, but I didn't. I'd only just finished my second year at uni and had pulled several all nighters to get my work completed for my portfolio deadline, so I assumed I was over tired. I'd also had a persistent headache/ sore throat, which is why I was sent to A&E to begin with because the doctor thought it was a nasty case of tonsillitis.

I was given a lot of information and booklets to read in hospital once I'd been diagnosed and admitted. Once I'd read the basics, (I didn't read all of it and I still haven't. To me cancer was cancer and I didn't really want to know how bad it was, which is also why I never asked many questions.) But once I had read the basics, it all started to fall into place and I understood.

'The signs and symptoms seen most often in APL are:

Anaemia (lack of haemoglobin), causing:
- Fatigue and limited capacity for exercise.
- Breathlessness on exertion.

Low platelet counts and low clotting factors, causing:
- Bruising within the skin.
- Bleeding from mucous membranes (e.g. gums), from wounds or from the gut.
- Bleeding into the brain.

Low (normal) white cell counts, high numbers of abnormal cells and high metabolic rate, causing:
- Persistent infections.
- Fever - This is often present even in the absence of clear signs of infection.'

These are the main signs and symptoms printed out in my little APL booklet from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and when I read them I did do the whole "Oh yeah, that makes sense now" for the majority of the list. I had a lot of unexplained bruises on my legs that wouldn't go away, I'd been feeling overly tired doing the slightest thing, spitting up blood after brushing my teeth.. and my Mum had thrown a packet of sweets at me in the car, (I was supposed to catch them, but they'd hit me smack bang on the head which she actually found really funny, ha!) The corner of the packet had cut me, only the tiniest amount, but it took at least 20 minutes for it to stop bleeding completely.

Obviously, there is so much information online nowadays for symptoms and signs and all of that, but this is what it says in my little booklet, which is from a registered charity, so it is a reliable source. I'd always say though if you're concerned about anything, definitely go and get it checked out by your doctor.

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