Beauty, makeup, photo shoot

Blow Ltd & My Flash Trash

This weekend saw me have another amazing experience through Blow Ltd. If you follow me on Instagram, (if not, why not?! @francescaalicia_jg do it now!) you will have seen a little snippet of Saturday’s activities. On behalf of Blow Ltd, I did the makeup for a shoot with Maddi Waterhouse and Mimi Maraschino for Amber Atherton’s charm bracelet line that is called My Flash Trash. The charm bracelets are very sweet and come in different variations of band. I’d urge you to check out here: to know when they are released. Even the packaging it arrives in is really cute!

The makeup on the day was a very minimal and dewy base for both models so I used the Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation very lightly. There was lots of Laura Mercier gel liner and red lips for Mimi. Maddy had a grey, sparkly eye with a little liner and bare lips. The location was an apartment just off Sloane Square as part of Sloane Club.

The only downside was needing to be sensible the night before as we had our belated Christmas party at Brooklyn Bowl in the O2. I had two glasses of wine, copious glasses of water and was in bed by 11pm. Bowling was super fun, I did notice a correlation between me drinking wine and being excellent at bowling and completely failing once I switched to water!

Hope you enjoy some of the backstage shots, I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot!

Maddi Waterhouse makeup ready

Maddi Waterhouse makeup ready

Mimi Maraschino makeup ready. The red lip was added after the first couple of shots

Mimi Maraschino makeup ready. The red lip was added after the first couple of shots

Me, hard at work...

Me, hard at work…

Susie, the best assistant ❤️

Susie, the best assistant ❤️

Love this shot!

Love this shot!

So cute!

So cute!

Susie joined them in bed!

Susie joined them in bed!

Mimi and Maddi making a Maccy D's look classy

Mimi and Maddi making a Maccy D’s look classy

Maddi then had braids with the charms added

Maddi then had braids with the charms added

Detail of the braids and charms

Detail of the braids and charms



I loved the Polaroids

I loved the Polaroids

Mimi in the bath. I always look this glam when I take a bath...

Mimi in the bath. I always look this glam when I take a bath…


Blow Ltd & Cosmopolitan UK


Oh, look! There is my face on the Cosmopolitan UK website!


Alex working it for the camera

I can only take filming seriously for so long...

I can only take filming seriously for so long…

Concentrating on not getting the giggles...

Concentrating on not getting the giggles…

Before Christmas, myself and two colleagues were asked to take part in something exciting on behalf of Blow Ltd in collaboration with Cosmopolitan UK. Of course we jumped at the chance! We all had a bit of a mare about the idea of being filmed for something that would be on the Cosmo UK website, but pepped each other up and the team involved were very lovely. The series is based on doing your makeup while on your morning commute, which a lot of women do. Tubetorials as they have been coined. Unfortunately I walk to work most of the week so am unable to take advantage of extra time, but will usually apply lipstick and touch up my makeup while on public transport. On Monday I had an audience while I applied my lipstick (MAC Cherry lip pencil and Guerlain Rouge Parade 820)

As we were representing Blow Ltd, obviously we needed to appropriate blow dries which meant taking advantage of an amazing perk of my job! My segment was to demonstrate how to make the most of multi-purpose products that we sell in store. The Tubetorials completely match the ethos of Blow Ltd and the idea of fast beauty. This was a great project to be involved in!

And, here is the link:

The products featured were:

Laura Mercier undercover pot
Jouer cream highlight
Jouer cream blusH

My skin looks terrible in this video, for me it’s all I can see. That and the fact that my eyebrows look amazing! On the note of my skin, I am going to do a post about my troubles and how I’ve been able to clean up my skin’s act.

Celia and Alex’s videos can be found here:

The five minute commuter face:

How to do Winged liner on the move:

Here is a link to Alex’s fabulous blog as a bonus!


Long time no see, hear, write, text, call…

Hi guys! I think an explanation is in order; I have had a massive life overhaul, a makeover if you will.

When you last heard from me, I had finished my course at the London College of Fashion and was living in Brighton and working at Benefit. Well, I now live in London and have an amazing new job that I am so in love with! I am a makeup artist and hair stylist with Blow Ltd ( I am based at the Canary Wharf store but am working in Covent Garden one day a week for the next couple of months. I love the brand, the fast beauty ethos, all of the staff are some of the most lovely people I’ve ever met. It is such a nice atmosphere to work in, and its helped by the products and tools we use: GHD heat styling tools and dryers, Kerastase, Loreal Professional and Davines for hair service and Laura Mercier, Jouer, Lord and Berry for makeup service just to give you an idea.

I am living in the Isle of Dogs. I love being so close to the river, the City Farm and a short walk from Greenwich. I have lucked out with my housemates, a really lovely couple who I get on with really well. I even went for a run with one of them last week. Yes, you read that correctly, a run. I KNOW!! Dad signed us both up to do the Brighton Half Marathon in February and I have been training (kind of) Now I have to beat him. I must win, even with my little legs against his ginormous strides.

Anyway, with New Years resolutions and thanks to a brilliant Christmas present, you will be hearing from me a little more regularly in 2015.

Thank you for all the support in 2014, I’ve had a blast and it’s been fun to document it (rather sporadically)


Francesca x

Beauty, makeup, photo shoot


Here are the final images from my shoot (it’s about time!)

I had already decided I wanted to do a bridal look for one of the shoots and when I saw both the models I was working with, I knew Kristina would be my bride! I love the finished look, very soft and pretty with liner to define the eyes and individual lashes on the outer corner. I used MAC Strobe Cream, Face & Body foundation and Mineralize powder to keep the iridescence to her skin. I also used a MAC pigment in Vanilla as a highlight.

lcf August 2_0248

lcf August 2_0243

I had wanted to recreate the grey/black smokey eye I had done the week before:

But, because my second model, Alex has brown eyes I had to think about the colours I was using to make her stand out and not look a blobby mess. I did some research and found a picture of Kristen Stewart at a premier with a burgundy smokey eye so took that for inspiration. I decided to use a MAC pigment in Heritage Rouge as I wanted to keep it quite smokey with lots of blending. I used another pigment in Tan on the inner corner. My trusty MAC 217 brush did all the blending work for me!

lcf august 1_here_0218

lcf august 1_here_0225

I hope you like the finished result- I am so pleased and will be able to use these images to start my portfolio!

Speak to you soon x


Birthday times!

It was my birthday on Tuesday and I bloody loved every second of it. I had a lovely breakfast made for me by my lovely man (I won’t talk about the wake up call for said breakfast. Too early. Still pissed.) The table was set beautifully and there were balloons. What more could a girl want?!

Mike was working so I had a lovely day to relax, spend time with the puppy, paint my toenails, do a face-mask or two and have a candlelit bath at 3pm. If you can’t be an afternoon bath tart on your birthday, when can you?!

I met some of my favourites for dinner. We went to The Grand Central pub near Brighton station for an amazing meal from Likkle Bikkle. They are an amazing husband and wife team, Nephi and Jess that are smashing it with their Caribbean creations. The ribwich is my favourite, they were so kind to bring out a birthday pudding for me too! Go check them out and like them on Facebook:

I had a lovely day on Monday this week with my parents, brother Luke and bestie Holly. We went to a special viewing of the wedding dress exhibition at the V&A. The curator gave a little talk before we walked around, it was fascinating to see the changes in style and meaning a dress has gone through from the 1700’s to the present day. Kate Moss’ wedding dress was displayed, I had no idea how much detail there was! One of my favourites was Dita Von Tease’s purple Vivienne Westwood gown which is displayed so you can see it from the entrance to the exhibition. If you are able, so go and see it. The whole exhibition is beautiful!! I will do a separate post on the amazing goodie bag Elle magazine had sorted for us.

I had a ‘Tilbury Transformation’ booked for Monday afternoon, I was so excited but was so upset with the result. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of my orange, stripy face. I had to fix the clumpy lashes, correct my brows and blend the shadow before I left the counter. The ‘artist’ was so quiet, I strained my ears trying to hear what she was saying.
I am so in love with Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup range, I bought the mascara and foundation to go with the Filmstar Bronze and Glow that is already in my collection.

Things I learnt this week:

1. I HATE other people doing my makeup.
2. I LOVE birthdays
3. I REALLY HATE people touching my face
4. Being sat in the middle of selfridges beauty hall with no makeup on is HIDEOUS
5. I love birthdays SO MUCH
6. I’m sad when it’s not my birthday

Speak to you soon x






Definitive guide to makeup artistry: week three

If you looked up timely in a dictionary, under antonyms you will find my picture.

The make up course finished on such a high note, I have been living in a bit of a daze since. I have found myself analysing makeup in films, adverts and magazines all week.

The final week included not one, but two photo-shoots which I will reveal fully in another post. I promise I won’t keep you waiting for too long!

The actual makeup we covered started to get a little more creative and I loved almost every second of it.

We started with something very full on for a Monday morning. Serge Lutens is amazing at what he does, I encourage you to do a little google to see some of his work. Perfect white bases and a mix of perfect lines and blending. He was also into adornment, using tassels and lace as eyebrows etc. I hated this. There is no way to even pretend. Serge can keep this makeup. I’m not interested. I will include the picture of my finished face, just for reference. By the end, I just chucked the lace brows on so I could call it a day and wash my ridiculously dirty brushes.

We briefly covered male grooming (not as wrong as it sounds) but, it’s means I’ll need to practice my shaving skills on Mike. As try as I might, I still haven’t been able to grow that fabulous handlebar moustache I really crave. I’m sure I will be bemoaning this issue when I’m 80, mind. We covered special effects, body and face painting this week too. I LOVED the special effects. Creating the bruise on Iona was so much fun. I was so excited as we were able to run with our own ideas on this one and I am so pleased with how hideous Iona looked at the end!

We had a task to split into groups and create characters on each other from a brief so I’ve included a bonus photo of me as a flesh-eating, green alien complete with Minnie Mouse bow.

Face and body painting was the finale, we were able to find our own inspiration for this look. I used a photo I found of an Alex Box creation and was really pleased with the result. I got a bit carried away and added pigments and glitter. In return, Iona stained my face pink. But, the less said about that, the better. I also created a little lace glove on Jess’ hand.

I have had the most amount of fun on this course and am so sad to not be returning every day to learn and play with Mac makeup all day. My journey into the real world or assisting now begins! Of course, I will take you along for the ride.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me the last couple of weeks. Every ‘like’ on a picture of my makeup is so brilliant. Special thank you to Holly for letting me stay with her for the three weeks, and the awkward snuggles. And to her housemates, the delightful Charlotte and Kat who are fabby.

Speak to you soon x










Definitive guide to makeup artistry- week two


Sorry for being poo and not particularly timely.

Last week we carried on through the decades: 70’s, 80’s, 90’s/00’s (there isn’t much differentiation between the two). We then moved on to editorial stories, RTW (Ready To Wear) catwalk and couture catwalk inspired by Pat McGrath. I also practised eyebrow blocking using a glue stick, I won’t feature a picture of this as my model felt like an egg! It’s easy to forget how much eyebrows, or lack of them, totally change the shape and look of a face.

As before, I’m sure that photos won’t appear in the chronological order that I try to post them in. It’s easy to spot the decades though. My favourites have been the noughties smokey eye and nude lip (Flo’s bright blue eyes look captivating with this look) and the RTW Catwalk look that I did on April as her orange-toned hair really bought out the russet and golden tones of the shadows. The wine-stained lips were really fun to do too. I got a bit excited and carried away with the editorial story and the neon pink pigment I was able to use, but I loved the end result!

Last week, as with the first week, has been incredibly informative. Not only with application and techniques, but with insider information which I can’t wait to be able to put into practice once the course is complete this Friday!

This final week consists of two photoshoots, male grooming, a Serge Lutens inspired look (warning: I straight-up hated this one and don’t know if I will include a photo or not) and loads of other fun things!

I promise to write and post about this week on Friday so check back then to see the final instalment about my fantastic course!

Speak to you soon x










The Definitive Guide to Makeup Artistry: week one

Is it too early for me to call myself a makeup artist?!

My first week is complete at the London College of Fashion and I have loved every second of it. The girls on the course are absolutely great, shoutout to Jess and Beth who are babes and have started blogging too!

The best bit was receiving my kit. It’s beautiful. I have added a few brushes already, but will do a separate post on the full details later.

The format of each morning and afternoon is this: we set up our space with beauty roll and products we may need, watch the teacher create a look, sometimes this includes reference images and a bit of background (this week has been mostly Ellie who is fabby) we then pair up and recreate the look on each other. We have a certain amount of time to create the look, it’s getting slightly shorter each day. This is all well and good as I work to time at Benefit, but when you are trying to create the perfect 1950’s liner flick, it’s a bit tense and my concentration face is out in full force!

The course started with a very natural makeup look, this was then amped up. We have also covered editorial, contouring, bridal, smokey eyes and started to make our way through the decades starting at the 20’s and finished with the 60’s on Friday afternoon. I have tried to pop all the pictures below in order, but it isn’t working on my phone! I will try to sort this ASAP. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen some of the images already!















This course is the most fun ever!

I will update you on this weeks creations at the end of the week, follow me on Instagram and you can see daily updates!

Speak to you soon x


La Prairie


Such a brilliant welcome to a talk; goody bag, cupcake and prosecco!


La Prairie is an extremely high-end skincare brand from Switzerland. If I had a spare £210 to blow on a dry oil, I would have one in my bathroom cupboard and a back up in ‘Little Boots’*. Because of the price range of the brand, I am going to focus on the main tips I learned from this particular talk:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: is essential for keeping moisture in the skin. The epidermis keeps space for cells to regenerate and grow.
  • Peptides: These are messenger molecules, ‘like an email’, made from amino acids used to deliver concentrated active ingredients. La Prairie have developed a new technology with platinum which means the peptides have a higher destruction rate against enzymes, thus making them more effective.
  • Oils: using a dry oil helps to lock in moisture, creating a barrier. It also helps to regulate oil production in oiler skin types.
  • Serum: this is a potent delivery of active ingredients which penetrate to a deeper level. You use a moisturiser on top, Caroline Hirons refers to it as a fancy outfit and overcoat to emphasise the importance of the serum over a moisturiser. This is her blog, read all of it:
  • Your skin has different needs day and night: day time you need to focus on protection, night time is for renewal.
  • Eyes: the eye area is so delicate due to there being less fatty tissue. Use a cream designed for the area, it will be more potent.
  • Prevention: you can never start too early: in your 20’s you should focus on hydration, and moving towards anti-aging in your 30’s.
  • Cleanse, cleanse, CLEANSE. And exfoliate: this is essential to ensure you have removed all traces of make up, and pollutants, and that your skin receives the full benefit of whatever you layer on after.
  • Men: the only difference is post-shaving care and the extra soothing and hydration needed for that area. Aside from that, we all have the same skin needs.
  • Application: don’t forget your neck, décolletage and back of your hands!
  • Skin does not ‘purge’: if you react to a new product, stop using it. End of.


I went to Wahaca after the talk for Hibiscus Margaritas, the most amazing guacamole and a long-overdue catch up with one of my oldest friends.


Hope this was useful, I would highly recommend Mrs Hirons if you do not already follow her.

Do you have any wonder products to recommend?

Speak to you soon x


*I refuse to believe that I am the only person to take advantage of 3 for 2, BOGOF and other offers. I don’t have much storage space so it is all in a box under my bed. The boyfriend has even joined in and knows his bulk-buys of shower gel and toothpaste live in ‘Little Boots’. Where does your stash live?!


#BeautyProject: Tilbury Transformation


I had myself a Tilbury Transformation as part of the Selfridges Beauty Project. I went for the Sophisticate look as I felt it was very flattering, but slightly out of my comfort zone as it is quite heavy eye makeup. A link to all the information you could need, and Charlotte herself doing a tutorial on the look is below.


Let’s talk products. If I had an infinite amount of money (some of the ladies at the event certainly did) I would have every single item from the range, twice over. All of the products have been carefully considered and produced. The powders are butter soft with lots of emollients in to keep them that way, the foundations are brilliant shades, wonder glow will made the most ragged skin look radiant, and I have waxed lyrical about the brow pencils in a previous post. The product I decided to take home: film star bronze and glow (

It is a beaut product, the bronzer isn’t shimmery, or orange-y toned so is perfect for sculpting the facial framework of even the fairest of complexions. The highlighter is like a real-life filter. Absolutely gorgeous. I don’t think there are enough adjectives to describe how happy I am with my purchase!

Some other stand-out products are the magic cream, brow pencils, wonder glow and the brushes:

Charlotte’s Magic Cream is just that, absolute magic. Charlotte will never reveal the full list of ingredients, but it does have SPF 15, BioNymph Peptide Complex, anti-UVA filter, Sodium Hyaluronate, wild Pansy extract, rose hip oil, camellia oil, Vitamin E, Damask rose water, Aloe Vera, extracts of Frangipani and a little bit of top secret magic! It is a brilliant cream and made my skin feel amazingly hydrated and plumped.

The wonder glow “is powered by a breakthrough Fluorescent Core Light Diffuser that cleverly steals UV light from its surroundings and re-emits it as skin luminosity to disguise and transform drab, sleep-deprived skin. WONDERGLOW is a visionary new anti-age hybrid.” It is a firm favourite of Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and is fully understandable once you have seen the difference it makes to your skin.

The brushes are all hand pulled in Europe with wooden handles designed to not roll off your vanity. The brushes are well worth the investment and make application easy for even a makeup novice. Absolute standouts for me are the powder and sculpt brush, blusher brush, eye smudger brush and eye blender brush.

Additional links are below, as with all of Charlotte’s products, she has included tutorials on each product page.

Do you own any of Charlotte’s make up? Have you tested any of it? Let me know your thoughts, and your standout products.

Speak to you soon x