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Skincare - Is Prep Really The Most Essential Step?

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on Friday, 08 February 2013
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Is Prep Really the Most Important Step?

Read on and then you can decide.......As eager as you might be to slap on whatever makeup you can to make yourself look or feel better, what good is it to you if it looks obvious, uneven or worse still,  IT DOESN’T LAST.

Let me talk you through some of WOW’s favourite products for preparing the skin, why we think it’s so important and the difference it makes. 

Skin care

Skincare is a vital part of your daily and professional routine so make sure you don’t skip it in a hurry to get creative.

Firstly let me tell you that Oh So Wow is NOT sponsored by any skincare brand so all the products mentioned are personal favourites of ours and our industry professionals.

There are 4 Key Skin Attributes that you should consider when selecting a range of skincare, either for yourself or for a client.

  1. Moisture and Oil- Dryness v's Oiliness
  2. Sensitivity - Acne, Rosaecia, Stinging, Allergic
  3. Pigmentation - Eveness of skin tone caused by the production of Melanin
  4. Texture - Intinsic Factors (Aging/ Genetic), Extrinsic Factors (Environment/ Lifestyle)

We know what it’s like dragging your kit around with you to jobs so we’ll give you a basic outline of makeup kit skincare essentials and the steps you should take when prepping the skin.


Usually every makeup artist will have some good face wipes in their kit. They are excellent for quick fixes and snappy changes. Toner is handy for removing any bits of residue on the skin and tightening up pores, especially if your clients skin is oily. A cheap and cheerful toning alternative is Boots Witchhazel, which is great for oily skin and Boots Glycerin and Rosewater which is perfect for dry, sensitive skin. If your client is going on camera for Film or TV this can be a nice step in controlling oil and reducing pore visibility. The French brand Bioderma is also a hugely popular cleanser amongst makeup artists.



When working in media or theatre Serum is not something that needs to be included in your kit however moisturiser is. For Bridal and Fashion serum can be a nice touch and the better care you take of models skin around Fashion Week the nicer they will be to you, Dermalogica Barrier Repair Cream always gets a sigh of relief! Sometimes you’re not given a huge amount of time to get your client camera ready, so be very selective of the products you put on their skin. A rich, heavy product will take too long to sink into the skin and will in turn look greasy on camera. Usually a light, hydrating lotion around the face will prevent the skin from drying out and some oil control down the T-Zone will help keep oilier areas matte. In many cases skin should be, plump, hydrated, have a healthy glow and look balanced. A cult classic moisturiser is Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream and another firm pro favourite is Embryolisse. My personal favourite essential is Fix+ Hydrating Spray from MAC as it instantly absorbs into the skin, energising and hydrating it without weighing it down and making it oily. It’s also suitable for all skin types.



This is an ABSOLUTE MUST when working in Film and TV especially if the actor has oily skin. Blot Papers are handy and light for your kit but instant oil absorbing gels and creams tend to do the trick. No.7  and other pharmacy brands have good mattifying products but Makeup Forever and Mac are also good brand names to buy from. Translucent powder seals your makeup in, reduces shine and really adds to the longevity of your makeup.



A fine veil of primer over the skin can mean the difference between an even, long lasting finish and a makeup that slips off half way through the shoot. There are so many primers out there for varying skin types and finishes, so how do you choose the best ones for your kit?

The most popular ones on the market are Laura Mercier, MAC and Makeup Forever with some stiff competition coming in from lower budget brands like L’Oreal, No.7 and E.L.F. Some primers control shine, others add luminosity and some even colour correct. For the basics I’d have one pearlescent primer for glow such as MAC Skin Base and one mattifying primer for oilier skin No.7 Shine Free is a great reliable. Colour correctors are awesome but can weigh you down unnecessarily, I tend to turn to yellow based or pink based concealers to cool down or warm up a skin tone.


Making your clients skin look and feel fabulous is one thing but what about your own skin? I did the rounds of the Oh So Wow crew and discovered some of our lovely ladies’ skincare favourites. Natalie our Nail ninja has found that being over 40 has really helped her discover what brands make a difference and what ones really don’t. Natalie’s ultimate essential is Creme de la Mer The Concentrate, which is a concentrated serum that is applied before moisturiser. When asked why this was such an effective product she admitted that it really made a difference in reducing the appearance of AGE SPOTS and DISCOLOURATION and since you only need a little bit, it's expensive but it really does lasts for ages!


For those with more sensitive skin our favourite makeup guru Rachel recommends Aveeno products. The naturally active ingrediants of Oats help to rebuild and protect the skins lipid barrier which, when depleated leads to irritation and dryness. 

The skincare queen and Oh So Wow sweetheart Emily divulged some of her skincare secrets, “The one item I can't live without is Karin Herzog (husband and wife creation - they are both respected surgeons) Vita A Kombi 3. For amazing results on acne, blemishes, hyperpigmentation, scars, burns, sun damage, ageing & cellulite and skin healing [...] (peroxide by varying levels is the magic ingredient). A friend of mine who suffered greatly from Acne as a teenager found great results when he used Benzoyl Peroxide and hasn’t looked back since. He greatly recommended checking out the website

Some of Emily’s favourite products also include Calamine lotion to soothe and reduce redness. If you’re keen on natural products why not check out Holland and Barrett’s Manuka Honey skincare range or their Aloe Vera gel. One thing we can’t emphasise enough is to ensure that there is some sun protection included in your daily regimen. A high SPF/ UVA and UVB protection like No. 7’s Age Spot Protection Face Cream with its Spf 50 is ideal.     


Do you have any personal favourites you'd like to share with us all ?  

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10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Makeup School

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on Friday, 25 January 2013
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Trying to decide what career path you want to be on can be tough.

But leaving your current job to re-train and pursue a different path can be even tougher and really scary

So when you do decide to re-train,  how do you make the right choice of Training School or Academy? Take Makeup Artistry, this has become a popular career choice and due to growing demands there are more makeup schools to choose from now than ever before 

Kabuki Make up Artist to celebrities like Kylie

 At Oh So Wow we’ve compiled a list of 10 things for you to consider when choosing a makeup school.

Makeup Artists are a crucial part of a team in several industries. It’s not always possible but it helps to have a clear idea what route you want to pursue before choosing a school, whether it be makeup for:

  • Fashion
  • Film
  • TV
  • Theatre
  • Wiggery
  • Hair 
  • Special Effects (SFX) and Prosthetics.

Each industry distinctly differs from the next, requiring different skills and job prospects. 

Wow's top 10 Considerations

1/ CONTACT: Usually the first port of call for any school is their website. Check it out and look through the gallery. If you like what you see make a phone call. It’s good to talk with someone who is able to answer any of your questions.

2/ COURSE CONTENT: This is why it’s easier to know what you’d like to specialise in before you start your course. Does the website give a good outline of the course and does it cover all the things you’d like to learn?

3/ ARE YOU FLEXIBLE/FULL TIME?: Each person’s circumstances are different but sometimes it’s not ideal or practical to take 3-5 months out to attend a course. You must consider this when applying for courses as there are some out there that provide part time tuition that can be largely determined by you. Sometimes schools even offer a bespoke course structure whereby you can pick and choose what subjects or modules you’d like to cover and when. On the other hand do you require a full time course and if so, can that school provide that for you?

4/ LOCATION: A lot of schools are based in London, however it may not suit you or be cost effective to travel or move to a different location. Look to see where the schools studios are,  they may have more than one location and are they convenient to you?

5/ WORK EXPERIENCE: If it is a good school, they will provide you with the support you need to take your first steps into the industry. When contacting the school enquire into whether they can provide work experience for you. At this point I would also ask what past students are currently doing. This should give you a good indication as to the direction you’ll probably take when your course is over.

6/ COST: This for some can be the most defining factor when choosing a course. Many schools charge an EXTORTIONATE amount of money for their courses! Ultimately in the entertainment industry as they say “It’s who you know”, if you can learn the skills needed at a lower price and still get the work experience, it is your personality that makes the impression. Getting out and working on short films or testing is advisable to any student irrespective of what you’ve paid or what school you’ve attended. Paying a lot of money for a course does not guarantee a successful career.

7/ TUTORS: Who is doing the training and what experience do they have? It is this person who usually has the contacts so if they’re not already professionals in the industry how can they get you work experience. Research tutors names and look them up on the internet, and do they have a good reputation? Students should have a good relationship with their tutors, they are there to support you and teach you, NOT intimidate you.

8/ QUALIFICATIONS: Spending 3 years doing makeup and getting a BA isn’t the only option for quality training. A lot of courses award you with a Diploma on completion and as long as you have a strong portfolio of work to show then the world is your lobster or should that be oyster! It is a visual industry after all and the proof is in the work you produce. Some courses provide you with a photoshoot to get your portfolio underway, it is worth asking if this service is provided.

9/ EQUIPMENT: It may seem strange but not all school’s supply you with the products that you need so make sure to ask this question, or you could be paying out more money on top of the course price. Check the website and see what they provide and what they expect you to bring with you.

Last but not least 

10/ COURSE SIZE: This is an important factor. There’s nothing worse than being part of a huge group with only one tutor. Help and personal attention won’t always be at hand and it is also harder to forge a good relationship with your tutor if the group is too big. 

Being a makeup artist means keeping on top of trends, techniques and technological advancements in products and tools. Often it means re-training to sharpen up on skills you may not have used before or in a long time, therefore bear in mind that one, long, expensive courses do not necessarily set you up for life.

It is advisable throughout your career to go to masterclasses, workshops and short courses to really stay on top form. Places like PAM,  Charles Fox and Guru Makeup Emporium are fantastic resources for industry workshops.

I hope these points have helped you in choosing the correct path for YOU, good luck on your journey and should you want and help or advise then don't hesitate to contact the Wow School of Hair and Makeup 

Jane XxXMake Up Brushes

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...And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Posted by Oh So WOW
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on Friday, 21 December 2012
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The Final Countdown

Ladies and Gents........we're on the home stretch to Christmas and the final countdown to Christmas present purchasing is in full swing. As I was swept away in the mayhem the other evening, I thought I should report back some of the great and fabulous gift ideas spotted while on my travels.

First Stop

A quaint Vintage market in Covent Garden (only there on a Monday so at this stage you may as well head to Spitalfields market on Saturday 22nd). Here you can get posters or funny little plaques with 50s styled house wives saying something synical, or if you know your friend well even some jewellery or bespoke handcrafted item.

As far as highstreet Department Stores go John Lewis has some nice skincare sets, check them out here just so you know what you’re looking for:


For some of the latest gift offers in the Beauty Department why not have a look at House of Fraser. Good old Estee Lauder’s Christmas special is always a reliably good value buy for any lady who likes classic glamour!



For some discounts of epic proportions, you know Debenhams has it nailed! This may be an online exclusive but it’s worth paying the store a visit for some temptingly affordable treats:


Selfridges is by far the best website to visit for news/offers and event info. Needless to say the emporium of “anything goes” that is the Selfridges institution is a hive of activity with performers, fairies, magicians and balloon contortionists all there for your entertainment.

Christmas Eve at Selfridges sees a Beauty event so for any last minute madness, check it out and see what little surprises you can get your hands on. For more events throughout the store visit their event calender on their website:

Always one for an exclusive, Selfridge’s hosts the Illamasqua Black Christmas Set:


I often don't care for collections at beauty counters until I see some sort of promotional video, yes I am a sucker for it, the marketing department’s ideal target!!!!

When I watched the promo video behind MACs new collection Glamour Daze I was sold, hook, line and sinker! An era clash culminating in all that is modern retro is the perfect way to end the year of the ultimate throwback. Val Garland's modern interpretation of a classic sixties liner and Malcom Edwards elegant hair styling makes this nod to a golden age really eye catching, I mean really, pastels at Christmas? Who'd have thought! With the usual spread of lipgloss sets, eyeshadow compacts and brush sets, there is plenty to choose from and since 2012 has had a very vintage vibe, why would you want to end it any other way than gifting one of these little gems: 


The Beauty Workshop at Selfridges is also a great one stop shop for some of the industries absolute favourites along with some fresh new talent to choose from. 2012 has also seen a huge increase in nail art so nail varnish sets or a voucher for a manicure is a nice thought.

Still Stuck?

Try Accessorize for some quirky little gift ideas like phone covers or funny ear bud headphones. Primark for festive candles, adorable homewares like cushions or throws, hot water bottles and anything remotely cosy...cough, Onesie, cough ehem!!! Hats, scarves, gloves, bags, you name it Primark has probably got it. Fortnum and Masons for posh goodies, that’s a no brainer. Topshop, just the accessories floor should sort you out good and proper, swing by the makeup section, pick up a trendy makeup bag or some trendy looking necklace that won't break the bank. 

What about going to a big Boots or Superdrug and getting some Soap and Glory set or any kind of set they may do, handcreams are perfect, you can even split them up and share the love for multiple presents. I believe the new Benefit Mascara They’re Real is a makeup bag must have (and you really can’t fault their packaging). Fragrance sets are usually a good bet too and some department stores are doing them for a pretty reasonable price. Liberty is another one for quirky ideas but usually at a higher price range, I noticed a Vivienne Westwood Boudoir and Naughty Alice set that wouldn't kick you while you're down, so if you really want to get a Liberty Bag to flaunt your gifts in, visit the Fragrance Department, (or the Scarf Department for mum) and the Chocolate Shop too.

Books are always a good buy, especially funny ones. If Waterstones isn't quite cutting it, pop around to the likes of Urban Outfitters which has a really alternative range of books from tattoos to BOO (the annoyingly adorable Pomeranian pup).

And hey if all else fails, a tin of Quality Street, a bottle of cheap wine or a Lidl's finest Panettone cake ought to get you out of any sticky situations!





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Anne Hathaway and her new "Yogi-Bear".....

Posted by Oh So WOW
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on Thursday, 29 November 2012
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Rapunzel to Fantine

Short hair can be a daunting concept, let alone if you already have Rapunzel like waves down to your ankles! To say the least, it is a commitment, you’ve got to follow through, there’s no stopping mid chop unless you’re Alice Dellal. 

For Anne Hathaway’s role as Fantine in the new film adaptation of classic musical Les Mis, she went with commitment and chopped all her of her hair off!   BRAVE you might say...... I say beautiful.

As I sport a bob myself I feel I should give those of you who are inspired by Anne’s latest hairstyle, the low down on short hair.


Having short hair can leave you feeling very exposed and for those who like to hide behind their hair........ very vulnerable.

Before choosing to go short make sure you have the right face shape for the specific style you’re going for. A jaw length bob on a very square jaw will only emphasise its squareness,  however if you want a sharp, graphic cut go for it.

Look at the difference between a soft pixie haircut and a sharper Louise Brooks style bob on supermodel Erin O’ Connor.


Fringe Benefits

The effect of a fringe is really surprising also. If a fringe sweeps from a side parting it softens the face, cut blunt above the brows can be, ironically enough, very classic vintage, modern retro or even just modern. Swept back off the face gives a more androgynous feel to the style. 


With short hair you have a multitude of looks which can be easily achieved as the hair grows out. Carey Mulligan’s twisted braid added a romantic touch to her red carpet appearances, but when glamour called it was pulled back off the face and a

"soft-waved, low lying quiff"  topped the whole style off.


Casual Day to Day Chic

For casual day to day chic there’s nothing like a hair accessory or headscarf to set you apart from the crowd. It’s a simple touch that can give you an instant one-up in the style stakes. Also play around with your parting and see how different partings work with the look you’re wearing that day and why not experiment with colour? While your hair is short a flash of colour is not only going to be less expensive to get done than long hair but as it grows out it looks quite edgy. You can afford to be more daring with your colour choices too while your hair is short. I have literally been every colour under the sun and all I did was change the tint in my fringe!


Texturising and Styling

Texturising Spays and Styling Cremes are great tools for short hair. Grazia Daily mentions in their feature of Anne Hathaway’s new do, “Rub some styling cream like, Toni & Guy Texturising Glue, £7.19 between your fingertips and run your hands through your crop, before spritzing with GHD Final Shine Spray, £9.95.  This will guarantee added volume and texture and stop your crop from feeling flat.” I also find the Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme is fabulous and if you want that crazed Cher Lloyd effect try Osis Dust It Powder, it’s a mattifying product that you put in at the root after backcombing and you’ve essentially got a big barnet that’s not going anywhere fast!

Short hair also gives you the chance to play around with different makeup styles. If you’re struggling with what to do just pick one key area and really focus on that.

One day why not try a really bold lip with just mascara on the eyes. You could make sure skin is looking really fresh, clean and contoured and do a strong brow the next day, and what about working a dark, smokin’ hot eye that evening for when you’re going out, keeping the lips pale and interesting. 

Short hair is not only stylish but allows you to be creative in a pretty effortless way. Whether you’re the next IT girl or a high flying business woman in the city, I always see a cheeky glint in the eye of a short haired girl.

  • It’s rebellious
  • It’s brave
  • It’s independent



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There's something about Kirsten...

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on Monday, 19 November 2012
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This is NOT the Kirsten Stewart Appreciation Society!  BUT.......

I’ll be the first person to admit that on many occasions I have cast a judgemental eye on Kirsten Stewart, not in the

“Oh Daaaaarling that’s such a FAUX PAS” sort of way.       More like a......

“Girl you don’t know how damn good you’ve got it, show a little gratitude and freakin’ smile!”  way.

I came to realise however that those feelings came from my own jealousy and contempt for another person’s success than actually not liking the girl, and in fairness, I don’t know her,  so who am I to judge?

Then, something strange happened to me.......Amidst her expeditious success and fame I began to feel this awkward enticement to want to like her....... People say she’s closed and reluctant to open up during interviews or red carpet events. True !  But in fact, she’s more expressive and honest than any celebrity I can imagine. Look at how uncomfortable she is here, and she sure as hell dosen’t try to cover it up, Kirsten expresses,

"It's really important to like what you're wearing. It's pretty clear when I don't like what I'm wearing, and it's pretty clear if you got dressed for other people.”

Kirsten Stewart

There’s no sugar coating and when she doesn’t feel like herself you can see it, as clear as day.  

She’s got conviction in her own character which must be hard to develop since she has been in the public eye through most of a young woman’s most vulnerable phases. 

                                                                              Kirsten Stewart

Anyway this is not and I repeat NOT the Kirsten Stewart Appreciation Society!!!!! I am here to talk to you about the smokin’ hot makeup that is appearing on Kirsten’s face!

Her make-up Artist Beau Nelson uses Tom Ford foundation (which he tweeted about @Beau_Nelson) and Laura Mercier concealer, YSL Highlighters and Laura Mercier Powder to accentuate Kirsten’s flawless, fresh, glowy skin.

Kirsten has light green, small almond eyes, so to make them appear bigger and more feline, Kirsten wears her eye makeup dark around the lashline and blown out into a soft, blended, smokey wing. Often long lasting gel liners and smudgey kohl pencils are the best products to achieve and maintain this look. Pop a creamy metallic or shimmer powder eyeshadow on top and you’ve got it!

Beau Nelson uses Kevin Aucoin or Paul and Joe Eyebrow pencil and L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara. By the way how fantastic did Kirsten’s eyelashes look in the Breaking Dawn 2 movie?   Seriously magnificent, very fake looking but their application was totally imperceptible on the HD Close Up shots. They genuinely looked like they were hers! Somebody get me that lash technicians number ASAP!

Jillian Dempsey, Kirsten’s make-up artist for her Breaking Dawn Part 2 Premiere in L.A popped a playful berry lip and shimmering taupe and gold smokey eye on the young starlet. GO THE 1940s for being a consistent go-to era for Red Carpet Glamour as Kirsten’s hair cascaded softly over one shoulder in a typical 'peek-a-boo' Veronica Lake style.

Click here for the full list of products used on Kirsten for the L.A Premiere click the link below, there is A LOT of Chanel! For the basics though Jillian used Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lip Colour in 40 La Sensuelle, Laura Mercier Lip Liner in Crushed Berry and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation.

                                                                                              Kirsten Stewart

For more info on Kirsten’s interview click here

Click here for Beau Nelson’s Interview with BellaSugar:

This delicious berry lip got my heart racing as you never see this girl wear that much colour on her lips. It’s statement BUT soft enough not to make her already slim lips look any smaller AND still showcase her eyes without over powering them. It’s bright but deep and kind of reminds me of MAC’s Rebel Lipstick. Depending on what lipliner you use you can alter the density of the tone, darker, plumy tones for a vampy look or a fuller bodied burgundy or deep red to amplify it.

If you want to look bang on trend this season I recommend you get a hot berry colour on those smackers, find the closest Robert Pattinson look-a-like and then pout at him a lot. You never know he may not actually shrink away nervously from you! Or, just walk around with your head held high. 

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What do Ban Ki-Moon, K-Pop and Make-up have in common?

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on Wednesday, 14 November 2012
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“Gangnam Style”

Psy (pronounce Si) and his explosively successful track “Gangnam Style” have had an earth shattering effect on popular culture and global music charts. In turn increased interest in the sensations origins of South Korea that have developed in Western society. With “Gangnam Style” ascertaining over 700 million views and achieving a Guinness World Record for most “liked” video in YouTube history subsequently winning “Best Video” at the MTV awards in Germany this year. It’s clear to see that Psy has managed to get the K-Pop genre some attention.

Hailed by fellow South Korean and prolific UN chief Ban Ki-Moon as “a force for world peace” Psy has achieved universal superstardom. So I thought I’d check out K-Pop for some refreshing Makeup ideas.

Well folks......I was overwhelmed by what I found. I’m not sure about world peace but K-Pop blew my mind from a styling, creative art direction, hair and makeup point of view. Production values of music videos such as BIGBANG’s “FANTASTIC BABY” and 2NE1’s “I LOVE YOU M/V” would rival that of a Michael Bay film and definitely give Gaga a run for her money!


The Look ! 

Think hyperbolic 1990s pop boy and girl bands, set them in a video game like Final Fantasy or an animation like Dragonball Z, turn them all into comic book characters, make the girls look like porcelain doll, cutesy sex robots and BOOM you get Nicki Minaj but sweeter. NOTHING is left unadorned, hair is either a wig or dramtically cut and dyed , makeup, graphic, clean, airbrush flawless, focus on big eyes often with circle lenses, fair skin slim nose and pouty lips, nails....well that’s a whole different accessory, clothes, awesome, and that’s just the guys. Metrosexuality is so early 2000’s, 10 years later and we’ve got some cyborgian multisexual blowing gender identities out of the water!! It’s a magnificent spectacle.


The Face

As for makeup, I’ve heard it’s all about the BB cream! Or what’s now popular in Asia is CC (Colour Cream) which gives better coverage. There is a huge focus on skincare in Asia, a lot of cosmetic companies like MAC and BOBBI BROWN have entire lines that are Asia specific and are not available anywhere else in the world. Most of these products are Brightening Skincare ranges with high Sun Factors. Youth and perfection are worshiped so wrinkles and sun damage are absolute NO-NOs (certainly something us cooler climate dwellers should acknowledge as UV rays can still cause skin damage when it’s cloudy and cold!) Now with BB creams so readily available for all budgets across the UK and Ireland there’s no excuse to not give one a try. A word of warning though, if you like a fuller coverage foundation you may be better using this formula as a primer. 


The Eyes

These are predominately a dark, neutral smokey. Because Asian eye shapes are mostly almond with an under defined crease the darkest colour mostly black or dark brown, rims the eye at the lashline. It is blended up to the crease and faded out above the crease. The shape that the eyeshadow takes is often winged to extend and enlarge the eye shape. To create a more rounded, larger, doll like eye Circle Lenses are often used as is Eyelid Glue or tape. Because lashes are often fine, short and straight eyelash curlers and false lashes are fantastic to open up the eye and give a wider eye effect. SHU UMERA Mini Eyelash curlers (meaning they are half the size of regular lashcurlers for easier, less daunting curling). 


To maintain focus on the eyes, lips are kept soft, nude and glossy.  Glosses are popular due to their sheer colour and fresher peaches and pinks can be worn without distracting from the eyes.

So off you K-POP and get gorgeous!


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Vintage comes to Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa

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on Monday, 05 November 2012
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Vintage Experience Day

Over to Wardrobe 

The first of our VINTAGE EXPERIENCE DAYS took off with a bang at The Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa. Guests were greeted by the Oh So Wow team and ushered quite willingly to the wardrobe department. Beginning the transformation into Hollywood starlets by adorning themselves in classic vintage attire and accessories, our guests quickly realised they were in for a treat.

 “It’s the Oh So Wow wardrobe that really sets us apart” says Sarah Portlock, the company’s Creator “Ladies can sift through the outfits and choose their own ensemble. It’s a very immersive, enjoyable experience.” With wartime classics setting the tone guests quibbled over their choice of seamed stockings, and whether to accessorize with earrings or a brooch.

Now Hair !

Together the ladies were given a demo on setting their hair in a typical Vintage style using rollers and hotsticks by Oh So Wow’s sweetheart Rachel Pring and her lovely assistant Jane. Once the demo was complete they were assigned to their work stations and let loose on one another!



Makeup and Nails next

Rachel imparted some more of her industry knowledge from twenty years experience in Film, T.V and Theatre and demonstrated the art of vintage makeup with the Oh So Wow range of MY FACE COSMETICS. With their hair wrapped up in colourful headscarves the ladies went off to practice their new skills on themselves. After a quick application of the new KILLER COLOUR NAIL varnishes it was off to tea for the gang. 


Cakes, yummie ! 

Spoiled for choice with sandwiches and cream teas galore, the girls chatted and posed with their delicate teacups and rouged pouts. After tea it was time for the big reveal. Following a demo on “dressing out”, hair unfurled into bouncy, voluptuous waves and was styled into victory rolls of all shapes and sizes. Flowers, bows and fascinators decorated the crowns of the glamorous troupe and they were now ready for the final photos.


On leaving, guests were given the choice to purchase any of the products they had tried that day and would receive a certificate along with their photo in the post.

All in all the day was jammed packed with luxury, fun and frolics and guests left on a high of giggles and glam.


If you are interested in booking or just finding out more about our Vintage Experience Day for a birthday, hen do or corporate event just visit our website and we’d be delighted to cater to your every need.

 A big thank you to all of our guests and hosts at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa.

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Halloween comes to MyFace.Cosmetics

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on Thursday, 25 October 2012
in Product Features

Top Tips for a Halloween Makeover.....with a difference ! 

When I was asked to design a Halloween look using MyFace Cosmetics, I squealed like a piglet with excitement then fell silent into a quiet panic.

The Miss Piggy excitement derived from my LOVE for Halloween and the anticipation of playing with the vibrant SLINKY LIQUID LINERS and sparkly BLINGTONES from MyFace.Cosmetics ! The panic was due to the fact that I would be creating this in the wake of KABUKI’s awesome Halloween make-up last year. 

KABUKI, MyFace Cosmetics’ Artist Director and masterful genius at his craft created his Black Widow make-up with unforgiving symmetry. The precision was haunting and had me shaking in my Doc Martins! So I had to create something that was HALLOWEEN INSPIRED, COLOURFUL and well executed. The Mexican SUGAR SKULL seemed fit for the task, less blood, more colour, still creepy,      P E R F E C T!

My design utilised a lot of the BRIGHT colours from MyFace’s SLINKY LIQUID LINER range. There was quite a bit of thinking outside the box with application, lipstick and lipliner was used around the eye and on the forehead, black liquid liner was used on the cheeks, around the mouth and everywhere else. Various Slinkys were used to shade and my FAVOURITE was the WHITE SLINKY MATTE LIQUID LINER to highlight. 

How I created the look.

  • After applying and setting the base I mapped out my design with a MyFace Pencil Liner as a guide.
  • I got the dirty work out of the way first and filled in a dark smokey eye.
  • Touches of the GREEN and PURPLE BLINGTONES over black pencil liner gave Katie a moody look and a beautiful bruised effect. 
  • Next it was just a matter of colouring in and outlining in the BLACK SLINKY.
  • I did a bit of shading around the jaw with the black pencil liner and blurred it out with a brush. References really helped with this design.
  • Add some gems and false lashes for some extra intensity and make sure black eyeliner rims the eyes on the upper and lower waterlines.

I wanted my design to feel more organic than clean and sharp. Since the Sugar Skull is a colourful celebration of The Dead designed by children and adults alike, I wanted the colours to look so vivid that they were vibrating beyond the lines. It was okay for lines to look blurred, sketchy and uneven. 

The look really pulled together once Katie was dressed in all the adornments. I picked up all of these props from Poundland, Paks Cosmetics and independent fabric shops or market stalls. These nice cheap alternatives really helped to pull off a professional studio look.  

Here are some close ups of the finished look. 

Halloween makeover 

Look what happens when you put it into instagram! 


If I were to do it all again, I’d make some changes for sure. I’d be more strategic and work from the top down. I would also rim the black smokey eyes in a different design, I feel the yellow and red colours look great but the rings don’t really work. My advice would be, step away from your work and look at it from a different perspective. Even take a photo and see how it translates, I guarantee it will look totally different to the real life version. Apart from that I’m very pleased with the result. I hope you enjoy it and keep an eye out for out video of the Halloween Sugar Skull in the making on our YouTube Channel:

On behalf of OH SO WOW I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to MyFace Cosmetics for allowing us to use their INCREDIBLE products. Check out their website to order your Slinkys and Blingtones, their foundations are stunning also!

P.S they have a fantastic HALLOWEEN COMPETITION so get filled in by clicking the link below





HALLOWEEN COMP INFO:   (closes 31st October)


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Cage Fighting......Oh Yes, it's true

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on Thursday, 18 October 2012
in Events

Oh So Wow turns to desperate measures,  Cage Fighting.....

On the night of Saturday 13th October 2012.......

In an old army barracks nestled in the flatlands of Southern England.........

An assault was made.

At approximately 19 hundred hours (7 pm to you and me)  4 innocent men were attacked by a crack team of enthusiastic special effects makeup artists.

It was later discovered after the victims had escaped that the culprits were none other than the Oh So Wow crew!

If you see these three delinquents detain them immediately and book them for your Halloween Makeover or Corporate Event!

  Girls from Oh so Wow

After the incident was reported some of their weaponry was recovered. The faction is renowned for its organisational skills and use of top grade tools and arms.

Special effects makeup                             special effects makeup                          

It cannot be emphasised enough how lethal these artists are. Their efficiency, knowledge and uncompromising execution of their craft left their victims, Mixed Martial Arts experts at Fight Science Gym in Aldershot,   severely injured and looking like this!

Nick Chapman and Jay Dods                              Kevin Stokes and Paul Reed


A huge THANK YOU from the Oh So Wow team to Nick Chapman, Kevin Stokes, Paul Reed and Jay Dods for letting us use the incredible facilities at the Fight Science Gym and for being the subjects of our Makeup Special Effects Promo Video.

Watch this space for details of when the video will be live on our YouTube Channel,  or why not subscribe now.  

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The Low Down....Spring Summer 2013 Beauty Trends

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on Monday, 08 October 2012
in Latest News

Bright and Beautiful Spring/Summer 13 insight!

Having waved goodbye to London Fashion Week I managed to ensnare a backstage Macette for a sneaky forecast of S/S 13. I know it’s a while away but perhaps these few tidbits will see us through the winter months. I assure you friends,  the future is bright and colourful!


Zahra Hassani from Mac divulged some backstage exclusives to Oh So Wow.  First and foremost:  

There’s a 90s revival on its way so get ready and armed with hair crimpers for salt n’ pepper themed bobs! 


Zahra elaborated when my eyebrows hit the roof,  “I’m talking scrunchies done up HIGH, double denim, reeboks, dungarees. Another big trend was blue eyeliner and eye makeup!!!” When asked how blue was worn around the eye she told WOW, “Some were blown out,  others were graphic Egyptian style liner.”  Also the 90's Calvin Klein revival saw “barely there makeup, soft, natural shading around the eyes and a neutral lip”. 

Blue eyes                                                   

Lips are the easiest way to refresh your look and style!

Lips for Spring Summer


We saw a classic S/S trend come back to life with bright neon shades, however this time there’s a new technique to their application.  Ombre meaning shaded or graduated in tone, is a popular technique to achieve a 3-dimensional, full lip shape with bright, electric colours “Ombre lips (pink into orange) and a lot of neon orange/ orangey red lips and fuchsia”  gave that Californian POW!

                                                             Lips for Spring Summer13

For skin we see a strong focus on contouring.

“There was a lot of contouring rather than bronzing ... so that is an element which has been carried over from last seasons’ trend Hone-Structure but softened for S/S.”

contouring of the skin


WOW also managed to snag some tips on the  'Key Products' to have in your S/S makeup bag:-

“Waveline Fluidline, Pink opal, Cream Colour Bases in Shell and Pearl, White Lip Mix (to make standard lip colours more neon), Please Me Lipstick, Pro Sculpting Creams and S/S Lip and Eye Palettes” now available in Mac Pro Store Carnaby Street.

For a more in depth analysis and summary of S/S13 Beauty Trends check out:

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Makeup Trends for Autumn-Winter 12

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on Thursday, 27 September 2012
in Latest News

This season sees four key themes which all the make-up trends fit into. Pounding down the catwalks for A/W 12 we saw:

  • A Liner Trend
  • Texture Trend
  • Colour Trend 
  • Skin Trend


Val Garland                                         Andrew Gallimore

Val Garland for Mary Katrantzou                     Andrew Gallimore for Erdem


I absolutely adore this season’s take on eyeliner. It’s fresh, modern and SHARP! The word this season is Geometry and for the first time I’m willing to admit, I freakin’ love Geometry!

Gordon Espinet hits the nail (or Thorn rather) on the head when he explains,  

“This season isn’t about liner being classic. It’s about liner as an etching, about it creating a geometry on the face”.    

Although non conformist, this trend heavily focuses on technique and precision relying heavily on the architecture of the individual’s eye. The effect is tailored and intriguing. I love Val Garland’s liner for a hooded lid and the way Gallimore’s thorns perch on the edge of the eye’s outer corner, lifting the eye upwards.


James Kaliardos                                   Petros Petrohilos

James Kaliardos for Ruffian                                        Petros Petrohilos for Nicole Fahri


  • Classic, period style looks like those found in Downton Abbey are probably set to be the most popular trends this season. Although artists have moved away from the high gloss sheen of skin in S/S 11 this texture trend focuses on creamy skin with a matte or stained lip.
  • A sheer coverage foundation and a light setting with an illuminating powder gives skin that effortless yet fresh, balanced, groomed look.
  • Brows are naturally fuller and styled with a clear brow set, very little if any brow colour is brought through the brow, however if your brows are a tad sparse then get yourself a light brow pencil, even one shade lighter than your hair colour, to work this trend.
  • Lips look stunning and classic and focus more on texture than structure. It’s okay for the lips to look imperfect like you’ve just smooshed (I know it’s not a real word!) it on with your fingers. Russian Red lipstick from MAC was used at Ruffian and Vino lip pencil was coloured onto the lip crayola style and then blotted with fingers for Nicole Fahri. Eyes are sans eyeliner and if you’re highlighting use a creamier texture rather than a frosty one. 


Badley Mishka                         The Blonds          

Badley Mishka                                                    The Blonds

This season’s colour trend is defined by The Girl. ‘The Girl’ is a ‘grown-up gypsy’ a soulful, global wanderer who picks and chooses different colours and textures and eccentrically combines them to create a unique fusion of:

  • antique patinas,
  • sepia stains,
  • mascara-less lashes, driftwood browns, weathered plums and cranberries.
  • Concrete greys and charcoals teamed with metallic asphalts are used to create depth.

Tones, colours and textures bleed softly into one another creating the ombre allure which is so popular this season. This is the ultimate party look to go with your new patterned and bejewelled styling, keep the brows groomed but not coloured in, avoid highlighting under the brow (I know it freaked me out too guys, but it’s something new so why not try it), combine unexpected colours and textures together (like the Badley Mishka look with sheer matte plums on the upper lid and gold shimmer eyeliner on the lower), and steer clear of sharp monotone lips, rather diffuse lines and tones; blur the boundaries.

  • Skin appears more matte than last season but not powdery, keep it glowing. Mac pigment like Blue Brown and Melon literally look AWESOME when pressed onto a matte dark eyelid. Give it a go, you’ll love it!


Alexander Wang     Max Mara    McQueen

Alexander Wang                                  MaxMara                         Mc Q


  • This cerebral concept of contouring considers depth and shading beneath the cheekbone to accentuate facial bone structure.
  • This look hangs from the eyebrows so full, straight and dark brows are key features of the tone and mood. They are the axis around which this nude look is sculpted.
  • Precision, technique and placement are paramount when executing this structured look, get hands on and feel for the hollows in your face to find your where your sculpting products should go. Hold a brush from the tip of your ear down to the corner of your mouth, it should tuck snugly under the cheekbone, remove the brush and start to blend your product along that line (don’t bring the contour shade all the way to the mouth, stop under the apple of the cheek).
  • Andrew Gallimore explains that “It creates a shaded face that is slightly hollow and haunted but extremely beautiful and not alien”. The best products to use for this technique are creams as their texture blends nicely to give a skin-like finish. Bronzers are a no-no as they are too ruddy and coppery, go for something greyed out, ashy, neutral this is a much more realistic simulation of a shadow on your skin. Mac Pro Sculpting Creams are fantastic as, despite the colours; they aren’t heavily pigmented, meaning they blend out beautifully into a sheerest of the sheer finish (so you won’t look like you wiped poo across your face!). A blunt cut brush is also a nice way to apply these kinds of products. Skin is immaculately concealed and has a satin finish, i.e not powdery or dewy. Pop on some lip balm and clear mascara and you are ready to rock this look.

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ILLAMASQUA - Generation Q

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on Wednesday, 19 September 2012
in Product Features

Generation Q

The latest collection to crawl onto the opulently adorned shelves of Illamasqua is Generation Q. The collection is,
“Driven by this desire to constantly challenge the status quo, we are proud to break the unspoken prejudice of age
as we launch our new AW12- Generation Q. This new, dynamic range of expressive textures and shades provides
the industry’s only antidote to the homogenised, outdated vision of beauty.”
On Thursday evening 13th September I attended an Illamasqua master class hosted in the PAM Studios in west London. Adam John, Illamasqua Artist and Trainer talked us through the latest products to appear in Generation Q and expressed with true Illamasqua fervour that beauty is ageless without limits or restrictions, “Beauty has no Age Limits“. The collection consists of:
  • Two eyeshadow quad palettes Empower (Neutral) and Complement (Plum), cream highlighter Gleam in Aurora and
  • Two blushes S.O.P.H.I.E (Peachy/ Coral) and Allure (Tawney Brown/Cool Rose),
  • Two lip glosses Boost (Electric Bluberry Violet, a great colour adjusting shade for a cool pop) and Opulent (Neutral Beige),
  • Two lipsticks Magnetism (Deep Raspberry Pink) and Underworld (Iridescent Blueberry Violet), Wisdom (Antique Gold)
  • Precision Ink eye liner 
  • Two nail lacquers Charisma (Deep Raspberry Pink) and Creator (shimmering Black).
Aside from some great tips and tricks from Adam John, I discovered that the collection, in order to Older ladyaccommodate our wilder women of 40 and above contains some exceptionally forgiving textures. Looking at the eyeshadow palettes I must admit the colours are nothing we haven’t seen before from the likes of Dior, YSL(Palettes 9 and 11 Pure Chromatics Eye Shadow Quads at £39.00 each are very similar) and Tom Ford. Although this collection is not the usual foray of acid greens or stark colour blocking what it has brought to the innovation stakes is texture and technique.      Creamier lip colours containing more Vitamin E than previous formulas also claim to be longer lasting while maintaining that cushiony slip across the lips. The real gem in this treasure trove, for me at least, is the creamy satin matte formula of the liquid metal eyeshadows that make up one quarter of each quad, Slick a charcoal grey (Empower Palette) and Focus a cool metallic brown (Complement Palette). Thanks to new technology that allows powders and pigments to be ultra finely milled I noticed that even the Powder Eyeshadows have a creamier texture. These new finishes dynamically soften light and are perfect to give skin that radiant glow and lift making a smokey or dramatic look on hooded or deep set eyes more flattering, blendable, achieveable and longer lasting, just look at Evelyn the 72 year-old Generation Q poster girl if you don’t believe me!
 A smokey eye is always in, lets not lie to ourselves and just because you used to once be able to wear dramatic sixties doll eyes, hard punk liner or that Debbie Harry smudged up hotness doesn’t mean you can’t still or again. I’ve found this collection a great way to create a version of what everyone is calling “The Global Traveller”, a bohemian twist of eclecticism with opulent smokey eyes and intense lips regardless of your age. I‘m glad to see that Box looked to her target market for this collection and despite this season‘s focus on shadow, hollow contours and matte textures she has kept skin bright, illuminated and almost glossy with her creamy highlights leaving it looking plump and youthful. The colours, in their packaging, aren’t as arresting as past collections and therefore they don’t marginalize anyone they are all inclusive, but when they are applied with the Alex Box flare for the dramatic we don’t see the Tom Ford girl, the YSL girl or even the Illamasqua girl, we see the individual.
Check out our YouTube tutorial and step by step guide on how to create a “Fun at 40” look that would give Siouxsie Sioux a run for her money, it‘s coming soon so keep those kohl rimmed peepers open!!!! Remember it’s free to subscribe and each new tutorial that goes up, you’ll be the first to know ;)
Lots of Love
Janie MACK
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The Makeup bag Massacre - Part1

Posted by Oh So WOW
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on Wednesday, 19 September 2012
in Product Features

What every girl needs in her make up bag! 

What do you have in your make up bag?  

Have you ever given it much thought ?  Well think again and watch our video focusing on Mascara. 

Take one 19 year old,  Laura......Take one professional Makeup artist,  Janie Mack....

A camera and a bottle of champagne and what do you get .......

Laura like many of you out there wanted to know what every girl needs in their day time makeup kit.  Janie Mack managed to get Laura to empty her everyday makeup bag in front of the WOW cameras and see what was Wow and what was NOT when it comes to mascara! 



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Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Married

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on Wednesday, 12 September 2012
in Celebrity News


Blake and Ryan Married

The news hot off the press is that Gossip Girl star Blake Lively has married her Green Lantern co-star Ryan Reynolds after only a year together. It’s no surprise that Reynolds is smitten with the star whose role as Serena Van der Woodsen has moulded her into the stylish, glamour goddess that we’ve come to know her as. In this photo of the two at a Green Lantern Premiere we see the casual chic fishtail plait and fresh glowing beauty that is characteristic of Lively. In spite of her designer prowess as Serena, Blake is undoubtedly herself with a subtle brown and gold smokey eye, discreet lashes, bronzed skin and a cheek that appears to just bloom onto the apple. Lively’s skin in this picture is what we all aspire to have, clear, radiant and light coverage. She wears the bronze inspired texture trend with soft creamy bases and shimmering highlights, a classic look of SS12. Here at OhSoWow we can’t wait to see the Wedding Pics and you can be rest assured that as soon as we do, we’ll have a beauty breakdown and how to video almost as quick as the happy couples engagement. Let’s hope Scarlett’s not too put out!

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