Travelling Abroad with my MAC Travel Case

MAC Travel Case


With an exciting upcoming destination wedding overseas I couldn’t resist purchasing the M.A.C Travel Case. Let’s face it my current makeup trolley was not fit for travelling overseas yet alone getting past customs!

It is probably no surprise that I’m the type of person that always travels with my personal makeup in my handbag. The risk of cracked/shattered eye shadows and blushes in my main luggage is just not worth it and lets not even talk about the possibility of the airline loosing it! In saying that I still struggle to travel with the bare minimum. I often get the odd look from customs officers wondering why someone would be travelling with 4 different foundations in their carry on not to mention 5 different lipglosses and lipsticks. “What, I’m a Makeup Artist” I say laughingly hoping they won’t dear confiscate any of my priced possessions!

Now not only having to travel with my own personal makeup I knew I had to source a makeup bag big enough yet small enough to pass as a carry on.

MAC Travel Case, Makeup Bag

MAC Travel Case, Makeup Bag

The M.A.C Travel Case contains three zipped compartments made of mesh fabric on one side and clear, plastic removable bags – two large and two small – on the other. The clear plastic removable bags are just brilliant for keeping my disposable items such as mascara wands and tools in place. Plus I love the fact I can remove each bag and place them on my work bench without having to take each individual item out. I also have the choice of carrying the Travel Case via the handles or attaching adjustable shoulder straps to throw over my shoulder. Basically I’d almost describe it as a giant laptop bag but for makeup!

MAC Travel Case

MAC Travel Case

At the moment I have been using this Travel Case along with my makeup trolley for my everyday clients and absolutely love it! It is also perfect for doing makeup on set locations as at times you may be finding yourself following the photography crew through bush to a terrain to get that perfect shot. Having something that is easily portable like the M.A.C Travel Case is an absolute must in these situations.

I hope some of my fellow Makeup Artist’s find this post useful regarding the mission we all face of transporting our makeup. I know I will have restrictions of gels/liquids but as long as they are under 100ml. I will also have to put some liquid foundations in my main luggage.

The M.A.C Travel Case can be purchased at any Pro MAC Store and retails for $325NZD.


Much love


Janet xoxo






My Secret Weapon For Pale Complexions

MAC Face & Body


If you were anything like me when growing up; pale as a ghost, being asked numerous times if you are feeling sick – then you’ll know the struggle of finding a foundation that matches our white porcelain complexions.


When I first tried searching for a foundation I quickly realised I had a narrow selection to choose from regardless of brand or type. So many popular brands were not even an option for me. I think all Makeup Artists would agree that a correct colour match takes priority over coverage, type and durableness. I refused to walk around with the so-called peach line or orange face. Of course the only foundation range that had my colour at the age of 15 was high end. Thankfully I had a mum that loved makeup and who was willing to purchase an Elizabeth Arden foundation for her daughter’s everyday use (yessssss love you Mum!).


However there comes a time when us pale ones want to be able to use the latest new foundation. Or we have a particular foundation we love that still isn’t quite the right match despite it being the lightest colour in the range! Well ladies, let me introduce you to my secret weapon. M.A.C. Face & Body White, which literally is white foundation. A couple of drops of this baby and you are able to lighten your foundation colour without interfering too much with the texture and benefits of your original foundation.


My foundation routine for the past few years has been the legendary Estee Lauder Double Wear in the colour Ivory Nude 1N1. During the winter months when I don’t have a fake tan (cause let’s face it I don’t tan naturally) this colour is slightly too dark. A couple of drops of M.A.C. Face & Body added to my Double Wear as shown below is perfect in bringing it down 1/2 a shade.


MAC Face&Body, Estee Lauder Double Wear


There are a few select foundations that do cater to us Porcelain Beauties so let me know if you would like me to do a blog on some of my favourite pale foundations. In the meantime I hope this technique might help some of you who are already on the lightest foundation shade in a range. I definitely feel your pain!


Much Love



Are You A Makeup Geek?

If you don’t follow the YouTube world of makeup gurus then you may not have heard of the brand “Makeup Geek”. Just to do a quick recap if you are new: In 2008 before the hype of YouTube careers and before I became a Makeup Artist I came across Marlena Stell’s YouTube channel called ‘Makeup Geek’. Her videos were straight to the point, educational and contained looks anyone could create. With her professional manner and love for M.A.C eyeshadows I instantly became a fan, or shall I say – a “Makeup Geek”.

Over the years Marlena’s channel grew and she eventually developed her own makeup products in 2011 under the “Makeup Geek” brand. Makeup Geek’s first product launch was their eyeshadows and dang they are good! With a huge variety of gorgeous chocolate brown shades, beautiful mattes, high pigmentation (that you don’t have to swirl your brush around a million times to get enough product on it) and all for a fraction less of the price, what’s not to love!

I recently restocked some of my favourite shades via the online shop at and at the same time I purchased the Makeup Geek Travel Vault Palette. I absolutely love the density of this palette knowing that it will last and protect my eyeshadows with all the travelling I do. The only criticism I have is I wish they made it in a pro palette size to fit all shadows in one palette! I’m keeping fingers crossed that this size is in the pipeline to be launched in the near future.

Here are photos of my Makeup Geek eyeshadow colours in pan format as well as swatches. I decided to do both because I find the colour in pan format can appear so different once swatched on your skin. Hopefully this helps when choosing colours to add to your shopping chart 😛


MakeupGeek Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek Swatches


The first palette that I’ve put together is what I’d call your ‘necessities’. These colours are extremely popular, even if you add a pop of colour from another palette you’ll always be using one if not a couple of these shades to help transition and blend your masterpiece.

Vanilla Bean (Matte)
I love using this colour for my brow bone as it matches my skin tone reasonably well. I’m a MAC NW10-20.

Repunzel (Slight Shimmer)
Great if you want that ivory skin tone with a hint of gold, or shall I say warm shimmer, on your brow bone or lid. It could even be worn as a soft highlighter for fair to medium skin tones.

Mirage (Matte)
Ivory with yellow undertones; great for the brow bone if you have a yellow-based skin tone or find Vanilla Bean too fair.

Beaches & Cream (Matte)
A light apricot pinky tone that is great to use as a transition colour, especially during the summer months.

Peach Smoothie (Matte)
A light peach transition colour made famous thanks to YouTuber Jaclyn Hill. Without a doubt she uses this in almost every single makeup look she creates.

Crème Brulee (Matte)
Warm caramel colour.

Frappe (Matte)
Similar to Crème Brulee but has a slightly burnt orange/red tone to it.

Latte (Matte)
The perfect light brown that is not too warm or too cool; my absolute favourite go-to medium colour as it’s so versatile.

CocoaBear (Matte)
I may be wrong but I’ve heard that this eyeshadow is named after Marlena’s now husband who she nicknames cocoabear. If so, I think it is super cute and no surprise that it’s her favourite shade. A beautiful cocoa shade that has very warm earthy tones to it; a staple for everyone’s eyeshadow palette.


MakeupGeek Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek Swatches


My absolute favourite palette at the moment consists of all those yummy mauve, berry, plum and burgundy colours which I can’t get enough of this winter.

Shimma Shimma (Extremely shimmering hence the name)
Beautiful pearl shimmer tone that is perfect for adding that extra pop on the inner corners of the eye.

Sorbet (Matte)
Pastel melon pink.

Cupcake (Matte)
An earthy tone rose pink.

Confection (Matte)
I absolutely love using this blush pastel lilac shade as a transition colour followed by Petal Pusher and Vintage.

Petal Pusher (Matte)
A gorgeous blush rose pink.

Unexpected (Matte)
Similar to Petal Pusher but with more of a cool mauve tone rather than pink.

Vintage (Matte)
A dark cool grape tone shade.

Cherry Cola (Matte)
Burgundy plum shade that I absolute love to create a smokey eye look with.

Bitten (Slight Shimmer)
These red burgundy colours will always remind me of the Twilight Saga when the burgundy smokey eye look and green vampire eyes were a match made in heaven! The perfect colour if you want green eyes to pop.


MakeupGeek Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek Swatches


White Lies (Matte)
White as snow!

High Tea (Matte)
A perfect kaki green colour.

Brownie Points (Matte)
A cool tone brown with a slight taupe/mauve tone.

HomeComing (Shimmer)
This gorgeous silver brown taupe colour that adds an amazing pop on the lid to a cool brown tone smokey eye. Pair it with a dark purple or lilac lippy and wow… just wow!

Mocha (Matte)
This colour along with Latte were one of my first purchases and are still my favourite go to. I had been searching everywhere for that perfect chocolate colour that wasn’t too warm or charcoal-looking once you’ve applied it. This is just perfect! Seriously, if you hold up a block of chocolate next to it you couldn’t get a better match.

Wild West (Matte)
This one photographed so differently on par compared to the swatch but I’d describe it as M.A.C’s whirl lip line, a dusty rose brown.

Roulette (Shimmer)
This stunning pinky copper tone would look amazing in the warmer months, bring on summer!

Americano (Matte)
Similar to the shade Vintage with cool tone grape undertones; however Americano does have more of a brown finish.

Corrupt (Matte)
You know when you use a black eyeshadow and it turns out grey or a blue charcoal colour once on the eyelid? Well not with this baby! Seriously, I have never come across an eyeshadow that is soo pitch black and stays true to its colour. Love using this to slightly darken up the edges of the eyelid or as a smoked-out winged liner.


Marlena’s goal has always been to provide top quality products that are cruelty free and at an affordable price by selling directly to her followers. She has done so well to accomplish just that, an inspiring female entrepreneur that I absolutely adore!

Comment below and let me know what your favourite Makeup Geek eyeshadows are or if you plan to become a first time Makeup Geek ☺


Much love to you all.

Janet xoxo




The Dreaded Double Wear Flashback

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation


Let’s just get one thing straight – not all Foundations with SPF cause flash back, otherwise known as the ghost face look.


There are two types of SPF’s you need to know about:

– Physical, and

– Chemical.


Most Physical SPF’s contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (these are opaque, white, finely powdered minerals) that blocks UV radiation by reflecting the sunrays and camera flash. Chemical SPF’s with ingredients such as Octinoxate, absorb the UV radiation rather than reflecting it; hence minimal flash back. Some foundations will even contain both Physical and Chemical SPF which can help counteract the flash back depending on the volumes Physical vs Chemical.

Unfortunately Estee Lauder Double Wear does have a Physical SPF which contains Titanium Dioxide. Hence why so many have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look. I for one have been guilty of this, as seen below in a photo taken at my husband’s 21st in 2010.


Estee Lauder Double Wear Backflash


I am naturally super pale so the contrast isn’t major but you can notice a difference between my face vs neck/chest area. At the time I couldn’t understand why despite my efforts of fake tanning and applying extra bronzer on top of my foundation (no judging please, this was before my Makeup Artist day’s haha) I still had the white ghost face look.

For loyal Double Wear fans it is important to note this side effect is only emphasized when a photo is taken using a flash and when there is low lighting. Don’t sweat it if you are attending a day event where there is plenty of natural lighting. (Just be prepared to tackle the photographer if they decide to shoot inside with the flash on!).


So what to do if you are attending an evening event you might ask?

I’ve found adding a drop or two of another foundation that either doesn’t contain SPF, or has an SPF without zinc oxide or titanium dioxide seems to do the trick.

 M.A.C Face and Body

 Lancome Foundation

Depending on the foundation you add it may slightly change the finish (whether it is matte or dewy), but it thankfully doesn’t affect that fantastic Double Wear staying power. My personal preference of foundations to mix with Double Wear is Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation or M.A.C. Face and Body. I absolutely love adding Lancôme’s Teint Miracle Foundation. You will too, especially if you suffer from the dried-up prune look thanks to Double Wear’s extremely matte finish.

Comment below on your experiences with Double Wear and if you’re brave enough I’d love to see a photo where you have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look.


Much love


Janet xoxo



Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation Review

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – you either love it or hate it but I think it is fair to say it is one of the most talked about high-end foundations. I for one am a loyal fan and have definitely found it to live up to its claims of being a long-wearing flawless foundation through heat and humidity. I’ll never forget being asked by my mother-in-law one stifling hot Christmas afternoon “Janet! how is it that your makeup has not melted off in this heat?!” haha thanks Double Wear you’ve got my back 😉

Estee Lauder Double Wear FoundationI’ve tried some of the top longwearing foundations on the market: Lancôme Ultra 24H, MAC Pro Longwear, Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation and Revlon ColourStay. All are good foundations but when it comes to that 3.00 pm melting forehead test – Double Wear wins hands down.



Double Wear comes in 36 colours and has 3 shade categories:

W – Warm (Yellow Undertones)
N – Neutral (Beige Undertones)
C – Cool (Pink Undertones)

You will find that within these categories the shades range from numbers 1 to 6. Be aware that unless you live in the USA your stockist will not have all 36 shades to choose from. Some countries only stock certain shades (most annoying I know) so you may have to do some online shopping.

Below I have swatched the first six shades in each category so that you can see the difference between the three undertones.


WARM: These shades are perfect for those who have yellow undertones, or when tanned tend to have a yellow/orange undertone rather than olive.

Estes Lauder Foundation W Shades


NEUTRAL: I find the light shades in the N category to be the most popular amongst us porcelain-skinned individuals who like me do not tan easily. 1N1 Ivory Nude is my personal every day shade; with a fake tan I am able to move up to 2N2 Desert Beige. You’ll note as the N shades get darker they tend to suit those who have a more olive skin tone. If I’m feeling extra brave and decide to go a bit darker with my tanning I do find I have to move to the W shade category. My skin just can’t pull off an olive tan!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation


COOL: To me foundations should either have a yellow or beige undertone. I do not stock any of the C shade categories in my Professional Kit. This is a personal preference (and opinion) as I find foundations with heavy pink undertones tend to emphasize redness in the face, looks unnatural, can promote that pinky/orange foundation line and in some cases can even look ashy.

I find those who have any hint of redness in their checks or neck/chest area seem to get colour matched to 2C2 Pale Almond or 2C3 Fresco. Word of advice if you are matched to a C shade category, ask to be matched to a shade from one of the other categories as well. I’d then get samples of those two shades so that at home you can apply them on either sides of your face. This way you can see the two undertones along side each other in natural daylight. Also ask friends and family as you can be sure to get a brutally honest opinion regarding which side does not match. At the end of the day makeup all comes down to personal preference so if you are still finding your C shade category the better match, then go for it 🙂

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation



A frustration I found with Double Wear is the packaging. Why oh why did they not design a bottle with a pump!

In the past I had replaced all my Double Wear screw caps with individual M.A.C foundation pumps but they still weren’t a perfect fit. However, I am now proud to say I have cracked the code with Clinique’s Superbalanced Makeup Foundation Pump; it fits like a glove! Yay for less mess and minimal product wastage. But be warned, I had to shop high and low for these babies. Your Clinique consultant may have to go digging at the back of stock drawers – so good luck.

Clinique Superbalanced Makeup Foundation Pump

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation


Overall Double Wear has just the right amount of thickness without feeling too heavy on the skin. It provides a flawless medium to full coverage so that there is almost no need to apply concealer on those dreaded blemishes.


  • Long Lasting
  • Flawless Med-Full Coverage
  • Prevents Shine
  • A Little Goes a Long Way


  • Screw Top Lid
  • Can Cause Flashback in Photos
  • Emphasizes Fine Lines on Dry Skin
  • Is a Bit Pricey $69NZD

If you are a Double Wear user I’d love to hear what shade you were matched to (or are using), so don’t forget to comment below!

Let me also know if you would be keen for me to do a blog post on how to avoid the dreaded flashback in photos that Double Wear is sometimes known for.

Much love to you all!

Janet xoxo