Thursday, 14 November 2013

Beauty Day At The Cassie Lomas Makeup Academy


I have dreamt of doing a makeup course for ages and it still is something I so desperately want to do but to get in with an accredited school the fees are just somewhat out of my reach. Some start from around £2000 and can range up to an incredible £8000. There is just no way that at this moment in time (and probably at any at other moment in time) I’ll be able to afford what they’re asking, it’s disheartening but I guess it’s just the way it is. Not to mention the fact that the majority of schools are based in London and getting there/staying there while I do a course isn’t really a viable option. Aaaanyway enough sulking….to console myself a little at the irritating reality, I found the Cassie Lomas Makeup Academy in Manchester on the web and after schmoozing through their multiple courses I found the one day beauty basics course. I was literally over the moon that I’d found something that was both affordable and where I knew I was going to get advice and tips from an expert. I also couldn't believe it was in Manchester! London usually gets all the good stuff so having this up here in the North is actually refreshing! So with this in mind I booked on for the 26h of September at a price of £75.
So more about CLMA, it is owned and run by the very talented MUA Cassie Lomas. She’s worked with many a celebrity and has recently featured on the ITV daytime show “Star Treatment” which ran in August. She opened up her own academy in her home town of Manchester back in 2011 and it has flourished ever since! It is located in the very quirky Northern Quarter and the studio itself is beautiful. It has a very underground basement feel to it but Cassie has dressed it in a way that allows for space and light to flow with big lights and white walls. The minimalism of the studio is accessorised with copy after copy of Vogue and Elle sat along a naked brick wall, there for when the budding makeup artist needs a fresh bout of creativity. The MUA stations are also very well thought out, there are around twelve stations with dressing room type mirrors sat on large wooden dressers with heavy black chairs, it really is where you would want to be when learning the tricks of the trade.
When I spent the day there I was greeted by Helen, who I later learnt was actually Cassie’s mum. She works behind the scenes, making sure the cogs keep turning and has such a big and lovely personality that she is definitely hard to forget! She immediately made me and the other girls feel at ease by offering us tea and scones which I was more than happy to indulge in! We then met Sophie and Collette, Collette was going to be our tutor for the day and she was so lovely. She was incredibly easy to talk to and made us laugh as she went through demonstrations of matching the correct foundations to skin tones and telling us basic steps of skin care. I’m aware of many of the basic areas Collette talked about (as I do spend half my life on youtube and on beauty blogs!) but I learnt something knew in the area of concealing. She showed us how to use different coloured concealers from greens to reds and explained what they were for and how they colour corrected. I had never properly looked into how colours worked on the skin and it is definitely crucial in understanding the art of makeup so having Collette tell us this was really interesting. Alongside this we looked at contouring, highlighting, bronzing and blush. Contouring and highlighting is something I'm always trying to perfect so having someone there to demonstrate the proper technique was something I was thankful for!
The CLMA also has a whole range of different products to choose from and play with so I was able to mess about with brands I hadn’t used or come across before. I used MAC Face & Body for the first time, after wanting to try it for so long! Another product I used was the Daniel Sandler Watercolour blushes, I haven’t ever tried anything from the Daniel Sandler range and these watercolours were incredible, keep meaning to order myself some! Aside from being able to use the academy makeup we also took in our own makeup bags and brushes so that we could get advice on the best way to use our own products. It was great to see what products the other girls used too, I love hearing what people like and dislike and what they would recommend so I really enjoyed this aspect of meeting everyone. It was a really laid back and fun day and nothing was too serious, we all had a laugh, especially with one girl who had a whole bag of MAC products and brushes that she’d never even touched!

I would really recommend this course if you are completely new to makeup or don’t have much confidence in its application. It is a basic beauty day and it concentrates on the personal application of makeup and how to apply basic products. I am knowledgeable about much of what Collette talked about simply because I am makeup obsessed and spend hours reading reviews, blogs and watching tutorials therefore I think I would benefit from something more advanced. However it is perfect if you have never properly indulged in makeup before and it can also make for a great present for a fellow female who may love a day of learning the basics.
I’m really glad I got to go and experience the CLMA even if it was just for one day, maybe at some point I’ll be able to call myself a proper CLMA student but for now a girl can only dream!
Visit the CLMA website at
* Above image taken from the CLMA website, not my own image. Happy to take it down if requested.
Han X

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Autumn Tag!

I was tagged to do this autumn post by Rosie @ sleeplesswithsienna, I haven’t done one of these before but there’s nothing I like more than a change in season! We had a brilliant summer and autumn has really started to kick in now, I even had to whip out my Ugg’s the other day! The above picture is Poppy, she's my boyfriend's mum's dog who comes to stay when they go on holiday! She looks very cosy and cute so I thought this pic was appropriate!

For autumn, what is your...

1.  Favourite thing about it?  I do feel like Autumn is a bit of a limbo season, it’s too cold for summer yet not cold enough for winter, so the best thing about it for me is the whole build up to Christmas. Plus my mum always changes the colour scheme of accessories in the living room (taking away the blues and greens of the summer and changing them for cranberry and burgundy shades) it always feels super cosy in our house throughout this time of year and I love it. Plus Halloween and Bonfire night are always good!

2.  Favourite drink?  Hot vimto obviously, such a good drink for cold days and evenings! Had my first one of the season the other day! I am partial to a hot chocolate with cream on top too.

3.  Favourite scent/candle? Cinnamon scented candles. My absolute favourite for this time of year! We have them on sale at work at the moment so I get to smell them all day long!

4.  Best lipstick?  I haven’t got too many Autumnal appropriate lipsticks but I aim to get my hands on MAC’s rebel soon which is a very deep plum shade.

5.  Go to moisturiser? I have a few, Nip and Fab’s dry leg fix, for the pins, Body Shop’s body butter in Strawberry for all over and I’m not big on moisturising my face as they tend to break me out and just make everything a whole lot worse. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect contender!

6.  Go to colours for the eyes?  Definitely browns and bronze tones, plus a bit of gold shimmer as we near December, nothing like a gold infused smokey eye! I’ve also had my eye on plum and cranberry shades as I already LOVE my Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate but Benefit also do Bad Gal Lash in shade called Plum which I’m totally intrigued by. Not sure quite how I’d work it but it’d be interesting!

7.  Favourite music or band/singer to listen to?  I’m totally all over London Grammar at the minute, so so good.

8.  Favourite outfit to wear (i.e. boots & a scarf combo)? Black skinnies are my favourite at the minute, definitely need more of those! I love my grey boyfriend coat too, I’m actually surprised at how warm it keeps me!

9.  Autumn treat?  (i.e. a new scarf or bag you have your eye on) Lily Pebbles recently posted about an absolutely gorgeous tartan scarf from Zara, so THAT is what my eye is on!

10.  Favourite place to be?  Piggin’ out at my boyfriends! I do really enjoy going for pub lunches in cute country pubs too! There is one up int ‘ills near to wear my boyfriend lives and they have an open fire and have the family dog roaming around, it’s so cute!
If you're reading this I tag you to do this post! Certainly gets you in the mood for your dressing gown and a hot chocolate!
Han X

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Topshop Highlighter Review

So everyone’s been ranting and raving over the Topshop makeup collection ever since its release, which was something like two/three years ago now. I haven’t delved into it too much, but they have managed to make my face all aglow with their selection of highlighters. The first one I laid my mitts on was the Sunbeam highlighter, a versatile product that can be used on both the face and body. What I will say about this product is that a little does go a long way, you get 6.5g for your money and it comes in a practical flip top compact. I do love highlighter but I certainly don’t wear it every day, and even for those that do it will take a helluva long time to touch pan on this £10 number. Now down to the actual product, the shade holds a yellowy golden hue, that sounds pretty awful but it’s not, I’d even liken it to a burnt yellow, however it’s dressed up, this shade is pretty. Albeit this shade is probs more summer appropriate but hey, that never stopped anyone. If you’re lucky enough to still be donning a sunkissed glow then this will only accentuate that tan, if not however, I think bronzer in all the right places will do the trick.

Following in its footsteps, comes the Glow highlighter in Polished. I love that Topshop have offered two completely different highlighting products, I don’t feel like they are too similar to warrant having them both anyway! Glow comes in a cute screw lid frosted pot, with the all too familiar Topshop detailing on the lid, the product however is what it’s really about. It has a super creamy, mousse type consistency which is really light to apply and is also really light to wear. It’s got that barely there feel to it as well as being high on the pigmentation front. As for the shade, it is what I can only describe as pearlescent off white with champagne tones, it’s shimmery and lovely and although I was dubious about this looking too “frosted” on the skin it does create the perfect “glow”.

Glow - Topshop @ £9

Sunbeam - Topshop @ £10

What do you think of these? Have you tried them?
Han X

Monday, 21 October 2013

Naked Basics Review

Naked Basics is the little sister of our beloved Naked and Naked 2 palettes. It’s pretty much true to its name, basic. That isn’t to say that these neutral shades are boring because they aren’t, they are practical colours that can be used singularly or dually to create a look, or alongside other alternative colours to heighten or tone down. I wasn’t sure if I would get much use out of this seeing as it does only feature five matte shades and one shimmer; some are rather similar, but I’ve used them all frequently. My favourites have got to be Faint and Venus. Faint makes for the perfect crease shade and Venus is such a pretty highlighter, eyes, cheekbones, cupids bow, it works for them all! This palette is perfect for just chucking in your makeup bag when you’re on the go; it can create a quick simple eye as well as being versatile enough for use on your eyebrows. I haven’t personally used it for this as my brows/hair are very dark, but for lighter haired girls it, Faint and Naked 2, or a mixture of them both would be perf! I would recommend this for girls who are after something compact that can be used every day, if you’re looking for something all singing and dancing, then this isn’t the one. Overall I think Urban Decay have delivered yet again!
Naked Basics Palette - £20 @ 
Have you tried any of the Naked palettes?
Han X 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick Shodo Pen Review


Ahhh Charlotte Tilbury. The woman every female wishes they had in their life of a morning. She is an artistic genius to say the least. She can literally transform any woman, no matter how hard the challenge. I love watching videos of her at her craft on YouTube, (although I hate that she makes things look so bloody easy) she does amazing talk throughs of the looks she creates and they always look incredible. Aaaanyway, as most of us know she brought out her very own collection in September and as she is very much the queen of the ‘feline flick’ I thought it’d only be right that I got my hands on the Shodo Pen first and foremost! I have only ever really dabbled with gel eyeliner to be honest and although I feel comfortable creating the aforementioned cat eye, I thought having this in my life would make things both easier and quicker and so far, it has.

The Shodo Pen is in essence a felt eyeliner and as this is the first one I have ever used, I cannot really compare it to cheaper alternatives. The pen tip is very fine and pointed, perfect for its primary use of being able to create flicks with ease. I have found it to be so much easier than applying gel, and if you’re a first timer at the whole liquid eyeliner thing, I’d recommend one of these. However I have found some issues with this product. It applies perfectly and with ease over the eyelid, but when trying to use the pen with precision to recreate the feline flick, the very tip of the pen is just a little bit dryer than the rest of the pen which can be annoying when I’m trying to achieve precision. I have also found that it never truly sets. I can be a bugger for forgetting I’m wearing it and it does tend to smudge if your hands go astray. I was disappointed with this aspect of it as I expected it to be hard wearing. The product also claims to be waterproof, which I can’t say I’ve trialled and tested, but despite this, the formula is incredibly easy to remove. I’d also like to mention that this eyeliner does manage to maintain its jet black shade throughout pro-longed wear, often eyeliners can turn an off black or even a grey but this manages to obtain its colour.

I don’t regret buying this product as I really wanted to try the Charlotte Tilbury collection out for size as it does apply seamlessly when it wants too. I think however that there are probably many cheaper alternatives out there that can do a similar job and for half the price as at £22 it’s not exactly cheap!

The Feline Flick Quick Fine Line Shodo Pen - £22 @
Are there any alternatives you would recommend?
Han X

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo Review

So Maybelline Colour Tattoos have been out for some time now, but they’ve always been pushed to the bottom of my makeup bag…until now. I had previously bought the shades Permanent Taupe and On and On Bronze but it wasn’t until I went into Boot’s a few weeks ago and purchased Metallic Pomegranate that I really began to show affection for these tiny pots of peeper goodness. First off I can’t tell you how much I’m loving the pomegranate shade. I’m baffled as to why I didn’t get this earlier?! It’s a purple shade infused with reds and pinks, creating the perfect base for an eye on a night out. I thought perhaps it’d make my eyelids look bruised or tired but instead it helped me achieve the most flattering cranberry toned smokey eye and I was so impressed! It’s a bit more daring than your bog standard neutral tones, which we all love but I do like something a little different. I find these pots by Maybelline amazing because you can so easily where them alone (I wear Pomegranate alone frequently!) and you can vamp them up with lighter or darker toned shadows. They are so versatile and quick to apply. Quick dab with your finger and you’re done. It’s that easy.

The other shades I have I haven’t worn quite as much. I think On and On Bronze is going to become a favourite in the run up to Christmas however as it is definitely a party season shade! Permanent Taupe I’ve worn a handful of times as a good base for a subtle smokey eye. It is a matte grey shade and like the rest of the shadow pots from the collection, the pigment is hhhheavy, just what we want! Overall I’m mega impressed with these and they have been likened to MAC’s paint pots, which I personally have never tried. I don’t suppose I’ll ever need too with dupes as good as these available on the high street! They do have a fair few colours out now, some fairly questionable orange and blue shades but let’s just go with it ey.

Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo - £4.99 @ Boots

What shade do you prefer? Have you tried these before?

Han X

Monday, 30 September 2013

MAC Impassioned Lipstick Review

Impassioned. Another dangerously daring colour from the MAC Amplified collection, but one that I LOVE. It’s not for the faint hearted, probably not as vibrant and in your face as Girl About Town but it’s on that scale. It’s an electric pink shade and I love how it transfers onto the lips. It’s such a statement lipstick and can certainly add that extra something to the simplest of outfits. Like all the Amplified finishes, it is super pigmented and isn’t drying either. So you can have your statement lippy whilst keeping your pout moisturised! It's very long lasting and I’d suggest using a lip brush with this one, and certainly a mirror as the colour is so intense it can leave stubborn staining around your mouth, swatching on my hand was bad enough! About staining, this certainly stains the lips after prolonged wear, it can become quite difficult to remove and the colour is still reminiscent after cleansing, so make sure you do it thoroughly unless you fancy looking like the joker! But of course I am willing to put up with these cons for the simple fact that I love this beautiful shade!
Left - Swatch with flash/ Right - Swatch without flash. My camera unfortunately washed most of the vibrancy out of this colour, in person it is much louder than what is displayed on these photos. The colour is reflected best in the shot with the flash however.
Impassioned - £15 @ MAC

Have you ever tried this MAC shade? What is your favourite one?
Han X

Friday, 27 September 2013

Benefit Bad Gal Lash Review

I find Benefit to be a bit like Marmite, I either fall in love with their products or I can’t stand them. For instance I trialled and tested the hugely popular They’re Real! mascara a few months back and failed to see the hype around it. It just did nothing for me whatsoever! However it’s not completely put me off Benefit mascaras so after deliberating somewhat in Sephora and being hurried on to make a decision from my boyfriend, I purchased Bad Gal Lash.

First off, I’ve took to it so much better than I did to They’re Real! It’s exactly my type of mascara. The wand is fairly sizable and probably a little daunting to some, but for me it’s the perfect shape. The wand fibres are compact and make the formula so easy to glide onto the lashes. You can literally get away with one quick coat, perfect for when you’re in a dash for work because you’ve watched Jezza Kyle ten minutes too long (all guilty of it). With one coat it thickens and elongates the lashes and with two you are able to gain a more dramatic, fuller look. The formula is deep black and isn’t too watery which is something that really bugs me in mascaras. It’s also super fast drying and doesn’t clump! Which is what I’ve learnt to expect with large wands, but thankfully Bad Gal is free from this!
The only thing I find a problem and an irritating one is that the full, long lash look you initially get doesn’t last long at all. It certainly doesn’t last my 8 hours at work as when I’m home my lashes look sort of limp and certainly not as full as when I set out. Perhaps it’s because I work so god damn hard (pah!) but it’s probably because it’s just not very long lasting!

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is perrfect for when you know you’re only going to be out for a few hours, but any more than about 4 and you’ll probably need to reapply! Gutted really because I just love the wand and formula! But hey, you win some, you lose some.
Bad Gal Lash - £17.50 @ Boots

Have you tried this mascara? What’s your favourite?

Han X

Monday, 23 September 2013

Collection Creampuff Review

I’ve not had many products from Collection (previously Collection 2000) but the ones I’ve had I’ve always been relatively impressed with. I picked up this CreamPuff a few months back after my sister having one and being impressed with her results. I’ve got this in the shade Fairycake 3, which is another pinky coral shade (which I was able to wear yesterday because we had a bit of sun here in Manc!). I love the colour soo much, it’s gorgeous but unfortunately the formula is just too drying for me. The packaging is true to its statement in every way with “velvety soft, matte finish”, but my lips just can’t handle it! The formula goes on like a dream, it feels really creamy but after a while or so I find it sets and the matte aspect of it just dries out my lips and really irritates me. But alas! All is not lost as whipping a bit of Vaseline over the top not only sorts this but actually enhances it! I’ve found that adding a balm or gloss over the top gives the lips such a nice sheen, heightens the colour and takes away that annoying dryness! The fact that it is a matte finish also means that it sticks to and draws attention to any dryness I may already have, which I don’t find attractive!
> With flash, without flash
> With flash, without flash, Crabtree & Evelyn Apricot Orange Shimmer Lipgloss applied over the top
> With flash, without flash swatches
Another thing that won me over was the smell, it smells just like marzipan! I’ve been trying to work out what it reminds me of for ages and I think that’s what it is! Alongside that is the colour which has great pigment and allows for complete lip coverage so you can fully don the matte lip if you so wish! As for the price £2.99 is cracking, it’s just a shame it only comes in four shades!

Collection Creampuff - £2.99 @ Boots
Crabtree & Evelyn Apricot Orange Shimmer Lipgloss - £8.60 @

Have you ever tried these before?

Han X

Friday, 20 September 2013

Bourjois Delice De Poudre Review

I had been after a new bronzer for a while and I had seen a friend of mine using this one by Bourjois, one of my favourite drugstore brands, so for £6.99 I thought why not. So far I have been pleasantly surprised; I have always been a little dubious of bronzers, living in fear of looking ompalumpa and not even realising. But thankfully I’ve always used it sparingly and with caution; heavy hands are to blame for a lot of makeup mishaps! 
The shade I bought in the Bourjois Delice de Poudre was in 52, the darkest shade they offer and I’ve found that it is just the right shade for me. The colour in the packaging doesn’t look too daunting anyway; it’s a nice shade of light tan but does have subtle orange undertones. The product is a matte finish with a slight hint of shimmer; this put me off at first as I thought I was going to look like I had been dipped in glitter but once on the face it isn’t even noticeable. But I suppose it all adds to that sunkissed holiday glow. It is also a product that can be used for contouring, the colour doesn’t apply to heavily at all and is so easy to build and blend, which is what I find useful with this stage of makeup, do it wrong and it can easily make you look like you need a wash!

Another notable thing about this bronzer is its acclaimed chocolatey scent. I wouldn’t say it screamed Cadburys, more a pleasant mix of chocolate and vanilla. But either way it smells pleasant and isn’t noticeable once applied to the face. The bronzer actually comes looking like a small piece of chocolate, with the product in the pan spilt into four, not good when your Mum’s got no biccys in and you have this staring at you. The only thing I don’t like about this, but it isn’t a major qualm is the packaging.  I really hate cardboard packaging, it’s not durable and isn’t attractive. But to be fair this one from Bourjois has stayed intact and is better quality than what I’ve come across in the past. Overall I think it makes for a great starting bronzer product, and even if you’re a bronzing sensation, I’d still recommend this fun and quality product.
Bourjois Delice De Poudre - £6.99 @ Boots
Have you tried this out? What bronzer would you recommend?
Han X

Thursday, 19 September 2013

MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick Review

We all love the little black bullets of lip goodness that MAC cosmetics constantly tempt us with, and I’m only about to tempt you with more. Vegas Volt, not a new shade from MAC I’ll say, but it is one that I, alongside many, love.
Vegas Volt is from MAC’s Amplified collection, a collection that holds more of the vivid colours from the range, which are all gorgeous. What I love about the Amplified finish is that the pigmentation is so rich, the colour you see on the stick is pretty much the exact colour that’ll transfer onto your lips. They are also fairly moisturising, with them having a creamy consistency there is no need to add lipgloss, they keep the lips nourished on their own. Vegas Volt holds great lasting power too, you can get a good couple of hours out of it without reapplying, but of course, a touch up will be needed if you’ve been caught stuffing your face! I’ve worn this shade all over the summer, and I’m pretty disappointed that it’ll probably be shoved to the back of the drawer once the winter colours start creeping in. The shade is something between a coral and a subtle orange with yellow tones. I have been loving this colour in everything, from blush form, to polishes, to my bags and shoes. So if we do get one more surprising day of sun amongst these rainy September days, I’ll definitely be embracing this shade one last time.
^ Swatch with flash, followed by swatch without flash

Vegas Volt - £15.00 @ MAC
Have you tried this MAC shade before? Which ones are your favourite?
Han X


I'm Hannah and welcome to Champagnetote, my personal blogging space that shall be primarily dedicated to my love of beauty, with fashion and style not too far behind. I’ll be posting my thoughts on products new and old, good and bad, enabling fellow bloggers and readers to get a feel of what’s worth purchasing and what’s not. I’m looking forwards to nurturing my creative space into something I love.

If you've come from my previous blog, she'smadeup then thankyou for your support, it's appreciated and so are any new readers. I decided on a fresh start as I wasn't happy with the layout, wasn't happy with the content, wasn't happy with the name and I wasn't giving it my full attention. Hopefully this blog will flourish into something I'm really happy with and proud of - I've even bought myself a blogging diary to keep me organised!
Cheers again,

Han XX