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here come the girls: hen party experiences & pro tutorials with a j edgar mua

May 1st, 2018 | Rachel Parry

A J Edgar (12)

When it comes to planning a hen do it can be tricky to think of an ‘activity’ that’s original and will appeal to all ages and personalities within the group. But thanks to our fabulous North-East based Sponsor, freelance makeup artist Alexandra Jane Edgar, we have a winning suggestion for you that’s guaranteed to go down a treat with all your beloved hens – a professional makeover and photo shoot! We said it was fabulous!

Based in the studio of Joe Laws Photography, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Alexandra has added this hen party experience to her list of services, so girls can get glammed up before hitting the town and take away some stunning professional shots with their leading ladies as a gorgeous souvenir of their pre-wedding celebrations.

Not only that but Alexandra is also offering group and private makeup classes to help ladies get out of a beauty rut and enhance their features while learning top products, tips and tricks along the way. And those further afield than the North East need not miss out of Alexandra’s golden advice as she’s started a series of online makeup tutorials too. Is there no end to this lady’s talents?

Here to tell us more is the expert herself. Over to you Alexandra…

With images by Joe Laws Photography.

A J Edgar (4)

You’ve recently introduced a Hen Party Experience to the portfolio of fabulous services that you offer. Can you tell us a little about this?

alexandra says: Our Hen Party Experience is a new, feel good service providing you and your main girls an amazing treat. All hens get a pamper session with eyes, cheeks and lips at £35 each, with the bride-to-be getting a consultation on skincare, full professional makeup application and hair styled for £55. Next, it’s time to hit the studio and enjoy a photoshoot by award-winning wedding and portrait photographer Joe Laws. Each hen will choose a digital photograph and the bride-to-be chooses an additional one of the entire party to take away with them. Any additional images, prints, framing are also available at an additional cost.

How have the hen party sessions been received so far?

The feedback has been amazing with our parties coming from as far as Northern Ireland and Scotland so far. They say it is a great way to spend an afternoon before going into town to party. It’s a professional, fun experience where everyone gets to look and feel their best. Not only will the session encourage brides-to-be to book their wedding makeup trial, it’s also a great opportunity for some practice in front of a professional photographer – and most of all, they all have fun with beautiful images to take away and treasure. It certainly beats a selfie!

A J Edgar (3)

You also run a number of makeup classes at the studio. Why did you want to introduce this service and who do the classes appeal to?

I have been asked for a very long time from clients if I offer classes and tutorials. I decided to offer this service and the feedback and enquiries have been fantastic. I had not realised how intimidating us ladies can find makeup, and how difficult some find it to find a makeup artist they can trust. I run monthly events at the studio (details can be found on my Facebook page) which are a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, get some advice on products and learn, as I show you “how to” on my model. I am also available for private classes, which are great for mums and daughters, or a few friends, looking for some new ideas, tips and tricks. This service appeals to all ladies looking for an informative, fun experience learning new skills and gaining confidence with their look. Events are £15 per person, and private/group consultations are £35 each.

What are the main beauty mistakes that ladies tend to make?

I honestly don’t think it’s the ladies who make the mistakes. I genuinely believe they have been served with the wrong products for their needs initially. I have seen this time and time again. The consultants are not asking the right questions, nor are they listening to the answers. The client walks away having spent money, gets home and doesn’t have a clue how to use her new products. I am passionate about skincare and makeup. It is magical and empowering. I am able to guide you on the best, effective, cruelty free, luxury products to use to suit your lifestyle whilst keeping it easy and transparent.

A J Edgar (14)

Your latest venture is video makeup tutorials, which sound exciting – can you tell us more please?

My desire to help others enjoy, experiment and feel good with incredible products has catapulted me right out of my comfort zone. I wished to present my brand in a luxurious, fun, easy going, informative way. I want my clients to see real women, the process, the application, the finish. My videos are currently on my Facebook page, however I am in the process of setting up a Youtube Channel – AJ Edgar Make up Artist – where they will all be together. I will keep you posted!

So what type of videos have you done so far and what else do you have planned?

My first two tutorials have been modelled by two incredible dancers, Jessica and Elena. My first look is based on enhancing Jessica’s own beauty, the second is empowering Elena with a catwalk inspired look from Sophia Webster’s dreamy current collection. Next, I will be showcasing a real prom makeup application on Royal Teen Miss UK, Juliette. Through my videos, I will be filming ladies of all ages and ethnicities focussing on different areas, such as eyes, cheeks, lips, skincare, foundation – the whole schbang!

A J Edgar (11)

What current makeup trends are you a fan of and can you forecast any looks that will be big in bridal?

I’m delighted that the magical, ethereal, glistening, mystical looks on the spring/summer catwalks at London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks are here to stay. The skin is luminous and looks so healthy – perfect for a bride. See examples at Antonio Marras, Ralph & Russo, Sophia Webster and Valentino. I feel the sherbet hues will transcend into bridal with lilac, pink, pistachio and lemon taking centre stage. I adore translating the catwalk looks for bridal and every day. All examples can be seen on my Facebook page, shot by Joe Laws Photography.

Beauty-wise, who is your celebrity crush?

Currently it would have to be bride-to-be of the moment, Meghan Markle. She always looks radiant, polished and so happy. She is a strong, confident woman. I adore that she said no to any editing of her portrait for Vogue. Right now, Meghan will be preparing her skin in order to be wedding-ready, focusing on her nutrition and skincare. This is something I am able to assist my brides-to-be with and I only use vegan skincare, makeup, nutrition, bath and body products.

It would be absolutely incredible at some point in my career to do Meghan’s makeup. It would be such a privilege to advise and create looks for such an empowering, beautiful girl.

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#getcreative: bridal beauty by aj edgar mua

January 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

AJ Edgar MUA (13)

While it can be tempting to have a complete beauty overhaul ahead of your big day, we believe it’s incredibly important to be the very best version of you on that special day, and not to take things too far so that you look like someone else altogether.

With this being our mantra, we’re very much in favour of our talented Sponsor Alexandra Jane Edgar’s approach to bridal beauty: “you wear the makeup, it does not wear you”. For, as Alexandra explains in today’s post, hiring a professional to create your wedding makeup doesn’t mean changing the way you look, but enhancing your features and complementing your big day plans, with luxury brand products that are kind to skin and long-lasting.

As an out and out pro, with experience of working for and training with some of the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses, we’ve invited Alexandra to the blog today to tell us more about her fabulous makeup services while also sharing a few top tips and tricks along the way…

With images by Joe Laws Photography.

AJ Edgar MUA (2)

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?

alexandra says: Yearning for a creative career I began working in the cosmetics industry 16 years ago. I have represented the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses and have had extensive training throughout my career from the industry leading names, such as Lisa Eldridge, Francois Nars, Eve Nom and Sylvie Chantecaille. I have been so fortunate to come into the wedding industry purely through client demand for my services on their big day.

Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?

I travel throughout the North East to your bridal venue on your big day. I am based full time in an award-winning wedding and portrait photography studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This is where you can come for your makeup trial and very excitingly receive a digital photograph. This is a wonderful opportunity to see how you will photograph on your wedding day whilst giving you a confidence boost and a little experience being in front of a camera. We even host hen party experiences, which is fun opportunity to meet us and trial your big day look, with a fabulous photo shoot of you and your bridal party.

AJ Edgar MUA (7)

How can brides-to-be prepare for a wedding makeup trial?

Start to consider your wedding day look when you have chosen your palette, flowers etc. so we can complement your ideas. It really is important to know you are going to look and feel your best on your wedding day. I can then also advise you on skincare to really get your complexion radiant in plenty of time for your big day. Afterwards, just relax and look forward to your wedding morning.

Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional makeup artist for their big day?

Brides tell me they could not have achieved the same look themselves and they all enjoy a professional, pampering and relaxing service on their wedding morning.

AJ Edgar MUA (14)

What should a bride look for when hiring a makeup artist?

It is your day! You need a good relationship with any professional to feel happy and confident.  Experience is essential. I use luxury brands of skincare and makeup and I create looks for ladies of all ages every day.

What would you say is the best part of your job and what you excel at?

I love meeting new people and being a part of your most special day is so rewarding and the feedback from my brides and the bridal party is so positive and encouraging. I am told from my clients that they do not feel any makeup on their skin so they can just feel and be themselves. This is definitely my signature style – you wear the makeup, it does not wear you. Making a woman feel transformed, beautiful and her best is extremely empowering.

AJ Edgar MUA (1)

Where do you look to for inspiration?

I work in such a creative space, as a team we are constantly challenging ourselves with new looks, lighting techniques, photographic editing. We pore over fashion magazines and Instagram for inspiration and bounce lots of ideas around the studio and on location. We never stop creating – #getcreative is our thing. I recently created a stunning Baroque inspired look for a shoot for Kathryn Russell, an incredible couture bridal gown designer who is based in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

What bridal makeup looks are in vogue currently?

Brides always tend to require timeless and classic makeup for their wedding day. I’ve recently noticed an increase in brides requiring elements of glitter and sparkle into their looks too.

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Keep Calm & Make Up! Supplier Showcase: Cordelia & Co.

July 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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This weekend I’m proud to introduce you to a rather lovely lady and the talent behind North East make up artistry business, Cordelia & Co. -  the fabulous Anna Mason.  This gal is a wizard with a blusher brush, on top of the trends and safe as houses to entrust with your wedding day look.  Fact.  

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Anna also is wholeheartedly behind our little crusade here at Brides Up North to get our readers – yes you! – thinking local.  She says:  It’s so refreshing to find ideas and suppliers so passionate about the wedding industry and so proudly based in the North. Everything about Brides Up North is ‘real life”, inspiring and approachable, synonymous with the ‘Northern Revolution’ that Julia is trail blazing throughout the wedding industry!

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Let’s meet her. 

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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How and when did you become a make up artist? What is your background and qualifications?

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I was the artistic black sheep of my business focused family and as a child became addicted to my Gran’s (the original Cordelia!) panstick and rouge! I moved to London when I was 18 to take a Media and Business degree but being in the capital only inspired me to get more makeup creative. For the first few years I cheekily gained experience on fashion shoots and assisted more successful makeup artists despite been totally self taught! In my early 20s I took the plunge and took an IHBC in media and fashion makeup at the London School of Beauty & Makeup. Formal makeup training really raised my standards and I was able to adapt my own style from there. I quickly realized my favourite genre was to be ‘private makeup work’ such as red carpet, corporate events and of course weddings… I loved working on real faces!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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What service do you offer for Brides To Be?

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Cordelia & Co. create beautiful looks with makeup for the bride (or groom!) and members of the wedding party. From a detailed consultation to a informative and fun pre wedding makeup rehearsal right through to creating makeup perfection on their big day. I can be on ‘makeup call’ all day if required, from touch ups to a change of look in the evening!

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I can also offer makeup lessons to help brides become their own makeup artist should they be going away for their wedding. Also makeup master classes for a fun evening in before wedding such as a night with the girls!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Why should a Bride To Be have her make up professionally applied?

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For a bride that is not confident with makeup but knows she wants to look her most polished and radiant having their makeup professionally applied will be invaluable! Even if she is more than makeup savvy, bridal makeup has to fill a vast criteria such as longevity, photogenic and being lighting friendly. There’s a such a fine balance between looking fantastic in both photographs and real life. A bride will pick up lots of tips and tricks about products, while learning about colours and dispelling any makeup myths!

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Finally, nerves! Even as a makeup artist I chose to have a trusted colleague perform my own wedding day makeup, emotions are running high and hands are shaking! A good makeup artist will bring a sense of calm to the preparations.

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Do you do a make up trial? Why would you recommend this?

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All my packages include a rehearsal which can be performed anytime up to the day. I consider it the most vital stage in my services. It is where all the planning and playing with makeup happens. I also perform an in-depth consultation where I find out as much about the client and their wedding and their expectations. I really do welcome their input and wish to create their idea of makeup perfection.

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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What sets your business apart from your competitors?

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I’m a makeup artist but really my business is all about customer service, with a real emphasis on the customer. Communication and reliability and the confidence my customers gain from this are invaluable. From my experiences in London, the beauty world is sometimes considered fickle and unapproachable. I really intend to change this perception with Cordelia & Co. I’m professional, friendly, discreet, and like to think I can do great things with a makeup brush. It truly is a honour to perform such a personal service for a bride and to be within her wedding party circle on such an important day. I always think ‘There is a person behind the face I am painting!’

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Tell us about some of the industry connections you have made and shoots that you have worked on since launching your business?

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I was apprehensive to start up from scratch in the North, but I can honestly say that the regional wedding industry could not have been more welcoming. I have met some fantastic photographers and regularly perform ‘makeover work’ in collaboration with them. Vintage is so popular right now and seems to be the theme behind the majority of my shoots.

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I’m really pleased to have been able to build up a private cliental again, as working with ‘real women’ and meeting their expectations as opposed to models, is where my passion lies.

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What have been your professional highlights to date?

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As a young makeup wannabe I assisted the phenomenal Laura Mercier during a week of master classes in Harrods. I never get star struck but became all giddy when she shook my hand. It wasn’t just the experience but been able to ask all those makeup questions you’ve had stored in your head since childhood!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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What are your favourite wedding make up looks for 2013?

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Brides are definitely moving away from the ‘bridal look’ of peaches and pinks and the resurgence of vintage only seems to be growing. It really is all about the eyes! Subtly defined with beautiful lashes and immaculate groomed brows. I’m a bit of a brow obsessive and include tidying and shaping in my services.

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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What would be your top wedding make up tips for a Bride To Be?

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Look after your skin in the build up to your wedding, taking time to relax, remembering that too much stress will show through in your skin Leave at least a week between a facial and your wedding day, giving your skin time to settle Invest some time in your brows by either committing to grow them out if there over plucked and having then professionally shaped. This really can redefine your face!

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For touch ups, ask an attendant to keep a small mirror, lipstick and blotting paper in their purse. Blotting paper will absorb excess oil that causes shine and is a better alternative to reapplying more powder as over the day this can become cakey.

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Waterproof mascara… of course! And if you do shed a tear remember to ‘dab’ with a tissue don’t wipe!

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What would be your wedding make up no-nos?

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Take it easy on the fake tan! A nice overall glow will look radiant but too much of the bronze and the face and body will be a different shade, this will look terrible in photographs!

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Tide marks, through either blusher applied to harshly or foundation round the jaw line. Blend, blend and blend again!

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Skin draining colours! If you are unsure of what your undertones you have (cool or warm as a rule) seek some professional advice. This really is the key to looking beautifully healthy.

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Always, always have a makeup trial, even if you’ve had makeup professionally applied before. Your own version of the ‘natural’ look could be translated very differently. This is one area not to cut costs on, investing in a trial/trials will guarantee makeup perfection and relieve stress on the big day!

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Whatever your overall look, aim for ‘iconic’ rather than ‘high fashion’ with your makeup. Think Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor (the first few marriages! ) and recently Kate Middleton.  All exuded timeless beauty. We’ve all seen wedding pictures from the 70’s and 80’s featuring grease painted blue eye shadow, enough said!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Who would be your dream client and why?

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I refer to Charlize Theron a lot for inspiration, as she has the most beautiful bone structure. I think it would just be a case of gilding the lilly with Ms Theron! Another dream client would be Joan Collins… really! I just love the lady and I know she has very firm opinions on makeup. She was taught how to do her own makeup by the legendary Whitey Snyder from the silver screen era. But if she ever wanted to update her look, I’d be happy to help!

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Are there any really memorable weddings that you have worked on?

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Back in London I was making up a wedding party in a stately home in Richmond. The lighting in the bedrooms was so poor that myself and the hair stylists had to set up shop in the stairwell as it had the biggest windows! The bride thought it was hilarious and the photographer was inspired and took some amazing pictures of bridesmaids perched on the stair banisters!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Which weddings or shoots do you have coming up that you are really excited about?

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I’m honoured to be working with a bride who styled my hair for my own wedding seven years ago! We joked on the day that I would have to return the favour and now I am. The wedding is also being held in my home town of Guisborough which is still finding itself on the wedding map, but will provide the perfect backdrop to a real Northern wedding!

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Cordelia & Co. Make Up Artist

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Where are you located and will you travel?

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I’m based in the market town of Guisborough (ancient capital of Cleveland) but I’m happy to travel throughout the North and the rest of UK.

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How can Brides Up North see examples of your work or find out more?

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Visit my website at www.cordeliaandco.com or find me on Facebook at Cordelia & Co. inspired makeup artistry and Twitter @CordeliaAndCo. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplier by Cordelia & Co. by

GASP Photography, Ian Weldon Photography, John Hesford Photography 

Cordelia & Co. is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Merry Christmas Beautiful! 12 Days Of Bridal Beauty!

December 13th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Are there really are only 12 days left until the big C? Has anyone else not started their shopping yet?  Is it just me? (Can you feel the panic through your screen?) Luckily, my fabulous Featured Supplier and fashion and bridal beauty expert Jo Leversuch of Make Up By Jo is on hand with some Christmas shopping suggestions that will also fit perfectly into your wedding day kit should you, you know, fancy treating yourself while you are at it.

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Ladies, I give you Make Up By Jo’s 12 days of Christmas beauty stocking fillers, one for each day left on the calendar.  Just how good have you been this year?!

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Jo says:  I wanted to share with you my favourite 12 items of make-up perfect for Christmas presents for friends and family members.  The make-up items i have chosen are all under £20 and vary from brand to brand.  Have a Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

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Make Up By Jo 12 Days Of Christmas

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1.  Bobby Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner

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This award winning gel liner gives you the look of a liquid liner.  It is easy to apply with a brush and is water-resistant.   Black is great for those wonderful "cat flick" eyes perfect for News Year’s Eve. 

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2.  Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour 

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These chubby sticks are fun, colourful and you are spoilt for choice which colour to choose.  The lip treatment has a sheer colour that is perfect for dry, cracked lips and provides moisture.

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3.  Ariane Poole Conceal and Contour Palette

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Voted the best concealer.  This multi-functional products contains three shades of concealer perfect to blend to counteract dark circles under the eyes, redness and thread veins on the cheeks. 

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4.  Chanel Nail Polish – Le Vernis Nail Colour

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The famous Rouge Noir colour nail polish… the essential pick of all nail polishes to have in your make-up bag, and festive too. 

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5.  Tatcha Blotting Papers 

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A beauty secret cherished by the Japanese Geisha for centuries, these handmade, gold-infused papers remove excess oil and sweat without disturbing makeup or stealing moisture from the skin, so you can go all day without needing to touch-up.

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6.  Steam Cream face, hand and body cream

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This amazing natural product represents the latest concept in skincare.  Freshly handmade in the UK and Japan, this wonder product can be used all over the body.   You can choose over 100 funky all limited edition tins… the perfect stocking filler. 

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7.  Kate Moss Long Lasting Matt Lipsticks

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These gorgeous lipsticks come in a variety of colours and are so easy to apply with a velvet, rich matt texture.  Perfect for the party season.

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8.  Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

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A squeezy tube mascara that adds drama, volume and curl to the eyelashes.  Key ingredients are keratin and Shea Butter .

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9.  Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencils

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The product comes in over 13 shades and are so easy to apply.  These jumbo sized pencils are versatile and can be applied to shade the lid, line or highlight the eye.

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10.  Lancôme Ombre Hypnose Mono Eyeshadow

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An intense & smoothing eye shadow.  This black eyeshadow has a subtle shimmer in for that intense strong smoky eye look.

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11. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

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The iconic Shu Uemura Eyelash curler is still the best!  Perfect to curl eyelashes to make the eyes appear larger.

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12.  Illamasqua Cream Blusher

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These rich strong pigmentation cream blushers are perfect for a rosy cheek colour or to highlight cheekbones and add a Winter glow. 

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Merry shopping!

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  – Images © 2012 as credited

Make Up By Jo is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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