Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I’ve recently succumbed to the pressure and have finally purchased a makeup sponge, or known in the beauty world as a Beauty Blender.

I can’t really tell you what’s taken me so long, maybe the fact that I love my brushes, and sometimes it’s a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

Well I was wrong…yes shock horror!


I decided to go against the grain a little, not purchasing the popular branded “Beauty Blender”, and opting for the “Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge”. I chose this brand for a few reasons, one that it was substantially cheaper than its competitor $16.99AUD, compared to $26AUD, and the fact the two ladies behind the Real Technique’s brand Sam & Nic Chapman, are very respected makeup artists and have a very successful makeup brush line that is adored among the makeup pros and the home enthusiasts alike.

The sponge is made from polyurethane and is latex free, so great for people who suffer from latex allergies.


This 3 in one sponge has rounded sides great for applying foundation to the larger areas of your face, a pointed tip, which is used for covering blemishes and a flat edge for under the eyes and around the nose.

So how does it work? It’s pretty simple; you need to get this thing wet! I run my sponge under water until the sponge is totally water logged, and then I squeeze all of the excess water until I’m left with a damp sponge.

Squeeze out a small amount of your favourite foundation on the back of your hand or onto your mixing palette, pick up a small amount of product on your sponge, and then apply it to your face in a stippling or wiping motion. Once your foundation is applied, apply your favourite under eye concealer and blend it out using the flat side of the sponge.

What I love about this sponge is that it applies foundation like an absolute dream, if you’re one of those people who love liquid foundation but can’t stand the heavier look your makeup brush or fingers can give you, then this sponge is perfect, as it builds foundation beautifully, allowing you to have a sheerer natural look or more of a fuller coverage look that is seamlessly blended and streak free. As you can really push the product into your skin and pores, it gives your skin an airbrushed appearance. I also love the way this sponge blends out my under eye concealer and its ease to cover those nasty little devil blemishes.

The sponge can also be used dry to apply powder compact foundations or damp to apply cream blush like a dream.

Now I have this sponge, I think I’m going to buy a million more and definitely give its competitor a go too. It’s now my go to tool for foundation application.

To view a tutorial check out the Real Techniques website

Until next time…

Jane xoxo

What eyeshadow shade suits me?

One of the biggest questions a makeup artist will get asked is, what eyeshadow colour suits me?

And let’s face it; walking into a makeup store can be a little daunting and choosing that right shade can seem near impossible.  With so many beautiful colours to choose from and so many different types of eye makeup product, how is a girl seriously expected to know what she’s doing?

Now there are a few rules when it comes to eyeshadow selection, however I am also a believer that you don’t always need to go by the rules, especially when it comes to fashion.

The answer is also not as simple as some may believe, however you can be guaranteed that matching your eyeshadow colour to your eyes is not the way to go!

Remember you want your eyes to pop and not to be washed out.  Blue eyeshadow that matches you’re blue eyes will wash them out, however that’s not to say you should never use blue eyeshadow.  Don’t plaster blue shadow all over the top of your lid and be done with it; use it as a crease colour or in the outer corner and blend with your complimentary colours listed below.

The colour wheel is also a makeup artist’s best friend and will give you a fairly clear idea of what colour to opt for.  Find your eye colour on the wheel and then refer to the colour that is directly opposite of that colour on the wheel. image

Without confusing you too much, here are a few colours tips to get you started:

Brown eyes – the opposite colour on the wheel is blue which translates into navy, teal and neighbouring shades like green and purple.  Warm bronze is also lovely.

Hazel eyes – there is no opposite colour as hazel is made up of browns and greens.  Colours that work well are lavender, violets, plums, burgundy, and browns.  Avoid pale gold’s as they tend to wash out your eye colour

Blue eyes – the opposite colour on the wheel is orange, which translates to peach, apricot, coral, copper and bronze shades

Green eyes – Red is the opposite colour on the wheel which translates into rust, burgundy, violet, pinks, reddish browns, and plums

All eyes – greys and black suit most eye colours

Now all you need to do is choose the product that’s right for you.  Stick to the type of product you feel most comfortable applying, or if you’re willing to get a little more creative, ask one of the instore pro’s to give you some tips.

Powders are a great all round eyeshadow and blend beautifully.  Avoid shimmery shadows on mature lids, as it can really accentuate crepe-y lids and lines.  Powders are great for normal to oily skin.

Creams are beautiful and look lovely, however are not great on mature skin as they can clump and crease in crepe-y eyelids.  You also need to be careful not to apply too much at once.  Start with thinner layers and build if you need too.  Creams are great for normal to dryer skin types.

Paintpots like MAC Painterly or NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skintone can be used as a base to even out skin colour on the lids or use a colour like MAC Groundwork as your base for a brown smokey eye.   You can also use white bases to really brighten up a powder shadow. Remember to blend quickly and let dry before starting any powder work.  Again like cream shadows, less is more.

Pure Pigments are great as an all over lid colour for a dramatic look or a great addition onto the centre of the lid to finish off a look.  A brown smokey eye can be finished off beautifully with a gold based pigment placed in the centre of the eye to make it pop.

As I said earlier, the rules don’t always need to apply.  Try not to limit yourself to only the colors listed.

Also before any eye makeup application remember one important rule – prime those damn lids!  Eyelids are one of the oiliest parts of the face.  Have you ever  suffered from slipping/wet looking eyeshadow? Well need I say more?  Using a primer will not only help stop the slippery slide, but will also give your eye makeup longevity to get through the whole day.

Good luck.

Until next time…
Jane xoxo


What’s Your Holy Grail?

Ok, so I’m not talking about trekking all over Nazi-Germany like Harrison Ford in search of the Holy Grail…well in my case, maybe…

I think most people who have any type of skin care or makeup routine have at least one holy grail product that they couldn’t live without, that product that they’d take to a desert island.

Mine is a strange one…

I was unfortunately or fortunately blessed with the oiliest skin on this planet! I have tried oil free, I’ve tried oil, I’ve tried primers, I’ve tried powders, blotters, you name it, I’ve tried it.

So about a year ago I went on the hunt yet again to stop the oil slick. I recall sitting there one night googling until all hours of the morning, reading blogs, reviews, watching You Tube, then voila I hit the jack pot.

Girls in the USA that were suffering like me where using a product called Phillips Milk of Magnesia. I thought to myself what on earth is this Milk of Magnesia you speak of. Well after some research I found that its main ingredient magnesium hydroxide was actually a natural laxative that had been been around since 1800’s, first used by Sir James Murray as a fluid magnesia preparation of his own design to treat the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquis of Anglesey, of stomach pain.

Can you imagine putting a laxative on your face, but I though what the hay, if you can drink this natural product, why on earth couldn’t you put it on your face? Can you imagine what the Lord Lieutenant would be thinking…?

So off I went again on a hunt, in and out of Pharmacies, to find that it’s no longer sold in Australia. I was left feeling totally defeated and thoughts crossed my mind that I really needed to move to the USA!

Anyway, long story short I found an online supplier and had it shipped immediately.

So every day, once I complete my skincare routine, I apply only a few small drops of this milky liquid to the palm of my hand, and work it all over my face, patting until absorbed and blended. Then I go ahead with my makeup routine.

I use this product as a primer and it keeps my makeup in place all day long. I do still get some oil throughout the day, but it takes at least 6 hours for this to start to happen, not the usual half an hour.

I also found that prior to using this marvellous preparation, that many foundations would oxidise on my skin due to the high level of oils on the surface and on some occasions changing the colour of the foundation leaving me looking like an Oompa Loompa (very orange!)

So there you have it, not your usual must have moisturiser or mascara, but a laxative for the face!

Please share your Holy Grail products no matter how weird they may be.
Until next time…
Jane xo

Inglot Review

At this very moment, my favourite brand is Inglot and it surprises me so many people have not heard or purchased something from this amazing brand.

Why Inglot? Well there are many reasons I love Inglot and I could probably bore you for hours, so here goes ha ha…

Inglot was founded in Poland over 30 years ago by the late Wojciech Inglot.  All Inglot products are produced in the European Union, with 95% still coming out of Inglot’s own state of the art facilities.  Inglot began its international expansion in 2006 and is now sold in over 57 countries worldwide.

I have many Inglot products in my freelance kit and so far the quality has been outstanding.  From Foundation to Concealer, to Lip gloss and Nail polish you won’t be disappointed.

The packaging is of a very high standard, hard plastic or glass casings, which are not easily breakable.  I think my floor would break before this packaging would.

Whichever product you decide to purchase, you can guarantee there’ll be a colour to suit.  The colour range is magnificent.


Inglot also have their amazing customised palette system, the “Freedom System”.   So whether you’re a pro artist wanting a fully stocked 40 colour palette of eyeshadows or you want an everyday at home palette, this product is definitely for you.   The Freedom System is available for pressed powders, blush, blush/illuminator duo, eyeshadow, lipsticks, gloss, concealer, eyebrow powder and wax.

It’s also great for storage purposes.  You can buy a nice slimline lipstick palette, that fits 10 refillable shades, and you won’t be filling your draws with multiple lipsticks.  It also makes it easy to choose your colour for the day as they are all on display right in front of your eyes.

Also, if you’re someone who likes to wear certain colours to suit the season, you could make up your own seasonal palette.

The Freedom system palettes are all magnetic, stackable and interchangeable.  The lids on the Freedom System palettes slide on and off with ease and magnetically stick to the bottom of the palette.

Inglot also launched skincare last year, which was a range of multi-active toners, one for all skin types available.  I have heard that a bigger skincare range is due to launch either this year or next…


Number and Referencing System
There’s only one thing I don’t really like about Inglot and it’s their numbering system.  Every product has a number, not a name, and when you have loads of products, it can be hard to remember what you already have.  Example, there are over 200 different eyeshadow colours and over 150 lipstick colours, all with a different number and finish.  Unless you’ve worked in the store, you’d be hard pressed to remember what you own.  I’m definitely more of a name girl not a numbers girl.

Inglot do have a history of your purchases on their system, so if you’re unsure they can easily look it up so you don’t repurchase.

Here is how the system works
AMC – Advanced Makeup Component, which is their higher end products, that has advanced research and I believe contains no talc’s.  Great for sensitive skin types.  The AMC range is available across most of the products in the store.  The AMC Foundation is great for dryer skins, especially mature skin. Inglot-AMC-Cream-Foundation-5907587175617

YSM – Young Skin Makeup.  This applys to their YSM Foundation range.  With peach extract and strong mattifiying agents for an all-day wearing foundation

These abbreviations are applicable to the Foundations and refillable concealers
LW – Light Warm
LC – Light Cool
DC – Dark Cool
DW – Dark Warm
MW – Medium Warm
These references are applicable to eyeshadows and some lipsticks
Matte – total matte finish, no shimmer
Pearl – Creamy pearlized finish
Shine – soft shimmer
DS (Double Sparkle) – matte with iridescent shimmer

The Price
Definitely an affordable high end product.  When you compare foundations sold in Priceline, some of them are almost $40 a bottle; you can buy an Inglot YSM foundation for $30 or AMC Foundation at $42.  I know which product I’d prefer to use!  The individual eyeshadows are $10, and if you compare to MAC at $26, there is certainly a huge saving.

Inglot also love to hold VIP events, and on occasion will offer an amazing 15% off store wide.   For the pro’s they offer 20% off 24/7 through their Pro Discount Club and there is no cost to join, unlike other brands.

Yep you guessed it, amazing too!  One of my biggest pet peeves has to be poor service and for people who know me well, you know that if I get poor service, well I am certainly going to complain.  I have been known to send a pizza or two back via the delivery man! On the other hand if I get great service, I always make sure they hear about it.

Well poor service is what you won’t get at Inglot.  You’re treated like a real person, not like a clueless consumer.  Every time I walk into an Inglot store, the girls are super friendly, they impart their many years of experience and knowledge and they honestly try and help you make the right decision about your purchase.  They don’t sell you a product that is going to sit deep in the dark depths of your bathroom draws never to be used again.

Cruelty free
This is the best part of all.  Unfortunately there are still so many big brands out there testing on animals.  Inglot does not test its products or ingredients on animals.

My favourite product
This could literally change at any moment, but at the time of typing this I have to say my favourite product is the 3S Mattifiying Loose Powder.  3S standing for Stage, Sport, Studio. For you oily skinned girls, this product works wonders.  It’s ideal for setting your foundation without adding extra colour and coverage; it’s long lasting, talc free and never gets cakey on the skin.  It’s not cheap $32 for 2.5g or $68 for 16g, but its money well worth spending!


So please let me know if you’ve tried Inglot or if you’ll be making a pit stop on the weekend to checkout their amazing products.

Until next time…

Jane xoxo

Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Crème Lipstick Review

710pwr8QK0L__SL1500_I recently picked up seven of these lipsticks through Australian online discounter Ozsale. Each one was at a bargain basement price of $3 and I’m already kicking myself I didn’t buy more. Where can you seriously buy a decent lipstick for that price?

Picutre 1 left to right Mulberry 31145, First Kiss 31104, Flutter 31110, Orange Too 31112

Picture 2 left to right Venus 31114, Victorious 31136, Rose Rush 31137 and all colour swatches


These are beautifully pigmented and super creamy, with a fruity fragrance and apply to a smooth matte finish, with an ever so slight hint of sheen.  They wear well, with great staying power, and fade off evenly without looking patchy on the lips.CK LS Swatches

I believe when originally marketed they came out in the high end range, but are now available at various online discount cosmetics stores from Fragrances and Cosmetics to StrawberryNet and even eBay.

The lipsticks are 3.5g of product each and come packaged in a gloss black plastic casing, similar to other brands like Inglot and Gorgeous. A nice simple packaging.

These lipsticks are not as luxurious as the title may have you believe and are certainly no Dior or Chanel, however they are very nice and a great every day lipstick – something you can throw in your handbag. They look lovely, come in a great colour range and at the end of the day if your lippy goes missing between work, a night out with girls or the cab ride home, you’re not going to be kicking yourself the next morning.

If you can pick these up cheap and the postage isn’t too much of a pinch, then I’d definitely give them a go.

Comment below on your favourite shade, if you’ve tried these lipsticks or if you’ll be thinking about adding one of these to your collection.

Until next time…

Jane xo

Red Lipstick, should I dare?

Most woman love a gorgeous red lip, but never on ourselves. We admire those gorgeous red lips from afar and are spell bound by celebrities in their gorgeous gowns and hot red lips.

So why are most of us so scared to take the plunge?

I put this down to colour choice. The truth is a red lip is flattering on everyone, but there’s a bit of science that goes into choosing the perfect red lipstick for you.

So what colour will suit you. Whilst some of the lucky ones can pull off any colour, there are generally some rules you should follow. And the first step is to pay attention to your skintone, hair and eyes.

Cool Reds that have pink, purple & blue undertones, generally suit ladies with darker toned features.

Warm Reds that have orange & coral undertones, generally suit ladies with fairer toned features.

image image


A perfect example for those MKR fans, are Victorian twins Helena and Vicki, one blonde, one brunette, both red lips, but different undertones.


So what next? Well not only do you need to choose the right shade for you, but you need to prep those lips. Make sure your lips are well hydrated and are free of any dry or chapped skin. A daily dose of your favourite lip balm is extremely helpful, and if you’re prone to dryness, then try a weekly lip scrub.

You should next apply a base to your lips, so a bit of concealer or left over foundation you have on your brush or sponge. This will help the lipstick last and have longevity. Line your lips in either a neutral shade as close to your lip colour as possible, or a matching liner to your lipstick. Lip liners help stop your lipstick from bleeding.

Apply your first coat; I prefer a lip brush for a precise line. Then taking a tissue, fold it in half and press your lips between the tissue, this will  take off any oils and excess product . Then take a small amount of translucent no colour powder on your finger tip and dab the lips. This will set the first coat. Then apply a final coat and your good to go!

So the question is will you be rocking a red lip this weekend? I dare you…

Until next time…

Jane xo


Salon Melbourne

Last Sunday I was up at an ungodly hour, getting ready to make my way in by train to Salon Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Salon Melbourne is Victoria’s ultimate hair and beauty event and unfortunately for those not in the biz, it’s an industry only event. Showcasing some of the best products and tools, live shows, masterclasses and entertainment.  And best of all, major discounts off RRP.

This was my first year at Salon Melbourne, and I knew that I’d need to make a deal with myself before stepping foot through those doors – keep a clear head, don’t become dazed and confused by % off signs and only use the credit card in extreme emergencies.

Being a makeup artist, my main interest for the day was the live makeup shows, getting around to all the makeup booths and hopefully picking up a bargain or two.

My first port of call was the live show “Makeup Secrets Revealed with Rae Morris”. I have many of Rae’s published books, and have seen some video footage, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Well Rae blew me away, she came onto the stage so full of life and a real wanting to be there and reveal her trade secrets. My only disappointment was that this show was 20minutes, as I could have listened to this woman speak all day.

Another show I really wanted to see was “Secrets of Beautiful Bridal Makeup”, with Joanna Blair.  Again, these shows are not long enough.  I had a brief opportunity to speak with the Joanna Blair’s School of Makeup team, and they were all so warm and friendly.

 Joanna Blair on stage Rae on stage









The highlight of my day was meeting Rae and asking if she wouldn’t mind taking a few selfies.

Well she was so enthusiastic, Rae grabbed my phone, grabbed my daughter Ava (who was tagging along) and proceeded to click away, even giving Ava a few pecks on the cheek. More than I could have hoped for.

Ava and Rae


I was really hoping to see more brands that aren’t that readily available in Australian stores, or don’t have a huge presence here. Unfortunately that wasn’t really the case. This might be due to the fact that this is a Melbourne only event, unlike its rival show IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show), it’s worldwide.

I was also disappointed in the Inglot live show, and I absolutely love this brand, but the Main Stage had 2 large viewing screens for the audience to get an up-close view of what was happening and unfortunately Inglot chose to leave their advertising on the screens. So unless you were sitting in the front row, directly in front of the model, you basically couldn’t see a thing.


Product of the Day

Lash Replublic’s false lash placement tool. Such a simple yet genius invention. With rubber grips, it won’t blend or ruin the lashes, and makes it easy for self or client application. This was the best $10 spent!

Lash_Applicator__05136_zoom Lash_Applicator_on_mannequin__80734_zoom










Here’s my very small controlled haul:

Lash Republic Application Tool, Lime Crime Pink Velvetine, Duo Lash Glue, Model Rock Lashes, Gorgeous Brow Gel and Opi Nail Polish











Will I return next year? I think so, maybe attend a Master Class or two and definitely save my pennies well in advance.

Until next time…


p.s apologies for the lack of photos, Salon Melbourne strickly stated no flash photography, so I resorted to the iPhone. Annoyingly there were people with cameras everywhere and my iPhone had died by half way through the day.

L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow Review

So I recently decided to purchase one of the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows to see what all the hype was about.

The shadows come in 8 gorgeous shades and I have to say it was a hard decision to make as I could have quite easily purchased them all.

Row 1 from left – Hour Glass Beige, Flashback Silver, All Night Blue, Endless Chocolate

Row 2 from left – Purple Obsession, Permanent Kaki, Forever Pink, Eternal Black

L'oreal 4


They retail for $19.95, however I picked this up at Target when they recently had 30% off for $13.96; which was a bargain.

I purchased the shade Endless Chocolate; it’s a beautiful rich chocolate brown, with a hint of bronze.  It’s very soft and creamy, with amazing colour pay off. As the shadow is quite thick, creamy and shimmery, it’s best used on the lid, or the lower lash line, and applied with a flat shader brush or fingertip.  The lighter colours like Hourglass Beige would make a gorgeous highlight on the inner corner of the eye.  This shadow is like a 3 in 1 product – cross between a loose pigment, cream shadow and pressed shadow all in one.  The product is long lasting, crease proof and blends easily.L'oreal 3

Each shadow comes packed in a square plastic pot, with a black insert lid to keep the product compressed and an outer lid that has product specs.  On the flipside of the pot you can see the colour of the shadow through a clear window.  Each pot holds 3.5g of product.  The packaging is good, not amazing, but good.

On more occasions than not, I find that pharmacy brands lack quality and don’t seem to have the lasting power, pigment and blendability that a good shadow requires; this was certainly not the case for these eyeshadows, and they certainly stack-up against the major high end brands.

So, the question is will I be purchasing more of these shadows, hell yes!  Well ok, maybe not full priced, but I’ll definitely wait for the next big pharmacy sale and get myself a few more of these babies to add to my collection.


L'oreal 2L'Oreal







FYI the other products I’ve used in this look are:

Inglot YSM Foundation, Freedom System Pressed Powder, Under Eye Concealer
Nars Douceur Blush
Sleek Contour in Light

MAC Paintpot in Painterly as my eyebase
L’oreal Infallible Endless Chocolate on lid
Inglot #461 to blend, # 452 Outer V and into the crease,  #11 to highlight the inner corner
Paintbox paint pot in black for liner and inner rim
Rimmel Extra Super Lash in Black

Calvin Klein Brow Definition Crayon in Brunette

Calvin Klein Incognito Lipgloss

Until next time…

Jane xo

Welcome to the Ava Jane Makeup Artistry Blog

Welcome to the Ava Jane Makeup Artistry makeup, beauty and fashion blog.  My name is Jane, and I am a freelance makeup artist based in Melbourne Australia.

I am super excited to start this blog and bring to all my followers (yes you, please follow me), makeup tips, product reviews, tutorials and general chit-chat about anything makeup, beauty and fashion related.

So why have I started this blog?  Well not simply because I just love makeup, but because I wanted to have an outlet where I could give an honest opinion on a product or service, share my thoughts, impart my knowledge and hopefully help someone out there make a wise decision if wanting to invest their money into a product.

Having previously worked in the corporate retail world for more than 15years, I spent my long arduous days communicating, communicating and doing a bit more communicating. So whether I was on the phone, sending emails, writing articles, in meetings, or when I could squeeze it in, catching up with the guys and gals for a coffee, I was communicating in some way shape or form.

I left the corporate world in 2011 and have honestly never looked back. (heel click).  So fast forward to 2014, going from the corporate world to full time Mum and part time freelance makeup artist, my mind is becoming overloaded and is filling fast with thoughts and ideas that must be released.

My husband (god love him), is really my biggest fan and probably knows more about makeup brands than most females; but there’s only so much he can take.  My two kids (Ava, 6 and Benjamin, 2) are of course more interested in Peter Pan, Lego, Trampolines, Bikes and how they can convince mum for another special treat!

So this is where you all come in, I write, you read and hopefully you get to enjoy and learn something new along the way.

So until next time…

Jane xo