The perfect Red Pout for the Festive Season


Step 1: Exfoliate your lips. This helps to remove dead skin and is absolutely essential for a smooth lip application. Try the Clarins Paris Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliator.


*As an at-home remedy, also try using your toothbrush with a bit of Vaseline and sugar. Just gently brush your lips!

Step 2: Moisturize!  Cannot say it enough! Use a hydrating rich lip balm to smoothen and plump up lips. This ensures an even application of color. Try the Burt’s Bees Lip Balm or a dab of simple Coconut Oil works wonders.


Step 3: Remove any excess residue from your lip moisturizer by softly blotting with tissue.

Step 4: Apply a thin layer of foundation over the lip as a base. This ensures the true color of the lipstick shows through, and also acts as a base for longevity, bleeding, and also prevents staining.

Step 5. Using a lip-liner of the same color as the lipstick, line the lips on the “natural line.” being careful not to overdraw past this line. Start at the cupids bow and follow the line of your natural lip. Make sure your lip-liner is recently sharpened. Once lined, color in the entire lip with the liner. This creates a dense color, longevity, and opacity.

Consider MAC’s Marilyn Monroe Lip Collection in three shades, Beet, Redd & Cherry

Mac Red Lip Liners

Step 6. Using a lip brush or the lipstick bullet, fill in the lips with your red lipstick. Blot with tissue and reapply the lipstick. Do this 2 or 3 times. This will ensure your lipstick stays on all night with minimal touch ups. It also prevents bleeding and that much hated lipstick smear. Too much product results in a cake-like, goopy mess.


Again, MAC has a great line of Red Lipstick Shades in the Marilyn Monroe Collection! And these lipsticks have stay power!

Step 7. If you are feeling glamorous add on a clear gloss just in the center of the top and bottom lip to add dimension, to make the lips plump, and increase your seduction factor!

Your Makeup Artist,

Alessia Donato

Men and Makeup!

Men and makeup; he is going to see you without it eventually, so why put it on in the first place?


For starters, your looking great is mainly for you. The confidence you feel when you look good takes the cake to anyone’s compliment. And the best way to achieve this is through a flawless application on makeup.

Nevertheless, men have an opinion on the subject and here it is…

Men say, for a normal, everyday look, heavy makeup seems out-of-place. When you are at home or grabbing a bite, a subtle amount should be applied so you show you care about your appearance. However, heavy eyeliner, lots of blush, and bright red lips can be distracting from a simple lunch.

Time and place seem to be the main consensus. The No-Makeup look is something that every girl should master. Once you have this down, just adding a bit more here or there can get you ready for your night out!

The No-Makeup makeup:

Tinted Moisturizer: Bobby Brown Tinted Moisturizer works great to even out skin tone, while moisturizing AND providing protection from the suns rays! Plus, you can choose oil-free should you have special needs.


  • Add some concealer under eyes and on spots to amps things up.

Eyelash Curler: No Mascara? No problem, just curl the lashes a bit to accentuate your doe-eyes. This will not only make you look more awake, but you won’t have to worry about clumping or smudges.

  • For a stronger look apply your favorite Mascara, be sure to keep the clumps out!

Tinted Lip Balm: You cannot go wrong with Laura Mercier Tinted Lip Balm. Add subtle color to your overall no-makeup look with just a bit on the lips, and maybe a kiss on the cheek!


  • For a night out add Blush Blush Blush! Then apply finishing powder to seal the look!

Remember, the compliment is just the icing.  So glam up for yourself, and your man will notice!

What’s better than a lip plumper?

Tinted or clear, in the form of a gloss, balm, stick, gel, or pot, traditional lip plumpers “fatten” the lips temporarily. They contain ingredients like cinnamon, ginger mint, wintergreen, or capsicum extract. These items boost blood flow to the lips, leading to mild swelling and redness, sometimes by irritating them.

These are the ingredients that also cause the tingling or stinging sensation.

That feeling, along with the serious shine of many of the plumping products, is what leads to the illusion of a plumper pout, even if it there is no actual physical increase in the lips that can be seen or measured.

Instead of pouring money into products that are not the best for your body, consider three options before buying the pain-plan.

1. The best dressing for your lips is a smile.

It’s healthy. It’s natural. It’s free. A smile is better than any lip plumper, any day.

smile accessory

2. The right color or shine in the right places can go farther.

Have your applied a pretty liner, then blended with a good solid gloss? Try Benefit’s Triple Glammy High Shine Gloss. Not only do you have three stunning options to choose from, but they increase the look of your lips with the perfect amount of shine! Here’s a little tip, apply a nude base, then glam it up with these beautiful glosses!


3. Accept your lips as they are.

We can’t all have Angelina Jolie or Kim K’s pout. That is the simple truth. But we all can have their confidence. These two ladies know themselves. Think of another celebrity who you also admire. We love Kate Hudson, and she has some serious acting chops! Her thinner lips do not stop her from wearing a good lipstick and attracting our attention.


All these alternatives provide much more in return than the money you shell out for lip plumpers. If you are thinking about a temporary solution to smaller lips, be reminded that you are beautiful. No stinging, swelling, or irritation needed.

Emirates Woman of the Year…Kate Goodwin, Visionary.


This London girl has transformed the face of the Middle East. Not only have her makeup skills been seen in prestigious magazines for the likes of Harpers Bazaar, on celebrities such as Rita Ora, or photo shoots for Louis Vuitton; but she has spread her name across the globe enticing students from as far as Egypt, Sweden, and even America to attend her Professional Media Makeup Course here in Dubai.


What is a Visionary?

Definition:  “A person who thinks about or plans for the future with imagination or wisdom.”

Kate saw a need to raise the bar of excellence in the makeup artistry field here in Dubai and seized on this chance!

“I saw Dubai as a great opportunity for budding makeup artists to really propel themselves to a different level. However, I found the general professionalism and training was not as it should be for the industry. People would always ask if they could assist me, or where they could get exceptional training. I would send them to London, New York, or LA. That’s when I knew I had to open ILLUMIN8.”

It takes gumption for a businesswoman, especially in the competitive market of Dubai, to be really successful. With her knowledge, twelve-plus years of experience, and overall personability, Kate has launched ILLUMIN8 to the forefront of industry education.

But for Kate, it’s certainly not all about business! It’s about the essence of beauty that comes from within each and every one of us. Since she has started ILLUMIN8, she has also made it her priority to help others.

“I feel it’s important to actually help woman through the magic of makeup. To give them confidence and teach them that true beauty comes from the inside out.”

Through the eyes of a visionary, Kate has started to offer workshops and work intimately with charities that cater to abused woman and woman that are struggling with illness. She encourages woman to let their beauty shine from within, whilst also teaching them how to enhance their physical appearance with makeup in order to raise their confidence level.

If you agree that Kate is a VISIONARY, please VOTE for Kate Goodwin!


Detoxifying your beauty cabinet. It is about time!

It’s about time you cleaned out all your old makeup that has managed to permeate every inch of your precious bathroom cabinetry.

Cabinet clean up

First things first, check the dates!

Most makeup has a shelf life, and that shelf life, like most quality ingredients, is not as long as you let it stay in place.

Here are your basic shelf life expectancies for products:

  • Mascara 2-3 months
  • Foundation (Moisturizing) 12-18 months, (Oil-Free & Concealers) 6-12 months
  • 1 year for lip gloss, 2 for lipstick
  • Powders 2 years
  • Pencils 2 years

These are all according to the obvious rules, however, if you are using organic products you can bet they will expire a lot sooner.

Next thing to consider, when was the last time you used it?

Some people are collectors of beauty products. Every new trend, every new color, they’ve got it. But are we still sticking with shimmer lotions this time of year? We all know Summer was bright and shiny, but looks that are perfect for the hot months may not make the transition to Fall, and we are, after all, a few days away from September. If it hasn’t been used in four seasons, it is time to go!

Lastly, Is it good for you?

Is it good for your look?

Your products should accentuate the positives and/or conceal the negatives. Check that your foundation still matches your skin tone, or that you now need added moisturizer versus the oil-free from yesteryear.

Is it good for your skin?

Reducing chemical exposures in your beauty products will make your skin and body look better and age better. We’ve all lived through the mineral makeup phase, but there are only a few brands that have made it through the craze and standout. Jane Iredale, yes they have a beautiful palette and wonderful selection, but this product is also good for your skin!


Where do you fall on the application spectrum?

Every woman’s challenge in looking successful and sophisticated lies in the correct application of her makeup. She needs to appear groomed throughout the day without going overboard. Applying too much makeup before leaving the house can result in a clown-like appearance. While walking out with too little can reveal flaws that should remain concealed. To achieve the desired, natural look every day, one must fall flat dab in the center of that application spectrum.


Enhance your beauty with four basic makeup rituals for a polished and professional appearance.

  1. The quick cover-up – Conceal all those problem areas with a well-blended foundation. Are you sure you’re wearing the correct colour? Try Smashbox’s perfect Complexion kit offering concealer, foundation and powder in one tidy little package.Smashbox Complexion Kit
  2. Blush those cheeks – Brighten up that face with just enough rouge in the right areas. Be sure to back away from the mirror and check that reflection! For a natural looking finish choose NARS’ Gina. It’s warm palette and silky texture ensures a soft, blendable application.Gina NARS
  3. Dress the eyes – Blending without looking sloppy is key. Don’t forget the mascara! Try Dior’s Diorshow Mascara for professional volume!DiorShow waterproof mascara
  4. Enhance the lips – A dab of gloss throughout the day will revive any face. Choosing a shimmer or a bold colour? Pay attention to your skin tone! CHANEL’s Glossimer offers a wide range of colours to choose from that condition and also have staying power! CHANEL Glossimer Desir

Learn the techniques for applying an all-day, natural look with ILLUMIN8. We offer the perfect workshop to put you back on the right end of the application spectrum. Sign up now for our Personal Make-Up Workshop on September 7th!

Bourjois Middle East Giveaway

Bourjois Middle East Giveaway

Holiday time is over, so Illumin8 has collaborated with Bourjois Middle East to create the ultimate beauty bag to jump start your ‘back to work’ phase with ecstasy.

Win a bag of goodies from Bourjois Middle East filled with the latest launches from this coveted brand including the new ‘blogger-favourite’ – Shine Rouge Lipsticks.

To enter, simply invite your friends to “like” the Bourjois Middle East Facebook Page

Then, send us a screenshot of your mutual friends with Bourjois Middle East’s Facebook page and the person with the most mutual friends will be our Bourjois Middle East Giveaway Winner!

* Competition is open to fans in United Arab Emirates only. The winner will be announced Thursday August 29, 2013.