The Sean Maloney Show SM B e a u t e

Make Up Artist, Actor and Journalist

Category: Beauty


M a s c a r a   F a v o u r i t e s

When it comes to make overs and photo shoots one thing my clients are adamant on is false lashes or a brilliant mascara. I think it’s safe to say every girl wants fuller, thicker and longer lashes.

Out with the clumps and in with the curl.

In this post I want to talk through my favourite mascaras but also a few tips and tricks to make your mascara last longer and to really get the most out of your product.

Firstly let’s start off by saying no matter what length of your lashes every eye is perfect in it’s own way, little lashes are perfect for adding volume and strong eye make up whilst the longer lashes do the hard work for you. Mascara is a heavily dominating beauty product with the average female buying a mascara every 4 months even though according to health organisation, mascara should be replaced every 3 months to stop the build up of bacteria around the eye area. Suffer from conjunctivitis or sties’ frequently? This could be your problem. When it comes to mascara there really are only 3 brands which hold the title of best mascara, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and MAC cosmetics. After using more mascaras than I know what to do with I can confidently tell you these 3 brands know their mascaras but more importantly deliver the goods we all want!

Let’s start off with Dior, the first breakthrough brand bringing every woman the mascara she always dreamed off, curl and volume! Dior iconic is one of the best mascaras to date, really thickening the lashes and giving them that nip, tuck and lift they all need. Available in different shades and formulas this mascara dominates the industry being a backstage favourite. If you want curl then this is a dream for you.

Tip: If your mascara feels like its drying out of running out quickly, dry adding two drops of eye drops to the solution, this will help make your mascara glide on but last much longer whilst keeping bacteria at bay.


So we have volume and curl but what about the separation?

Yves Saint Laurent brings you baby doll lashes, famous for all of their mascaras YSL introduced baby doll lash, a mascara which gives you volume and curl but with a synthetic brush helps separate the lashes reaching the hard to reach lashes in the corner and really opening up the eye. This is a favourite amongst models Jordan Dunn and Cara Delevigne. Everyone wnts that baby doll lash and with this amazing mascara it’s achievable. The formula is incredibly thick and creamy but effortless glides on the eye creating a soft drama to the eye.

and finally known for bringing a new mascara out almost every season mac cosmetics couldn’t possibly fail by having more than 10 mascaras, could they? Out of the bucket loads of mascaras mac had there are two strong contenders in the mascara category. Extreme Dimension giving you that all round, longer, thicker, fuller and separated lash this mascara is a leader in the mascara market. Mac cosmetics known for their little approach to marketing and advertising, stepped it up a gear by marketing this mascara helping with a huge boost in sales. Another mac mascara which is a firm favourite of mine has to be extended play. This mascara really is an amazing mascara with a brilliant brush perfect for your bottom lashes this mascara helps give the lashes a really clean cut fanned out effect.


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Feline F l i c k

T e c h n i c a l   L i n e r

The trend of the feline flick and 60s chic came back this spring and summer as we saw the breakthrough come back of winged liner and flicks galore. With many people still struggling to achieve the perfect “flick” and others recreating it in their own special way, it was undeniably one of the beauty industry’s most popular trends. From catwalk to high street every woman wanted that perfect flick but with so many different products and textures on the market which one was best?

I’m going to give you an insight into what I think the best eye liner products are and why but also which brands got it right and which brands got it completely wrong.

When doing a feline flick or technical liner you need a product which will be firm and strong yet glide effortlessly onto the eye but also dry and give you the long-lasting effect needed. What you don’t need it a wet or sticky liner which takes time to dry or even fades after an hour, yes I’ve actually seen it happen. This leads me on to my favourite eye liner for all matter of technical eye liner and styles, it has to be illamasqua gel eye liner.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Eyeliner Infinity Review

This jet black gel eye liner is perfect to recreate that 60s flick or sultry feline eye, also an amazing multi use product you can apply this to the water line to vamp up an everyday eye into an evening dramatic eye. Long lasting and extremely pigmented this is one of many products from illamasqua which completely excels itself. Unlike other gel eye liners this glides across the eye and drys perfectly giving you enough time to perfect the liner. As a make up artist I’ve found when using other gel eye liners by other brands I’ve noticed after about 8 days the product begins to dry out and prove difficult to use, often damaging my small eye liner brushes. Illamasqua really have got it right with this product with a wide range of ingredients, this product is free from harmful chemicals and easy on the eye. Packaged in the traditional illamasqua colouring and a petite little glass pot oozing expense and drama this is definitely one for you make up bag.

Unlike the majority of beauty bloggers and make up artists one gel eye liner I physically cant bare is Mac Cosmetics ‘Blacktrack’ – A typical gel eye liner, in its blackest form this gel eye liner proposes to do the exact same as the Illamasqua one. However I couldn’t disagree more. Dull, crusty and a shade of off black this gel eye liner is one of the worst I’ve come into contact with. Ive found when using this product you need to coat the liner a few times, however even the L’oreal gel eye liner doesn’t need coating? From damaging my eye liner brushes to setting on the brush within seconds, this gel eye liner proves to be a difficult cosmetic product to work with. I believe many people buy and use this product simply for the branding of Mac Cosmetics, packed full of unnecessary ingredients I couldn’t see any positives in using this product.


A good friend of mine who is a firm believer of Mac Cosmetics and a user of Blacktrack gave me the opportunity to put the products to the test, I swapped her my Illamasqua gel eye liner from my make up artistry kit with her ‘ faithful’ blacktrack and put them to the test. Hesitant to try Illamasqua gel eye liner as she liked blacktrack so much, my friend did admit to a fault in mac’s product saying “It is frustrating how after 2 weeks maximum the product is very dry and difficult to use, meaning I have to warm the product and play around with it for it to become smooth again”hmm not really ideal for a Monday morning quick feline flick is it?

I asked her to tell me what she though after a week so I could comment in my blog however after just one application I received a text saying “you can keep blacktrack” – The results were in and unanimous, Illamasqua gel eye liner was the favourite. After this small experiment I did the same with 10 girls and let them try a famous feline flick with the Illamasqua gel eye liner and 9/10 girls agreed they would swap from Mac Cosmetics Blacktrack to Illamasqua gel eye liner, baring in mind 2 of the 9 girls actually worked for Mac Cosmetics. This was a breakthrough and enjoyable to see people actually finding a gel eye liner up to the job of long lasting, highly pigmented and easy to use.

For more hints and tips and advice follow me on;

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S M  B e a u t e


P r i m e r s

As promised here is my follow-up post from foundations on Primers. One of the most asked questions In the beauty industry and everyday life is “What is a primer?” I’m going to talk about why primers are used, my favourite primer and more importantly how to use a primer.

To achieve that flawless skin finish you may think the answer is a thick matte foundation, however that is the complete opposite. Applying foundation on to prepped skin is the answer. Prepping the skin is incredibly important, making sure the skin is hydrated and treated for any problems is may currently have. Then this is where the primer comes in, the primer is the glue between your skin and the foundation creating an invisible layer softening out the skin’s surface ensuring the foundation goes onto a completely smooth, protected and soft base. This will help achieve a flawless finish but also keeps the foundation in place up to 12x longer than it normally would without a primer.

Which primer is for you?

Again with so many on the market it can be difficult to find the perfect one for your skin type. Many primers have different qualities such as luminating, oil free, highlighting, SPF and so much more. We are incredibly lucky that the beauty industry has evolved fast and so much we are spilt for choice in which to pick! when it comes to choosing the perfect primer for you always remember to choose by the needs f your skin, if your skin is dry you will need a glossy hydration primer, if your skin is oily your going to need a mattifying oil free primer. If your skin is combination, you can pretty much choose any primer on the market.

Smash box

This company practically invented primers, they have the biggest bestest, most high quality range of primers on the market. Smashbox is part of the Estée Lauder company and have similar products to Mac Cosmetics. Smashbox have a huge range of primers from ones to help with hydration and dryness to oil free. Smashbox primers RRP at about £22.50 and are completely worth it, I use the white oil free primer because I have oily skin, this primer helps smooth fine lines, shiny skin and gives the skin a healthy overall appearance. As a make up artist when I’ve used Smashbox primers on customers they 9 times out of 10 ask me about the primer the day after due to the longevity in the foundation staying in place. Smashbox really have excelled themselves when it comes to their primer range. 10/10

Another of my favourite primers has to be Mac Cosmetics strobe cream, this isn’t called a primer and isn’t necessarily known for being a primer. This amazing multi use product is a highlighter, moisturiser and primer all in one. Smoothing into the skin the highlighting cream formula gives the skin a youthful glow whilst smoothing over any lumps and bumps creating a perfectly clear canvas ready for your foundation. Strobe cream contains incredibly expensive ingredients to help protect, sooth and maintain the skins appearance. This is a complete stand out product by cosmetic giants Mac Cosmetics. I’ve used strobe cream for almost a year now and I haven’t considered not using it. Also available in a thinner lotion the strobe cream can be mixed into foundations and moisturisers to create your ultimate power product. 9/10

Tip: for a gentle highlight dab strobe cream onto the cheekbones, colour bones or don’t the centre of your shin for an amazing natural highlight.

One of the beauty industry’s most talked about products, but I just don’t get it? – Clarins beauty flash balm is known in the world of cosmetics for being a stand alone winner on the “prepping your skin” products. Beauty flash balm states it’s an illuminating primer and face mask in one? What primer and face mask in one? my thoughts exactly.

Very excited at the prospect of a 2in1 product I put it to the test. I began smoothing the product into my skin after my daily skincare routine and instantly I noticed the product to be a thick cream struggling to move around the skin and the more I moved it around the more oil like it became. This was proving a problem. After a few minutes of working the product into the skin like a normal primer my skin was incredibly oily and the flash balm just appeared to turn into an oil and sit on my face. This was doing exactly the opposite from what it said it did. Tightens, brightens and soothes skin? Nope not on my skin, just an oily mess dribbling around my face. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could put product onto this oily formula, therefore I began again. Working the product less into my skin and almost a quick smooth over seemed to help but by this point I was already disappointed.

However not all doom and gloom, I applied a very thick layer into the skin and left for over 30mins and used a face mask, I felt this restored some brightness into my skin and have a gentle life. This product works very well as a face mask but anyone wondering about using it to primer before foundation? I would recommend to stay away.

What are your experiences with this product? Comment below and let me know how you got on.

Super primer by Clinique, Lightweight, oil-free primer creates an ideal makeup canvas. Colour corrects a range of concerns, preps for makeup application and wear. Colour glides on evenly, stays true. This is ideal for a younger skin or someone wanting to concentrate on the appearance of a sallow yellow skin tone or an overly red tone throughout their skin. Clinique have hit the nail on the head with it comes to combining colour correcting ingredients with priming the skin. Is this the best primer? Probably not but by combining the colour correcting formula you are bound to lose the importance of priming the skin. This is amazing for people co veneers with CC products.


If you want your foundation to appear smoother and last longer giving you and effortlessly lightweight feeling then you need to invest in a primer. Without a primer you can find yourself constantly topping up or reapplying your foundation giving you a fuller finish and more heavier than intended.

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S M B e a u t é


N a r s  C o s m e t i c s

As a make up artist I come across thousands of beauty products and hundreds of beauty brands from premium to self-selection. But what really makes a product stand out from the crowd? I always find myself drawn to premium brands such as Chanel, Mac Cosmetics, YSL, Nars and Tom Ford because I believe in “you get what you pay for”.

After working for brands such as No.7 and Mac Cosmetics, I’ve had experience at both ends of the beauty spectrum. After hearing many celebrities and beauty magazines talk about Nars cosmetics I decided to try out the key 3 best-selling products of which I needed for my own personal make up artistry kit.


When approaching the Nars counter I instantly loved the large font and plain coloured branding standing out from the rest of the cosmetic beauty counters. I also liked the placing of the products and the design of the counter, simplistic yet incredibly eye catching and effective. However the size of the counter was surprisingly small with only one small area to sit clients down meaning the counter looked over populated and over crowded by just a few customers gathering round.

My first purchase was the popular highlighting blush Albatross and I’m absolutely in love with this product. A gentle powder highlighter to apply to the top of cheek bones to give you that defined contoured look, this product is perfect for the job. The colour is a mixture between rose gold and silver giving you the best if both worlds and with the product being a powder it makes it much easy to blend and buff into the skin. This is my new favourite highlighter and I would more them recommend you to try it! Slightly shimmery but not over the top this is a key product to use for everyday highlighting but easily buildable for editorial and event make up. I would recommend applying this to the cheekbones with a MAC Cosmetics 224 brush for the precise placing of the product.

The second product I purchased from Nars was another stand out product I instantly fell in love with when trying on the counter. It was the chubby lip pencils which are a lip pencil and lip sticks all in one. I know what your thinking, another Clinique Chubby Stick? No definitely not. The texture of a creamy sheer look which gently glides into the lip this product is one of a kind on the market offering you a lip pencil and lip stick all in one easy product. Easy to sharpen and very pigmented, this amazing lip pencil is available in a range of colours. I went for a creamy nude as I find it will go with most smokey eyes and can even be worn day to day. Overall I’m more than happy with this product and the quality delivered by Nars. With a price point of just under £19, I felt this was slightly high for the product however for such high quality make up artistry products I paid the price and was on my way!

My third product I purchased from Nars was the famous Laguna Bronzer, this was currently on offer for £35 in a large bronzer set with mirror and Kabuki brush worth £44. This was an amazing deal for such a popular bronzer. Currently using the Tom Ford bronzer in terra I didn’t think I could find anything on the market to match the quality and size, however when testing out Laguna this made a great product to contour with. With warm tones and as light shimmer this is your perfect bronzer to contour with giving you definition in the areas most needed. A powdery texture again I find this mucho easier to work with rather than a cream or liquid as once the hate on the skin and blended out there isn’t any room for movement of mistake!

Nars has really surprised me with the high quality ingredients used in its products but also the range of colours within the products stretching far and beyond some of the other beauty counter such as Bobbi Brown and Estée Lauder, who still seem to be stuck with that everyday pink and the odd ‘statement’ red. Edgey and on trend Nars is a make up brand set to continue to shoot within growth. The pricing of the products is slightly high for what they are and I believe a decrease in price would make this brand a little bit more accessible to your everyday woman, however with Nars a leading profession in the premium beauty industry I’m doubtful a price decrease will ever happen.

Albatross highlighter 9/10

Chunky lip liner 7/10

Laguna bronzer 7.5/10

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The Modern Man

Move over Rodger Berman, known for his use of ‘guy liner’ accompanying his stylist wife Rachel Zoe at Paris Fashion Week, your typical modern man is now widening his beauty horizons.

The pressure to look good in todays 21st Century forces the new and explosive stereotype of “The Modern Man” into todays society. With many men fitting the bill such as Russel Brand, Zac Efron, Noel Fielding and many more, the modern man stereotype is soon fast becoming the norm.

According to a survey of 1,000 men in the US and UK conducted by JWT (a marketing communications company), men are increasingly feeling the pressure to beautify themselves. The study, entitled “The State of Men,” opens up male bathroom cabinets and let’s us take a peek at what products are most used by the opposite sex.

These are the top-ranked beauty products and treatments used by men:

54 percent skincare products (moisturiser and eye cream)

33 percent waxing/hair removal

39 percent lip balm

29 percent manicure

24 percent facials

13 percent eyebrow waxing

19 percent fake tan

9 percent foundation

11 percent bronzer

10 percent concealer

26 percent none


With top premium fashion houses such as Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs releasing man-friendly beauty lines and South Korean fellows applying eye pencil and foundation, it’s not hard to see these numbers as a reality. Frankly, I think it’s refreshing that men are now allowing themselves to indulge in all of the fun that the beauty world has to offer. Whilst relishing the time to enhance their appearance.

However the study also found with all of this beauty loot comes a slew of insecurities. The top one? Beer bellies followed by love handles, lack of six packs and man boobs. It’s no wonder that 8 out of 10 men surveyed believe there’s as much pressure for men to have a good body as there is for women.

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Prevention is the solution

Wanting to appear youthful and younger looking for longer is something everyone thinks about, people may not necessarily vocalise their thoughts but subconsciously this is an ever-growing thought. 

The use of moisturisers, serums, face masks and exfoliators help to boost the skins collegian levels, keeping the skin feeling refreshed, smooth and youthful. Hydrating skincare will help to keep skin plump, radiant and luminous for longer, whilst the use of no cosmetic skincare regime could bring the ageing process to your bathroom mirror sooner than expected.

Environmental studies show with pollution raising for several decades, the summers becoming warmer and winters colder, everyday life takes its toll on our skin. Some pollution properties hit skin deep down into the dermis meaning the damage isn’t visual immediately.

 Prevention is the solution

Preventing the signs of ageing with the use of a daily cleanser, toner, moisturiser and eye cream will help keep the skin hydrated and balanced helping to fight signs of dry skin, fine lines, pigmentation and the overall ageing process.

A new addition to my skincare regime, with a retail price of £62.50 is the well-known Repair Serum from cosmetics giants Bobbi Brown. 

Luxurious and milky, this concentrated repair serum comforts skin as it firms and moisturises. Anti-ageing ingredients such as Vitamin C and a powerful peptide help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles both instantly and over time. Meadow foam Seed Oil hydrates while WheatBran and Olive Extracts help your skin hold on to moisture giving everlasting hydration to the skin. Clary Sage Extract helps reveal a clearer, more radiant complexion helping to improve damaged skin surface and pigmentation.

Even if you believe your skin is perfectly fine or you don’t need to worry about the ageing process as of yet, remember “prevention is the solution”. Preventing the inevitable will help secure the skins surface and prolong the ageing process for as long as possible helping your skin to remain plump, youthful and radiant for longer whilst protecting against investable dangers such as pollution, diet and health.

Top Tip: After cleaning and toning with your favourites, smooth a pea sized amount onto the face and gently press into the skin before smoothing over the remaining amount with your finger tips.

This helps to push the serum down into the skins dermis helping the skin to take it down deeper into the layered skin.

After 3 weeks of using the breakthrough product my skin is left feeling fresh, incredibly plump and fine lines reduced. I use slightly more than the recommended amount to ensure my whole face receives the same amount of serum pushed down into the skin for an overall treatment. Using before my daily moisturiser this must have product with a milky smooth texture has helped to reduce appears of fatigue, fine lines and pigmentation giving my skin a youthful glow.

For more beauty know how’s, top tips, reviews and blogs follow:

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Skincare Secret Weapon

After a turbulent winter with temperatures reaching new lows of -3 degrees, our skin has definitely faced the storms head on, and just when we thought they were over, they strike again. 

As a make up artist for Mac Cosmetics I regularly find customers asking for solutions to cure their problematic skin from extra dry, dry and oily combination, the extreme weather affects us all differently.

My skincare secret weapon this season has to be Mac Cosmetics, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator.

Mac Cosmetics known globally for their huge stamp in the cosmetic and beauty industry have created a skincare must have, which as expected, lives up to and beyond the hype.

This must have skincare necessity is made from fine sugar crystals and volcanic ash helping to cleanse, scrub and unclog the skin. Removing dry flakes and helping to even out pigmentation, this dual purpose exfoliator is known for being high in a bacteria destroying mineral known as sulphur.

Placing a small amount of the Volcanic Ash exfoliator on your hands work it into damp skin in a circular scrubbing motion. This products works incredibly well along side the famous Clarisonic helping to deep cleanse the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and smooth.

After religiously using this product for 8 weeks, 3/4 times a week, my skin is left feeling soft, fresh and visually enticing. This product is suitable for everyone however can be rough on the skin to begin with, work into damp skin slowly in circular motions helping the sugar crystals to dissolve.

Known for the fashion forward, trend based make up looks and assistant backstage at fashion week, Mac Cosmetic have excelled themselves once more creating a permanent addition to my skincare regime.

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Cleanse & Polish

You wouldn’t walk around with dirt on your shirt would you? So why would you walk around with impurities and dirt on your skin?

Cleansing is a huge part of your everyday skincare regime, so getting it right is just as important. Cleansing and toning helps keep the skin fresh and clean whilst removing any impurities and prevents build up of oils within the pores. When it comes to cleansing i believe the more gentle the cleansing the better. The Skins surface is made up of many layers and adding a heavy cleanser and scratching across the skin’s surface can often cause damage. After searching the beauty counters and testing various different cleansers I can finally say I feel like I’ve found the one.


Liz Earle only make one cleanser because this formulation is the ultimate in concentrated, yet gentle, cleansing power and works on every age and skin type.

  • Liz Earles plant-based cleanser has a two-phase action, phase one is the cleansing. Free from mineral oil, it has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make-up, even stubborn mascara.
  • Phase two is the polishing. Polish off the cream using the pure muslin cloth to gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.
  • Cleanse & Polish is rich in naturally active ingredients including purifying eucalyptus and skin-softening cocoa butter.
  • Massage one or two pumps onto dry skin over face and neck twice a day. Rinse the pure muslin cloth in hand-hot water and wring out before gently wiping off the cream. Rinse and repeat. Splash face with cool clean water and follow with Instant Boost Skin Tonic.

With the hot cloth cleanse and polish picking up many awards such as “Best Cleanser” at Company Beauty Awards 2012, “Most Revolutionary beauty Product of the Last 20 Years” at CEW UK Beauty Awards 2012 and many, many more.

If you only change one part of your skincare regime this year make sure you switch to Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Rolling Back The Years

Extreme weather conditions, hormones, diet and natural ageing all take their toll on our skin. Uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles are the first signs of ageing, its time to take control…

Wednesday 20th March saw the launch of No7’s highly anticipated Lift & Luminate Dark Spot Corrector. This is No.7’s first ever clinically proven dark spot corrector which fades age spots after 3 months. 86% of women which tested the beauty must-have had a noticeable colour reduction. This is to be used underneath your serum and fits perfectly into any skincare regime.

This beauty must have effectively makes dark spots appear less noticeable by helping to reduce the over production of pigment, causing them to lighten and shrink. Containing the same Firming Complex that is in Protect & Perfect range and Protect & Perfect Intense, this works to boost collagen and elastin in the skin smoothing out lines and leaving the skin feeling firmer. It also contains a Poly Hydroxy acid to help gently exfoliate surface pigmentation and unveil a beautiful, more even skin tone.

As all of No.7s award winning products this dark spot corrector is also Hypo-allergenic: “Because all skin can have sensitive moments all our products are hypo-allergenic so they are kind to even the most sensitive skin”.


Your probably thinking, whats an age spot? Do I have them? 

Age spots can appear on anybody skin and can occur from the age of 25. People who are in the sun more and wear little sun care protection are most likely to suffer from age spots. This is the skins way of letting you know, it needs protection as the UV and UVB is damaging the skin cells and the reproduction of collagen. This product has received a lot of attention from the media and many reviews, the specific age range for this product is 40 years old and over. However if you believe your suffering from dark spots from a young age your recommended to use this dark spot correcting treatment. With many dark spot treatments on the market with richer ingredients I believe No.7 could of improved the formula however at an average retail price of £19.50 this is a bargain on a budget.

 After looking through No.7s products, the Lift and Luminate Dark Spot Corrector is their most effective targeted treatment, powered by the highest levels of lightning technology from No.7s clinically proven No7 Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum.

Quick Tip: Smooth a pea sized amount gently over the skin surface underneath your facial serum or using the roller ball action on the packaging roll over and massage onto the area of dark spots.

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