Redefining YOUR Beauty…

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The Beauty Holder…on location! Sydney Jo Jackson- London Streets!

I have barely had time to catch my breath since diving head first into my new Make-up Artistry career. It has been a real exciting ride of photo shoots, fashion shows, films, workshops and more. To say that I love it would be an understatement. From brides to busy moms, celebrities to up and coming singers, dancers, designers and everyone in between, The Beauty Holder is making moves.

Come along with me as I take you on location behind my very first music video.

Sydney Jo Jackson is a Brummie (from Birmingham) beauty who is a triple threat. She sings, dances and acts… and models too. I guess I can say she is more than a triple threat as she does all those things and much more. She has an infectious laugh and spirit that draws you in. She is very funny, goofy and considerate. In short, she makes people happy. Sydney is an online T4 reporter and is in the process of launching her singing and acting career. Her new single is a jazz, soulful pop blend that has a real London Street vibe. Shot on location in Camden Town it captures summer, happiness and fun.

I was fortunate enough to do the make-up for London Streets video. Make-up for film and television is slightly different as there is a lot to take into consideration such as lighting, location, camera, the effect you want and a lot more. The turnaround for changes can be vey quick and you may have to go from dramatic to subtle make-up in minutes. All in all, you should discuss treatments, mood boards and make-up options with the crew (including stylist/ hair) and artist before hand so you know what to expect.

This was my first video and there are many things I have learnt since then. I look at it and see certain things that I didn’t see on the day. It is all about learning and growing and I am so grateful I had this opportunity. Sydney is naturally beautiful so I didn’t have to do much. I will be doing a post on Sydney’s beauty regime and make-up favourites in the coming weeks. For now, here are some behind the scenes pics and also a link to the video.

London Streets- Written by Sydney Jo Jackson (@sydneyjojackson)/ Produced by Alan Emptage/ Directed and Edited by Lukas DiSparrow (@lukasdisparrow)/ Styled by Paul ITBOY Godfrey (@I_AM_IT_BOY)/ Make-Up by Donna-Marie Holder (@thebeautyholder)/ Leading male Danni Ressi (@danni_ressi).

You can find out more about Sydney on YouTube/Sydney Jo Jackson and on twitter and Facebook under the same name. She is starring in her first feature film- Krish and Lee. Release date to be confirmed. Keep your eye on her, she is a lovely person, beautiful inside and out and is going to do amazing things.

Here is the link to the video- London Streets!


TBH! xoxo


Straight… no chaser! NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Review!

My July favourites post was a little teaser for this one. I am a little obsessed with this next product and wanted to do it justice by giving a full and thorough review. This is as always an honest and humble review. I have not been paid or endorsed for this. All opinions are that of my own.

Like many other women, one of the things that deters me from wearing foundation is the feel of it on my skin. As a Make-up Artist, a flawless foundation is the base for beautiful make up. If it doesn’t feel right on the skin you are not likely to feel confident wearing it. I have tried several foundations and most of the time I have not been able to find the right shade or texture. Something that feels like and looks like I am not wearing anything on my face and makes it look airbrushed. NARS Sheer Glow is that foundation.

As the name suggests it gives a dewy ‘sheer glow’ to the skin whilst providing a medium to full coverage. It is buildable if you want a full coverage to the skin but that in my opinion would take away from the beauty of it. This foundation makes your skin look sun kissed no matter what tone you are. It evens out discolouration and reflects light, brightening and illuminating the skin. It has a light and hydrating formula that is kind to the skin and lets it breathe.

Dewy looking foundations can make you look fresh faced and soft, brightening your complexion. Matt finishes (which NARS foundations also come in) are more of a flat even coverage without the illumination. The finish you choose will be determined by different factors such as your skin type, coverage, age, preference and more.

Why I love this foundation!

I am a passionate advocate for being able to find a shade or two for all skin tones and colours. My foundation revelation post back in March spoke of my past struggles of being able to find foundation for black skin. This continues to be a struggle for many women of all shades and NARS have taken note of this. Many other make up companies are taking note too. From the fairest of skin to the darkest, NARS Sheer Glow can probably be found in your perfect shade or mixed to find the right one for your beautifully unique tone. In 20 shades with cute names such as New Orleans, Trinidad, Syracuse and Barcelona (see what the theme is?) these foundations are hydrating and smoothing to the skin.

It feels like satin on the skin. I actually forget I am wearing it and a little goes along way. My favourite use of the product is as a concealer and it works so well on blemishes and evening out discolouration and pigmentation. If you have extremely pigmented dark spots you may need to apply a couple of layers until you are satisfied with the coverage. That is down to preference.

My Bridal clients adore it and next to INGLOT (review on way) it is my foundation of choice for wedding make-up. It translates gorgeously in pictures and will not leave you disappointed. It has a very non-existent smell and for best coverage should be applied with the warmth of your fingers blending into the skin. You can of course use your favourite foundation brush if you prefer.

Beauty Holder Roundup!

Price: 4/5

NARS are not drugstore priced. They are a little more high-end and you do pay for quality. Francois NARS created a line that started in 1994 with about 8 lipsticks sold at Barney’s in New York. Now worldwide it is a name synonymous with glamour and seduction. Find out more here. I expect to go to a department store and buy a foundation for more than £25. At £29.50 (UK PRICE) this is reasonable for a product of this quality.

Packaging: 3.5/5

I am normally a huge fan of NARS classic black simple packaging. They have sleek and ‘expensive’ looking compacts for lipsticks and eyeshadows. Their foundations are come in 30ml/ 1FL OZ glass bottles with the name in large letters horizontally on the side. The lid is a large and a little bulky cover that can be pulled off the reveal a screw top lid. Many people are not told that. This big lid annoys me for some reason but not more so than the fact you have to pour the foundation out as it doesn’t have a pump. They can be purchased separately. The pouring action means you normally always get more than you actually need and this means waste. I don’t like wastage. Especially expensive ones. So whilst it looks pretty, it is pretty annoying to get out easily without the spilling or pouring more than you need. Yes, you can scoop it back in the bottle easy enough- sometimes. The black paper box is 100% recyclable as should the glass bottle. The glass is pretty tough as it has dropped (with the lid on) a few times and survived.

Product: 5/5

I love the foundation. I love the coverage, the look and most importantly the feel of the foundation. It does not have a harsh chemical smell that some foundations have. It glides on the skin, not hard to blend and when buffed into the skin, gives a real airbrushed and flawless finish. Sits on the skin comfortably and is easy to remove with your regular cleanser. I have worn it as concealer for more than 8 hours and have not had to top it up or touch it. As a concealer, I set it with powder, as a foundation, I leave it as is without powder as I love the sheer and dewy finish.

This is my favourite foundation by a long shot. I like my skin to still look like skin with foundation on and I want it to look as natural as possible. This is all that and then some. My second favourite is a very distant second at that. If you are looking for a new foundation get a tester from your NARS stockist. If you have any problems colour matching or need assistance with foundations or any other beauty/ make-up query don’t hesitate to get in touch. Details on the contact me page.

There are loads of pics on other posts without foundation. Here is one with the NARS Sheer Glow.

Hope you enjoyed this review.


TBH! xoxo

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The Beauty Holder Beauty Buys… My July Favourites!

I get a lot of questions about favourite products. I love trying new products but also rediscovering things that have been at the bottom of or in regular use in my beauty chest for some time. In an attempt to let you into my world of favourites and items I love I will be doing a monthly post dedicated to them. I will try to keep it to one product per category… note I said TRY!

Categories include:

  • Skincare
  • Make-up (including nail products)
  • Hair
  • Tools
  • Can’t live without it


I tend to stick to a regime with my skin care unless my skin has changed or may need specific attention. My favourite product of the moment for skin is my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. It is a powder that when mixed with water microfoliates dull skin. Leaves your skin brighter and smoother. Not harsh on the skin at all and recommended for all skin types. It retails in the UK for approx £35. Available from your local Dermalogica beautician.


We all know I am not a huge foundation wearer but I cannot get enough of my NARS Sheer Glow in New Orleans shade. It has to be one of the best foundations I have ever used and leaves me with an airbrushed finish. I will be doing a full review on this product shortly. Priced here in the UK for the same price as most department store foundations just over £25.00. For more information check out the NARS website here.


My hair product is not a new one but something I have been using since last year. Fantasia IC Carrot Growth Serum. It smells divine and strengthens your hair. Adds great shine and protects from heat damage. I have seen a noticeable difference in my hair since using it. Purchased from my local beauty supply store for £5.50. My hair has a semi-permanent red dye colour on it and is deep conditioned once a month.


Glamcor Single Use Adhesive Hand Palettes for cosmetics are a handy tool for make-up artists who like to mix colours on the back of their hands. Simply a large square sticker that you place on your hand to mix foundation, creams and any other cosmetics on top of. It is sterile and sanitary and you can get a box of 50 for £12.00 from PAM London. I love that it prevents bacteria and much more transferring to make-up, it is transparent and disposable. The adhesive is similar to that of a band-aid so I would check any allergic reactions before use.

Can’t live without it…

Would have to go to the NARS foundation. It really is like liquid air on your face. Because I only use it as concealer the 30ml/ 1 FL OZ bottle is going to last a very long time. On the occasion that I want a full coverage foundation you don’t need a lot as it goes a long way and blends beautifully. It gets ‘The Beauty Holder Best Beauty Buy‘ award for this month.

Let me know what beauty products you are loving at the moment.

TBH! xoxo


Five Minute Beauty…Eyes!

In the final instalment of this series, it is time for eyes. I have really enjoyed doing these posts. Not only because of the great feedback and support but because time is something precious to all. If we can save some time in our busy schedules, yes, even with make-up, then I am all for it.

When thinking about how I would focus on eyes, I thought about using the full five minutes for a dramatic eye look. I then challenged myself to keep to the theme of doing something simple. Simple still means beautiful and in this case natural looking too.

I have very dark under eye circles. Concealing them properly can change the whole look of my face. Combining concealer ( I used my foundation), pressed powder, eye shadow and mascara, this is how I achieved my 5 min beauty look. I also timed myself and the whole thing took just over 3 minutes. That includes brows and lip condition with vaseline.

  1. Start with that clean and moisturised face.
  2. Ensure you use an eye cream to really hydrate the under eye area. This will aid the concealer in not creasing or being sucked into the fine lines.
  3. Do your brows and condition your lips.
  4. Use your concealer of choice under your eyes and on the eye lids. I didn’t want a stark contrast between a light concealer and my skin, so I used my foundation. This was especially important as I didn’t put the foundation all over my face and it blended well into my skin. You can see I haven’t put foundation all over.
  5. Set it with your pressed or loose powder. Use a fluffy brush to sweep it over your eye lids. Blend well.
  6. Choose a brow highlight shadow and apply under the arch of the brows.
  7. Apply mascara.  You could use more of your time if you wanted to apply falsies.
  8. All done!

It really is that simple. Don’t be fooled because there are more steps than the other 5 minute looks I have done. You could break the look down and conceal only or apply shadow and mascara together. Hey! You could go all out and simply only apply mascara. It is all up to you. Try the look with a bright shadow colour but still try and keep it simple.

Here are the before and after shots.

Hope you have been inspired in some small way with this simple series. You are more likely to see me walking down the street with no make-up as in the first pic or with one feature on my face highlighted. The beauty comes from confidence inside and knowing that with even a smile (and some big hoop earrings) we are all beautiful.

TBH! xoxo