Redefining YOUR Beauty…


I’m Back and Better!👌🏾

Hey Loves,

This first sentence has been written so many times and backspaced just as many. I mean how do I honestly start off this post considering I haven’t written one in so long! Actually, that is not all the way true. I have been blogging in my mind for the past 8 or so months; those thoughts have just not made their way out of the chambers in my mind. I guess some have broken free now and it feels good to say I’m back and I’m better! What does that even mean, though? Sounded good when Bryson Tiller’s dulcet tones sang it in ‘Don’t’ but in my world, it means more than I may be able to express right now.

I wanted to take a break from social media. I wanted to take some time for myself, to understand some of the things I was going through. I wanted some of my mental to catch up with my physical change. Yes, I intentionally chose the word wanted! I needed to look after my health, which was telling me I was a priority and not an afterthought. I wanted to look in the mirror and not pick myself apart because what I saw did not match up to what was ‘liked’ in the fickle beauty industry.

You see, no matter how confident we appear we all have inner battles that require us to reset our thinking so we can remind ourselves how AWESOME we are! Awesome AF! Rewiring some of my thinking has pushed me. Challenged me. Trained me. Strengthened me. Life has taken a series of interesting turns and I am grateful to God for seeing me through. Learning, evolving and continuing to focus on being the BEST me I can be… NO LIMITS!

So yes, your girl is back and better! Better in part also to many of you and your fantastic messages and love. Big thanks to those of you who got in touch telling me that you missed the blog. Missed me, and my small contribution in the form of this blog that does its own thing. Thank you for encouraging me and for sharing ways I have inspired you. Those that know me, know that I really love this blog and what it represents. The strange goings on from a chick that loves family, friends, Brooklyn, music, makeup Trey Songz and so much more! I have missed you all and pray that you are good and life is all it needs to be for you right now- especially in these trying times!

I’m gonna end by saying THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me in the Best Makeup Artist 💄 category at last year’s AFRO MODEL AWARDS! I don’t think I will ever get over the shock of winning. It was very soon after that night that I took time out. I put shout-outs on Twitter and Facebook but let me holla on here too. I am so grateful and blessed at the recognition and hope it raises your spirits and reminds you that you can do and be anything you want to. No matter your age or the stage you’re at in life! Your journey is in your hands!

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Wishing you all the love in the universe… see you in the next post!

Besos! 💋

TBH! xoxo

p.s. I know for some there are more questions and things you want to know. Not everything is for the blog and what is will be on the blog in due course!

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A letter to my younger self…(part 1)

Darling Donna-Marie,

There is so much that I want to tell you that I don’t know where to start. I am both anxious and excited at the same time wanting to tell you of what is to come. Somewhat apprehensive about how your 16 year old mind will process some of it. Happy at the thought that most of it will make you smile. Don’t worry, I promise not to spoil or give too much away! It will be like crib notes…giving you the low down, without giving you the answers, I think!

Let me start by telling you how proud I am of you. Pride in the purest form that is making my heart race as I write to you. You have become a strong, independent woman. Smart, funny and cheeky which are characteristics you pass on to someone else who I will tell you a little more about in part 2. That could be anyone so stop trying to guess. Some of this may make you cry and that is ok. Those tears will bring you strength like you’ve never known. Some of it will make you laugh. The moment that make you cringe, imagine how I felt.

We made it to 40. Praise God! 40 years of stuff you couldn’t even imagine at 16. Some of it you did imagine, the rest, well, you didn’t imagine it and that’s probably for the best. I know how impatient you can be at times (that doesn’t change much by the way) so let me give you some quick hits on what I know you’ll wanna hear first! The only spoilers are the ones I know you have to know at 16.

  • Brenda and Dylan don’t make it on 90210
  • You’re still a dork
  • You end up going to more than one prom (and you look super cute)
  • You will eventually be over Puff Daddy (who changes his name a million times) and it will be all about Trey Songz who will follow you on ‘Twitter’
  • You grow into your teeth and your gap doesn’t close
  • You will never rock a jheri curl again.
  • We need to talk about your eyebrows. Don’t listen to anyone who says they are on ‘fleek’.
  • Who told you to wear timbs with everything?
  • You do not stay skinny forever so appreciate your body. Especially your boobs!
  • You will always be a Daddy’s Girl 
  • You will stop wearing black liner and red lipstick… for a while.
  • You will NEVER tire of popping your booty to Miami Bass. You’re always gonna be that girl!
  • Carlene will be taller than you!
  • You will go natural with your hair.
  • Dwane and Whitley from A Different World get married!!!!!!
  • You’re not married…YET!

Ok! Ok! So I know you’re panicking at the thought of the first and the last ones the most because like seriously, how are Brenda and Dylan not together. Cause that in your mind translates to you not ever finding the one… *sigh*. Girl, don’t worry. Your time will come. you have far too much living and learning to do before marriage comes your way. Just keep reading, I will explain.

The rest of your teens…

You still move around a bit and whilst life in Florida is fun and hot you’ll end up finishing out High School in New York! Not before the infamous car accident with Fitz after homecoming. Or spending endless moments with Teresa and Lish or Yajaira and Linda. Stealing (borrowing) Erica’s clothes to look more grown up or having your baby Sis follow you everywhere and secretly love it.


When you do make it back to the big Apple it will instantly be like you never left and you will love it. In fact some of the closest people to you now are still there. Aunty Annie, your cousins, Boopsie and the whole e.98th crew make New York your city of dreams. Chilling on the stoop with Adrian, Larry, Ty was like nothing else. We used to run that block. Tilden is seriously everything it needs to be for you and more. Your time with Michelle and her family will make you feel so loved. Filling a void that you craved. You will transition so much from the island girl you once were in the big city. It will still be very hard to shake the pain and demons from life in St.Vincent. What you went through at age 11 will haunt you for a long time to come but will eventually share it. I couldn’t protect you but you will be ok. More than ok.  As traumatic as it was you were so very brave and strong.  It was not your fault and you can’t keep blaming yourself. You never have to go back there. Ever!

It will take time to trust people and that is ok. It will take time to confide in people and that is ok too. You will learn to forgive and trust yourself first and then it will all fall into place. Aunty Annie will be the first one to help. Don’t be so hard on her ok? Even when she tries to embarrass you by screaming ‘Donna’ down Church Ave.

You will finally be reunited with your Daddy and Brother in England when you leave New York. You will be sad to leave your family, friends and love behind and you will write lots of letters and make calls. Start saving now cause those international calls will not be cheap! And yes, you will go back again and again and again. Ever since you left the city, you got exactly what you asked for…(kinda) running out of pages in your passport!


London Calling…

It takes a while for you to adjust to being in the UK. Between you and I, I honestly do not think you ever really do. Sorry but not really sorry. It takes your Daddy some time to adjust to his little girl not being so little. Let’s not even talk about boys. Needless to say when you started talking about bringing boys home to meet him that conversation lasted 3 hours too long. You make him so happy though and he makes you just as happy. Daddy’s girl always.

College life was not the easiest. Some of the girls are nice to your face but behind your back not so nice. They couldn’t understand why you dressed like the boys and why the boys liked you. They will say it is because of your accent. I say it’s because you’re Donna-Marie, DUH! You still have loads of fun and meet some awesome people. Raphael, T-Bone and Mark will be your college homeboys.  You meet Jade, Jessica and Ify who you have so much in common with. Jade especially is like your own guardian angel which I don’t even think she knows. They will help you find your feet in Stanmore and the ends. Oh yes! You thought US slang was something… wait till you get to the UK. Butters! Stooshe! These words will still be giving you night dreams in your 40s.

Ok, so we have to talk about boys. I know we said lets not but we kinda have to. Boys will like you. You will like boys. Boys will stink. Boys will smell like Polo aftershave. Boys will wear baggy pants and jansports and you will act like you have no sense. They will wear jeans with clouds on them! Seriously clouds! You will hate boys. Boys will have American accents but live in the UK and you will think you’re in love. Boys will be sweet. Boys will be jerks. You will break hearts and you will get your heart broken. You will look for love in all the wrong places (that will be your jam). You will find love in the right places but at the wrong time. Boys will become men and they will still stink at times but not as much as when they were boys.

Grown and Sexy…

I do not remember how this became your tag line. Daddy would surely slap you for being so extra. Along with Caramel Angel as your alter ego everything. You do not get to be in a Puffy (one of his many name changes) video. You think you’re sexy because you think your life is one big RnB video. It’s a good thing you weren’t in a video. Music will continue to be your everything as you become a young woman. You don’t miss a soca jam. Blame Raph and Tyrone for that. Oh, and Andrea too. You like to party hard. On sheer adrenalin though! No substances involved, phew. Your over the shoulder pose will be your signature pose. Why? Why? Oh and really with the white ankle boots and that dress. Really? IMG_3801

You will be more responsible. Working , studying and growing. That job at Ikea was like your school of hard knocks. Literally. Your friendships with work colleagues, college buddies and high school friends evolve. Some for the better and some for the worst. You are little Ms. popular.  Involved in everything. It doesn’t always bode well but you are good at learning lessons…sometimes. Luckily you had Tamora! Tam never judged you and always made learning some of those lessons a little easier. Side note: Your tattoos are real and not henna like you tried to tell Daddy. Naomi was your twin. She was everything to you and more. Plus her daughter was yours too. You just did not give birth to her. Your friendship with Ni was like having a Sister and Best friend in one. With everything that came along with it.

You think you’re grown because the numbers of your age increase each year but in some ways you’re still that little girl searching and hoping that you’ll make your Mom proud one day. That is one relationship that you’ll still be working on to this day and beyond. You are grown enough to get a mortgage and your first property. No longer living with Daddy had perks and now you had to be serious about everything. You do it though and you will own more property in the future. Yay! You! I mean Me! Yay, US!!!

Love Yourself…

I remember you always thinking you weren’t good enough. Being 16 (sixteen) is tough I know.  That no one would love you. Why would they. What was there to love? Yourself maybe? Well you don’t really find that out until much later but I promise you there is ALOT to love. Just don’t give up ok? Even when it seems like you can’t face any more. DO NOT GIVE UP! You have your toughest trial to come and there is no one that can fight this battle like you can.

We are only half way through and I am gonna finish up here. I bet your facial expression is like this! Ha! I know you so well. You can’t have the entire cheat sheet! That would be no fun. You can’t have come out too bad…right?


I love you…always Don-Don, Doughnut, Danger Mouse, Donette (I will stop here)!

Me! (Who is You) only older! XOXO

P.S I will write more soon!

P.P.S This letter is being written on a blog. You will have no idea what that is. Like Twitter and some of the other things I mentioned. I won’t tell you to google it. Just trust me. The world becomes a scary but advanced place… in some respects anyway.






So you wanna become a Make-up Artist?

This is a special reader request for my beautiful friend Etta who sent this along with a couple of other requests. Etta is not alone in this quest as it is something that I get asked all the time. I still consider myself pretty new in the game having only really embarked on this just over a year ago. Truth be told I am probably an OG as so many people are becoming make-up artists every day.

I will be honest. This field is full to the bronzing powdered brim and overflowing. The industry is saturated and shows no signs of slowing down. My story is different to others and I will give you the short version. For the full, no holds barred version, click here. I used make-up as a mask and it helped me find confidence. I wanted to help others find confidence through inner beauty first and so got into beauty and make-up.

It does not come naturally to me. I am not artistic- I draw the line at stick men- see what I did there! I did not wear make-up before a year and a half ago and still don’t on a daily basis. My passion for this has come later on in life and continues to grow each day with the people I meet and helping them see their beauty truly is internal.

So you wanna become a Make-up Artist? Here are my tips and some general advice. This is from my own experience and has not been influenced by anyone or anything. As always they are my own thoughts and feelings.

  1. You do not have to go to Make-up School. There is no law here in the UK or overseas (that I am aware of ) that says you do. Some of the most talented MUAs are self-taught. What a school will help with is specific skills and possibly confidence from a certificate. It is a personal decision as they are not cheap and there are alot of additional extra’s that come with it. Some supply basic kits and other’s don’t. If you think it is for you then…
  2. Do your research. Find out what the school offers. What your fee includes? Do you have to buy products as the course goes on or will they provide them? In the UK, PAM London and Illamasqua have great free courses/ workshops/ drop in sessions available. Click on their names for links to their sites. You can also do a longer college course and combine make-up and beauty. For young people in the UK there are a lot of free ways into this arena.
  3. Insurance. If you are looking at this as a professional career then you should have insurance to cover you when making up other people. You don’t realise how important this is until you need it- which I pray never happens. The same way you insure your phone, contents etc, you should get insurance. You should still consider it even if not doing this professionally as regardless of family or friend, it is important to be covered.
  4. Assistant required! Starting out as an assistant to a MUA is a great way to test the field and see if this is really for you. I started out assisting a friend and it was an eye opener. She allowed me to set up, prep skin and eventually do make-up under her watchful eye. I will do another post on how to be the best assistant you can be. Thank you Mary-Jane.
  5. Practice! Practice! Practice! I will save the practise and perfect adage only because I do not believe in perfection as it gives you nothing more to strive for. Struggle with winged liner, then practice. A smokey eye going up in flames? Practice. Not sure how to do make-up for dark skin? Hooded eyes? Practice. You will get better with time and you will see your progress the more you do it. I seriously get so nervous when I do my friends. Strange but true.
  6. You Tube! This place taught me much. There are so many talented ‘beauty gurus’ as they are called providing step by step looks. Everything from daytime simple to hollywood glamour looks. This generation is serious about their craft and you can watch on your phone or in the comfort of your own home. Stop, start, forward and rewind at your own pace.
  7. Don’t let talent overshadow personality. It doesn’t go without saying and needs to be said. Be a kind person. Be polite, professional, courteous and punctual. I am so humbled by the referrals and booking I get from others and majority of that is by being good natured. I am not the best MUA there is but I am me and I give every client my all regardless of whether they are paying £50 or £500.
  8. Be presentable. I have opted for the casual approach when working on regular clients but I am always clean and presentable. I don’t also wear black all the time. I can only be me, so do I wear a full face of make-up? No. It has to be you and what you are comfortable with. You can wear heels but remember you may be on your feet for long hours.
  9. Believe in yourself. Saying I am not the best MUA is not negative but honest. I am striving every day to get better. I do believe in my ability and what I can do. I let that confidence speak through me when I am on a job and make sure every client has the best experience they can.
  10. Do you do hair? Clients will want to keep costs down where they can. If you can do hair, let them know. If you can’t then consider a basic course. If it is still not for you, then be honest and tell the client when they book you.
  11. Develop a thick(er) skin. This industry is not easy. You will question your ability when you are not booked for a job or when a client changes or adds ‘subtle changes’ to your look right in front of you. Some clients may not even call back after booking you or say they like your work but then behind your back say something different to the photographer. Try not to take it personally. Everyone has reasons for what they do. You are responsible for your actions and yours alone. You may feel a little setback but as Jay-Z would say… dust your shoulders off. As long as you gave it your all and had a good heart that was enough.
  12. Keep learning. Update your skills. Do follow- up courses if you can. I ask for feedback from my clients so I know what I need to improve upon and what worked well. That may be the old Customer Service Manager in me but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I adore working with people and I want to make sure they get the most paramount service I can offer.
  13. Team work. Photographers, Hairstylists, Models, Stylists and everyone else involved. Know what they do and be supportive. Someone once told me that MUAs are considered the bottom of the pecking order on shoots. None of the shoots I have worked on. I challenge that theory and then some. If I have to hold a reflector or help a model into their shoes I do it like there is nothing to it. I do not, however, accept rudeness. We all have bad days but you can turn that around if we smile and try.
  14. Be prepared. Know in as far in advance as possible about the shoot. Ask for a mood board (a series of looks detailing what the shoot is going for) themes, what the model is wearing, what light the photographer is shooting with. if in doubt, ask. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. Being prepared will show you mean business!
  15. Promote yourself. Be your own PR agency. No-one will blow that trumpet like you can. Keep your CV and portfolio up to date. You do not have to be the big tweeter or face booker but get yourself out there. Local paper, flyers, business cards. The level will depend on you.
  16. Overnight Millionaire. Even if you’re doing Rhianna’s make-up you are not gonna be a millionaire overnight. You more than likely gonna have flights around the world and get closer to Trey Songz than I would (vex face). The money depends on so many factors such as what part of make-up or beauty you get into. Bridal can be big business as can glamour. You may have to do a lot of jobs for free to build your portfolio but have a limit or cut off. Know your work and as we said in point 8- believe in yourself and your talent. You may not be financially rich but emotionally you will if this is your passion.
  17. Money out vs. Money in. Your kit can get expensive. Very expensive. You think you need everything when you start out. You so do not! Think about each purchase carefully. Don’t go buy fake blood or SFX stuff if you only want to do bridal. You do not need a specialist make-up case if you have a perfectly good suitcase and clear bags for your products. Weigh up the cost properly. You do not have to outdo anyone. If you have seen my other posts then you will know you do not have to always go for the most expensive products. As you build up a clientele and have more money coming in then you can be a little less tight on the purse but not too much!
  18. Have a career plan or goal. Do you want your own make-up line or want to be a celebrity make-up artist? Just wanna do make-up for friends and family. No matter what the goal is, let it be your dream and your vision. Not someone else’s vision for you. Big or small it is your dream, right?
  19. There are specialist agencies out there (yep! like Modelling agencies) that represent Make-up Artists and other creatives. There is a process to go through and they represent a lot of the elite. Another strand to consider should you want to get into this field. You can also go the counter route. Working for Lancome, Clarins or Mac. They generally require sales experience and examples of your work. It is easier through recruitment agencies as opposed to directly with the brand but there will be a recruitment process or you may be lucky enough to know someone on the inside.
  20. Look after you. This job can take a toll on your back, feet, body and skin.There will be long hours and not so glamorous locations. You may have to work in cramped spaces or in the rain. All for the love of it.

I haven’t asked whether you want to do it as a hobby or career and that really is your own question to ask. This really covers Make-up Artistry. Beauty therapy and skin care does require education and qualification. It is like anything, hard work and you get out what you put in. Make-up on your friends is different from Film, Television and Music. There will be terminology thrown around such as dewey or flat, sepia to cut crease and you will need to decipher the code or ask questions. I am behind you all the way.

Good Luck! I hope this helps in some way. If you have any questions or any further advice to offer please comment and let me know. If you find these blogs useful then why not subscribe? If you are on WordPress all you have to do is hit the follow button. Everyone else, just put your email in the box on the right and receive email notifications every time I blog!

Here are a couple behind the scenes pics of me when I first started out…

Working with Ny on film Krish and Lee With Allegra Hart on Breathe Music Video


TBH! xoxo