Students Experience with their Photoshoot at Lauren Malone Academy

As part of our Part-Time ITEC Certificate in Makeup Course, our students take part in a photoshoot towards the end of their 16 weeks with us. This photoshoot is included in the course cost, and the only extra expense the students have is printing the images afterwards for their portfolios.

I asked my girls to let us in on their experience of the day, and here are two first hand accounts from current students Niamh Lee and Daisy Conroy:

Niamh’s model Lorna (Day Look)

Niamh’s model Lorna (Day Look)

Niamh Lee from our Evening Class said:

Bridal Look

Bridal Look

When I started at the Lauren Malone Academy, we were all told that we would do a photo-shoot for our portfolio.

A make-up artist’s portfolio, is basically a collection of our looks. It helps us to have something to show employers.

When Lauren first mentioned it (I’ll be completely honest)I brushed the thought of it off: it’s not that it seemed daunting, but, for me I found I was so busy trying to concentrate on soaking up all the information Lauren was teaching us at the time. 

But as days turned into weeks, the thoughts of my photo-shoot crept back into my head every time I learnt a new thing in class, I started to get a little more excited about the photo-shoot. 

Then the week before the photo-shoot I started to get a little bit nervous, I love doing make up, but the thing that I’ve noticed - compared to my peers is I’m slightly slower I still get (in my opinion) an excellent application but just slightly slower and I was worried that I wouldn’t be quick enough to get enough looks done in the time allocated.

The plan of the photo-shoot for our portfolio was, we have to do 5 looks so:

Debs Look

Debs Look

  • One Daytime

  • One Bridal

  • One Evening

  • One Special Occasion

  • One Other

Ladies Day at the Races

Ladies Day at the Races

Mermaid Look

Mermaid Look

So obviously, two of these are set looks (Day and Bridal), but with the last three they can kind of be whatever you wish to create.

The photo-shoot was from 10-4 with a break for lunch from 1-2 , so, we five hours in total for 5 looks. I was a little bit nervous, as I had never attempted back to back looks before, but I was also a little bit excited about having a professional photographer taking photos and also about getting a chance to see my work come to life. 

The looks I choose were as follows for my evening look I did Debutant make up, for special occasion I did Ladies Day at the Races, for my other I did a Mermaid look.

I had everything planned my best friend was to be my model and I had her booked weeks in advance a local businesswoman (Linda Fleming Milliner) had lent me some props such as fascinators etc. To be honest I was excited.

Then the day before my friend messaged me bad news I can’t do the photo-shoot something’s come up.

I was stressed out 24 hrs to go and now I had no model to be completely honestly I cried for like 2 hours straight because without a portfolio we cannot even sit our exams. Then my amazing class and tutor rallied around and found a girl who offered to help.  

On the day of the shoot, to say I was a bag of nerves is an understatement, I had never meet my model, I had no idea what she looked like.  Luckily my best friend was able to be there from 10-12 so it gave me two hours to get comfortable and get into my flow. After the first few minutes getting everything set up I was excited to get started.  

 Brain Our photographer arrived at 10.45 and he was so kind he understood that I had my model for less time than my classmates so he was really accommodating and did my photos first so I could get straight back in to changing the look and creating the next one in time for my model to leave. 

Brian was also so kind and really put everyone at complete ease, which I think was so important because I’m pretty sure some models were just as nervous as the make-up artists. He made everyone laugh and joke and just gave everyone a really enjoyable day. 

My model (that I had never met was so lovely), there was no reason to be stressed at all and, would you believe, that I actually finished all 5 looks before anyone else! I was amazed I finished all my looks at 3.30 I was in shock. What I also thought was really good is that the day gave us a taste of what it would be like to do a real professional shoot for magazines or companies which I thought was a great idea.  

All in all the experience all though super tiring god I was so ready for bed that day it was an amazing day and it left me for one dying to do more shoots and try different looks it’s left me feeling so inspired and proud.

All I have to say is thank you so much to Lauren and Brian for making it all possible, I can’t wait to do my next shoot.

Follow Niamh for more on Instagram at: Niamh is based in Gorey, Co. Wexford should you wish to book her or contact her.

Daisy’s model Robin - Day Look

Daisy’s model Robin - Day Look

Next up is Daisy Conroy from our Saturday Day Class, here is how Daisy got on:

Bridal Look

Bridal Look

Hey everyone. My name is Daisy, so I found Lauren’s Academy through a mutual friend, who had amazing things to say about her.

I wasnt sure about driving from Dundalk to Gorey, I can get quite anxious on the busy roads.

Its honestly been the best decision. She has the biggest heart and I have grown so much from learning from her. 

Getting ready for our photoshoot was a real test for me. I have done photoshoots and fashion shows before but this one really hit me hard.

I just wanted to do my best and prove to Lauren her techniques and teaching have been amazing. It was hard to pick the right looks, but, I just went with my own style and how I would wear my wedding makeup or how I would go to a festival, like my favourite colours to wear.

My mood boards came quite easy, I love putting together a collage, face charts on the other hand -haha I went through quite a few practice ones. Got there in the end. Lol 

Photoshoot day was incredible!!

Brian made us all feel so at ease. During every photo he took I was smiling and laughing because he was making jokes to help us relax.

It was a huge comfort. My photos came back STUNNING!! I wouldnt change any of them. I'm so proud!

Thank you for everything Lauren. Now to get through exams 

Evening Look

Evening Look

High Fashion Look

High Fashion Look

Festival Look

Festival Look

To follow Daisy, click on:

Daisy is based in Drogheda, Louth, for any bookings or to contact her.

I am absolutely thrilled with all 25 of my students work over both photoshoot days, they banded together and were there emotionally and physically for each other.

To follow or book Brian, our photographer, his site is: and he is under the same name on Instagram. Myself and the girls highly recommend him for any photography needs - he will be booked as soon as I have this baby in July! Having worked with Brian on many occasions before, I not only love his style of photography but also his manner. He can put anyone at ease and is a dab hand with kids in particular - he has 5 of his own so he is well versed at producing giggles!

All my love,

Lauren x

What to Buy for the Makeup Addict in Your Life €5-€15 Edition

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

  1. The Stocking Stuffers €5-15

These are the ultimate stocking fillers or Secret Santa gifts.

This lightweight primer would be a welcome addition to anyones makeup collection or kit - at that price - you might even sneak one into your own makeup bag.

The Ordinary has a great range of affordable skincare, and is sold in Arnott’s too! So it is definitely not a brand to be sniffed at, even if it is ridiculously easy on the wallet!


The packaging, the price, cruelty free.. Need we say more?

These Unicorn Lashes are re-useable, and so fluffy.

Perfect for the ‘Dramatic Eye Makeup’ person in your life.


You can’t go wrong with Revolution as a whole, but my students swear by these concealers as an eyeshadow base!

They are a supposed dupe for the near impossible to attain, Tarte Shape Tape (which is much more expensive!), but are much easier on the pocket and are just as full coverage and matte.

Any makeup addict would love one of these, they have a 24 shade range with all inclusive skin tones catered for.

If you are local to Gorey, they sell these in Roche’s AllCare and Hickeys.

If you are local to Arklow, they sell these in Superdrug.


I recently added this cute little brush to my kit, and am using it as a foundation brush, underage setting powder brush, highlight, blush, contour.. etc.

Basically an all round face brush! I’ll be adding a second one to my kit so that I have one for dry powder products and one for buffing out liquids!

These are great little brushes and the packaging is gorgeous.

If you are local to Gorey, they sell these in Whelan’s Pharmacy.


Palettes can be pricey! Most makeup addicts will be proud owners of palettes around the €50 mark.

ZOEVA are well known in the makeup world for being a high end brand, with their brushes being on many MUA’s Christmas lists!

You can’t go wrong with a warm toned, well rounded palette like this one, it suits all eye colours and skin tones.


My long time MUA friend and fellow makeup tutor wrote and self published a book aimed at all Beauty Industry Professionals giving sound advice.

I read this entire book in one sitting, and even as a long time Artist I learned a lot - this is the ‘thoughtful gift’ to give the makeup addict in your life.

There is even a section on how to mind your mental health, which I have never seen in any Beauty Business book before. As a tutor, this is something I think is really important for up and coming artists, especially with our work being heavily reliant on social media these days, it can be daunting and overwhelming. Ciara hits the nail on the head with her book.

Plus the price point is unreal! This can be found in a lot of local book shops too.


Irish born Marissa Carter owns not only an amazing makeup line but she also owns Cocoa Brown Tan! Which pretty much every Irish gal, and even Kylie Jenner love.

Her Carter Beauty line is absolutely stunning and such excellent value, I personally own a couple of her products and they are really impressive. I demoed a makeup look using her Full Measure HD Foundation and everyone in the audience wrote down the name and shade, which is a really good sign!

These products would be welcome in any makeup lovers collection. They can be found in Penneys as well as most Pharmacies in Ireland.

  • Kit Bag - Penneys €15

This unfortunately cannot be bought online, but this particular bag was bought by a current student, Emma (check her out here!)

These are normally around the €50 mark from other suppliers, and as usual Penneys have upped the makeup game for everyone and made professional kit products accessible for all.

These handy clear bags allow the artist to see where products are in a hurry and have a handy shoulder strap to assist with carrying heavy products around.

What is Inglot Duraline, and 6 Reasons why you NEED it!

There are very few items I consider a makeup bag staple, because what works for me might not necessarily work for you.

This is where Inglot’s product Duraline is different. I genuinely think this is a product that every makeup lover should have in their makeup bag.

So, what is Inglot’s Duraline?


This product is probably best described as a ‘Mixing Medium’. It is contained in a small clear dropper bottle, and looks like a clear oil. It feels oily when applied directly on the skin, but it dries to a matte and waterproof finish. It can be purchased at any Inglot store or online for the reasonable price of €12.

Ok, that all sounds great, but what would I possibly use that for? I hear you ask.

Some of my main tricks for using Duraline are for:

1: Bringing gel liners and pomades back to life.

Anyone who uses a gel eyeliner or a brow pomade will know the struggle is real as soon as your product begins to dry out – and in some cases, even begin to crack inside the pot.

You’ve probably even binned them when they get to this stage, but you don’t have to anymore!

Simply add a teeny tiny drop of Duraline directly into the pot and it will make your brow or liner product work like a dream again. It has the added bonus of waterproofing the product once mixed in – which I find perfect if I have a client with watery eyes or someone who has a tendency to rub their face. No more black tears, Hallelujah!

Tip* You need the tiniest amount of product or else it can take a long time to dry down (don’t worry – it will eventually!).

But in order to stop your liner from transferring to the top lid and ruining your eyeshadow you really need to let this product dry completely before opening your eyes wide after the application.

If I’m in a hurry, I sometimes cheat and set the liner with black eyeshadow to speed up the drying process, but again, this product WILL dry once you give it time.

2. Cleaning up your eyeshadow at the outer corner.

This is my all-time favourite tip for creating a winged look without having to use liner (or to create a guide for a winged liner). What I mean by this is, once you finish with your eyeshadow, pop a tiny amount of Duraline onto a palette (or any clean flat surface), and dip a concealer or sturdy lip brush into the liquid.

Drain off the excess product if you’ve picked up too much (either press onto the back of your hand or dap into a tissue/cotton disc) and simply wipe the brush underneath the shadow to create a sharp and winged look.

Most people use a cotton bud soaked in eye makeup remover for this, but you won’t get a sharp finish using a rounded cotton tip. Duraline also works miles better than makeup remover for this.

This is the easiest way to create a winged shadow look, or like I said above. A guide for applying your liner afterwards.

3. Cleaning up your liner.

Eyeliner is one of the most daunting parts of doing makeup for most, and for that reason a lot of people avoid it. But, with Inglot’s Duraline, it makes the application a dream. I personally cannot do a client’s liner without it anymore.

It’s become THAT much of a staple for me.

If you’re not confident with the top section of the liner (the bit that touches off the upper part of the eye lid) – Try doing liner first and then afterwards apply your regular shadow to the lid.


I used to do this all the time on client’s when I was a trainee MUA and not confident with liner. This way I could clean up any mistakes and get a perfect line without messing up their eyeshadow. I would then touch up the liner afterwards if eyeshadow touched off it – it always seemed easier to me when I had the bulk of the work with liner done first.

Using the same method as the eyeshadow clean up, you can use your brush to wipe away any unwanted shakes or bumps that may occur, and clean up the wing underneath for the most precise application ever!

Tip* Duraline can sometimes make the black product that you are wiping away mix into the bristles of your brush. Have a tissue or cotton disc handy to wipe it clean between each swipe and prevent you spreading the black product where you don’t want it.

4. Bringing matte or dried up lipsticks back to life.

If you are reading this and you own Ruby Woo Lipstick by MAC – you will know what I mean! Matte lipsticks can begin to drag and look really dry and unflattering on the lips. In order to get the most out of your lipstick you can add a drop of Duraline to your lip brush and apply the product from the lipstick with ease.

It will still dry down to a matte finish – so don’t worry if it looks glossy on application!

5. Applying pigments or sticking down loose shimmers.

If you’re a fan of shimmery loose pigments, but find they lack that WOW factor or that the shimmer mostly just falls off during the night, then adding a small amount of Duraline to your eyelids will not only help them to stick to the lid but will also ensure they keep the glittery or shimmery reflects.

I find using a fluffier brush and gently bouncing it over the lid is the best for this. Bounce the Duraline on the back of your hand to remove excess product and to get the bristles nice and splayed out – then bounce it on the lid – followed by bouncing the pigment on top (Gently! We don’t want it all down our cheeks! If this happens see trick number 2 for clean up!)

 Or for a cut crease look where you don’t mind a harsh line, then use a concealer brush to carve out your crease using Duraline, and whatever is left on the concealer brush, use it to pack the pigment on.

Tip* Be mindful of where you apply Duraline when doing an eyeshadow look – as we saw earlier, it can also be used to create sharp and neat lines. Only apply it where you plan to place pigment, otherwise it can be your worst enemy!

6. Creating coloured liner.

You can turn any powder into a liquid with Duraline. If you fancy doing a deep berry or brown eyeliner and don’t want to spend a fortune and buy one, all you have to do is scrape a tiny amount of eyeshadow in your colour of choice and mix with duraline (think of it as an upmarket cement mixing idea!). It will create a paste that applies with ease and dries down to a matte finish.


If I am working on a model and have been briefed to do, say, coloured lashes or brows – and I don’t have the correct coloured mascara in my kit. I’ll often mix up my own custom mascara using eyeshadows and Duraline and apply with a clean wand.

It’s usually only for a one off shoot and the results are almost the exact same – so it’s pointless to buy a product especially for the shoot, when I can custom make my own. I sometimes pack the liner or mascara with the eyeshadow on its own afterwards for an even more intense look – kind of the same idea as Trick 5!

Tip* Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT (!) add Duraline directly to your eyeshadow in the pan – always scrape it out and mix on a palette (or even the lid of a cotton bud container - anything.!) It will not dry back to the original state and will leave a dark stain in your precious shadow.


..Aaand there you have it, I hope this helps with any mystery behind this magic liquid from Inglot!

My Top 5 Drugstore Foundations for Oily Skin

1. Wet 'N' Wild Coverall Foundation

Do not be turned off by the packaging for this product!

I know it's not a product you will display on your vanity or even an Instagram-able product, but honestly, believe me when I say it's good!

It's priced at €4.50 and can be bought at most Dunnes Stores and Penneys as well as Pharmacies Nationwide.

This foundation is unlike any other foundation I own - so I can't compare it for you to get an idea of how it feels. I will describe it as best as possible below for you. 

It comes out of the tube incredibly fast - so be gentle and slow when dispensing otherwise you end up with enough to cover your whole body in one go!

It also has a strange, perfumed smell, so it may not be suitable for you if you have sensitive skin. I don't have sensitive skin and it doesn't affect me in the slightest. 

Upon application, (this is where the magic happens,) the coverage is stunning - I can cover my reddest of acne breakouts with one thin layer, followed by 'bouncing' the brush over more stubborn areas afterwards to give an extra little with of coverage with leftover product.

It feels very liquidy, doesn't dry too fast but it oxidises (darkens as time goes on due to oxygen evaporating certain ingredients to help it dry down) so I recommend buying a shade or two down, this will ensure you don't end up with an unwanted orange face and white neck! 

I generally find I don't need to use much powder as this foundation is very matte, but powder could be added to give it staying power.

Verdict: Perfect for anyone who likes a full coverage finish on a tight budget. I've not found a cheaper foundation that performs as well as this does. It is a gem for day time, when you don't want to use your 'good' makeup but still want to look hot!

Wet n Wild Coverall Foundation

2. Catrice HD Liquid Coverage

This is the foundation that went viral on my YouTube page, you can watch it in action here.

This is another holy grail foundation for ladies and men with acne or severely blemished skin. It is comparable to Estee Lauder Double Wear - but at under €8 it's a complete bargain.

My honest review of this foundation is that it dries very quickly - you need to do one section at a time and blend it really well - because once it sets, it is set! It can begin to cake if you try to layer any contour or cream concealers over the top of it, because it is so dry. 

My advice here is to use powder contour over the top, and for undereye concealer or other cream products - apply those first and gently blend your foundation into where this ends or slightly overlap the two. Just make sure you do not use creams over the foundation - you will regret this (trust me!).

The packaging itself is quite pretty and modern, with a frosted clear glass bottle and a black dropper lid. 

Verdict: A little goes a very long way and the coverage is amazing. My only complaint is that the darker shades seem to look extremely grey on my skin - I normally use 030 with no tan and have no problem at all with it being cool toned, as soon as I moved to 040 I looked like I was ill, it was that ashy on my skin. This may not be an issue for you - but keep it in mind when choosing a shade!

This foundation is sold in all Adrian Dunne Pharmacies and also Penneys.

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage

3. L.A. Girl Pro Coverage HD Long Wear Illuminating Foundation

Phew, how long is that name? This is generally referred to as 'The LA Girl Foundation' as it's pretty much THE foundation of beauty gurus in The States. It can be bought from Beauty Bay online and it's €12.80.

This one is a dewy finish - so it's perfect for anyone with oily skin who is slightly more mature and doesn't want a super matte finish accentuating wrinkles, but it can be powdered.

It gives a stunning and flawless finish and is true to colour with a huge colour range available. I wear Nude Beige when I have tan on and it's similar to NC 30 from MAC.

Verdict: Because it's a dewy finish it can transfer onto clothes etc. if you don't powder it. This is my only concern with this foundation as I touch my face a lot and find foundation smears on my black clothes.


L.A. Girl HD Pro Coverage

L.A. Girl HD Pro Coverage

4. Revlon Colour Stay for Combination/Oily Skin

This foundation was one I bought on the recommendation of beauty bloggers, this was my holy grail before we had more affordable options in Ireland. It's one of the more expensive ones at €18.99 but I pick this up when there are 3 for 2 deals in Boots and I wear the shade Golden Beige. 

One of the reasons I have veered from this foundation and started using different brands was the crappy packaging that had no pump, I actually bruised my hand once in my desperation to get the product out of the bottle by bashing it on to the back of my closed fist. It has since (thank GOD!), changed to a pump bottle. 

This foundation is another one with a weird perfumed smell, so it might irritate sensitive skin, but it doesn't irritate mine at all. It applies evenly and with ease, no need to work quickly for fear of it drying or caking. It dries to a velvet matte finish, so it's not too matte, if you have fine lines or wrinkles it is flattering on the skin.

Verdict: This foundation is very similar to the finish of MAC Studio Fix fluid.

Revlon ColourStay Combination/Oily

Revlon ColourStay Combination/Oily

5. L'Oreal True Match Foundation

This is one of my absolute favourite foundations. EVER. 

This suits pretty much all skin types, and can be sheer or full coverage depending on your preference, it's gorgeous on mature skin and stunning on younger skins.

It's priced at €15 usually, but again, Boots do the 3 for 2 a lot on L'Oreal products so essentially you can get it for €10 if you bought 3 - or you and 2 friends bought one each. But, to be honest it's totally worth €15. 

It's a very similar finish to Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk which is €45 - and guess who owns Armani cosmetics and produces them? Yep, you guessed it, L'Oreal. 

This foundation also comes in both cool and warm shades, so for natural redheads who find most foundations too yellow, you can opt for the warm toned versions. There is also a huge range of darker shades which most drugstore brands just don't offer.

I often tell my makeup students to get a few of these for their kits, as they are inexpensive and beautiful on the skin - 9 times out of 10 if I ask a student what foundation she has used on her model (because I want to compliment it!) it will be the L'Oreal True Match. 

This foundation can be powdered or left with a dewy finish. It dries semi-matte, but has a lot of shimmery minute flecks through it (either gold or slightly pinky) which can leave a glowing, luminous finish when left without powder - perfect for blurring fine lines and even acne scars due to light bouncing off it and causing a flattering finish. 

Verdict: I always need to powder when I wear this foundation, it just is way too luminous for my naturally shiny skin.

L'Oreal True Match Foundation

L'Oreal True Match Foundation