Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Beauty Vine goes to Camp Beauty Graduate Class!

On the weekend prior to heading off to New York, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Camp Beauty Graduate Class with Camp Beauty Australia.

Camp Beauty Australia is run by two completely fabulous women, Michelle Scott and Jo Cotter.
With decades of experience between them, working on many famous faces in both television and film, these two professional makeup artists have created a unique business, designed to bring the everyday woman the tools, skills and techniques, and products to empower them to feel confident in makeup application.

Camp Beauty Australia - Jo Cotter and Michelle Scott

As a young teenager, I could not wait to get my hands on some makeup! When I finally was allowed to ( thanks Mum ), I would spend much of my time playing, experimenting, practising and learning. 20 odd years on  ( *cough* ), I am still doing exactly the same thing...playing with different tones and shades, experimenting with new products, tools and application techniques, practising, and always always always learning.

I am often suprised when many of my friends tell me that they have little confidence in makeup application...they are often not sure which colours or shades will suit them, what tools to use to apply makeup, and actually how to do it. I sometimes wrongly assume that everyone is as obsessed with makeup as I am!  No Lou...they are not!

Not only do Michelle and Jo teach you application techniques, and provide individual colour matching, they also have their very own complete line of cosmetics. To add to that, they have also designed a beautiful set of 15 makeup brushes, all of which you get to play with and use during your class. Michelle and Jo talk you through step by step makeup application, from the basic 5 minute face, perfect for the daytime, to the more advanced 15 minute face, featuring either a smokey eye, or a classic contoured eye tutorial.

All of Michelle and Jo's products are available to purchase on the day, which I think it brilliant. They have a wonderful range of products...absolutely everything that you need and more! I think a lot of people, myself included, can often feel a little apprehensive approaching counters in department stores, it really can be a daunting experience!
Well, not at Camp Beauty. I felt relaxed and comfortable the whole time, even though I was having a bad skin day ( ...great timing yes ). The class is all about touching, trying, using, experimenting with different colours, and Michelle and Jo are relaxed, accommodating and helpful. It really adds to the uniqueness of the experience I feel, finding the shades and colours that suit you, learning how to apply them, and then having to opportunity to purchase those same products and take them home with you. 

With classes held in the Sydney suburbs of Balmain and Hornsby, the room is set up beautifully, with a large table in the middle, and room for five makeup stations along each side. In front of each person is a makeup vanity case full of everything that you will need for your class, including a full set of Camp Beauty Brushes for you to use and test first hand. Lets just say I was in my happy place!

Michelle and Jo have used Neutral, Hot, and Cool colour groupings to assist women in finding the most complementary colour cosmetics. At the beginning of the session they attend to everyone individually to assess whether you are Hot or Cool, and colour match your foundation and concealer. Their colour cosmetics are all labelled with Neutral - N, Cool -C , Hot - H to assist you in your choices. 

These are by no means fixed rules, but serve as a very useful guideline not only for makeup but for clothing and accessories as well. It certainly gives your overall look a certain synergy when your makeup, outfit and accessories tie in together. I tend to lean towards the cooler end of the spectrum, and most of my wardrobe at home reflects this. However, I really love the look on my eyes of a warm bronze eyeshadow... remember they are guidelines, not rules. I do have some pink undertones and red areas on my face, however once I correct that, I find that I can often pull off either warm or cool. Do what makes you feel happy and confident!

In the photograph above are the booklets that we were given at the beginning of the class. They have a detailed list of  instructions for each look that you learn, allow room for making notes, and contain face charts for you to play with as well.
There is room to record your particular shade names and numbers for the products that you use during your class. This allows you to have both a record for the future, and a reference should you choose to purchase any of the products on the day.

Now whilst I have applied my own makeup many, many times, I personally really like to make the most of professional makeup artist when I get the chance ( ie. suck the life out of them). There is always something new to learn, even if you might feel quite confident already!

One thing I have always struggled with is the application of my crease shade.  I learnt a brilliant trick on the day, which was to tilt my head back slightly when applying shadow, and to apply it slightly above the natural crease of the eye. "Well derr" you might all be saying...but this simple trick now means I can see exactly where to place my crease colour, and the shadow is now perfectly visible just above my crease, instead of barely being noticeable. Hooray for Lou!

Inspriation boards, brushes and beautiful eye shadows

Just a few of the beautiful Survival Kit eye shadow shades available, all named in the military theme

My fifteen minute face

DO excuse my "Deer caught in the headlights" expression! This is me at the end of the session, with my fifteen minute face. Can I just say it is hard to take a reasonable selfie in a room full of people!

 Survival Kit Eye Shadows  L-R  Bunker Beige, Ambush Annie, Military Mauve, Purple Heart

Although I didn't purchase any eye shadows, I can without hesitation, warmly recommend them. They have a beautiful, smooth, silky texture, excellent pigmentation and colour payoff, and blend beautifully on the eyes. The swatches above are one swipe of colour...gorgeous! In my opinion, the quality is absolutely comparable to Too Faced, Urban Decay and MAC eyeshadows. The eye shadows are sold individually, and Michelle and Jo have a couple of different size eye palettes to choose from, depending how many shadows you would like. I'll have one of each thanks....

Base Camp Basics Kit - Powder foundation

I did purchase the Base Camp Basics Kit on the day, which consists of a primer, concealer, foundation and Buki brush, along with the gorgeous Survival Kit makeup bag. I chose the mineral foundation, which is what we used on the day. I am a big fan of mineral foundation, and find it perfect for the warmer months as my preferred base. This one performs very well, it is easy to blend, and gives very good coverage without looking heavy or powdery. It is conveniently pressed, in a nice sturdy compact with a mirror. Thumbs up.

The Buki brush is small, densely packed and gloriously soft. If anything I wish it was just ever so slightly bigger. I only have small hands, and find it a little difficult to get maintain a good grip on the handle whilst buffing in the foundation. Apart from that, it is brilliant.

The Make-Up Primer is lovely, and a pleasure to use. It contains only six ingredients, it is all natural and feels light and refreshing on the skin, smoothing my pores and fine lines and providing a nice base for the mineral foundation. For me, it feels nourishing enough to skip my moisturiser, something those with oily/combo skins may appreciate. A subtle hint of lavender extract makes it sensory treat as well. Love.

The concealer is in a stick form, offers good medium, buildable coverage. It is not too dry, like some stick concealers can tend to be. It does not tug on the skin, but does not slip and slide all over the place either. It works equally well under the eyes and on blemishes/scarring, and doesn't disappear halfway through the day. Nice.

My Survival Kit Brushes in New York!

I took the Survival Kit make up bag with me to New york, along with the Survival Kit Brush set, which Michelle and Jo gifted to me on the day of my Graduate Class, for which I am so grateful!

I am really enjoying them! They are beautiful quality, and feel soft and luxurious. Michelle and Jo have numbered them in the order that you might use them as you are applying your makeup, which is perfect for those just starting out with makeup application.

I have been experimenting a little with mine, as I like to do, and finding quite a few good multi-task brushes in the mix. The number 14 Shader brush, suggested to use for contouring and bronzer, also works well for me for blush, and I have also used it with liquid foundation, which it buffs into the skin beautifully. I can honestly say, that I am reaching for the eye brushes on a daily basis (love) and the concealer brush works very nicely to apply cream eyeshadow to the lids. 

When you head over the the Camp Beauty website here, you may find this brush set on special for Christmas, with a brilliant saving ( almost one third off the normal price! ), along with their complete line of cosmetics to peruse.

I highly recommend the Camp Beauty Graduate Class. It would be a perfect Mother/Daughter day, a lovely way to spend a morning with a good friend, or sister, and even if you feel confident in your own makeup application, you will have a chance to spend two and a half hours playing with a beautiful line of cosmetics and brushes, in the company of two very lovely and experienced makeup artists.

Does this sound like something you might like to do?

Today, I am delighted to be able to share with you a very special, and very generous giveaway from Michelle and Jo, especially for The Beauty Vine readers! Yay for you guys!

Would you like the chance to win a place in a 2 1/2 hour Camp Beauty Graduate Class for you and a friend or family member at the Balmain or Hornsby Campus'?

TO ENTER, please leave me a comment on this blog post, telling me;

1.  Why you would like to go to a Camp Beauty Graduate Class;

2.  Who you would like to take along with you and why!

3.  Please include your first name, and an email address for me to be able to contact you

4. If you would prefer not to leave your email address, please leave me your Instagram Account Name, so that I will be able to contact you that way via direct message.

4. PLEASE NOTE that you must be able to transport yourself to either the Balmain or Hornsby Class in Sydney, NSW Australia, for a 2 1/2 hour class.

Please note that the minimum age for attendance to Camp Beauty is 13 years.

Please obtain permission from your parents to give your details if you are under the age of 18 years.

Entries will close one week from today on Thursday 20th November at midnight.

I will contact the winner via email, or direct message on Instagram, and also make a notation on THIS blog post on Saturday 22nd November, announcing the winner!

The date of the Camp Beauty Graduate Class will be negotiated with Michelle and Jo once the winner is chosen!



Lou xo

UPDATE 23rd November : Giveaway now CLOSED.The winner of my giveaway is Jane! Thanks Jane for entering, I hope you have a fabulous time!!


  1. Sounds like an amazing class Lou, shame I am in Perth though! The eyeshadows look stunning and I love the sound of their primer :)

    1. Hi Bonnie, oh such a shame you are in Perth! It is a wonderful class! The shadows are beautiful, definitely on my list! Really enjoying the primer, it is a lovely product, Lou xo

  2. Wow!!! Your beauty class sounded amazing! I have found the older I get that harder it is to hide the ageing process. Even harder when I have never been shown how to apply make-up correctly, what suits, what doesn't.....just slap it on and hope for the best. It would be fantastic to learn ( better late than never ) how to bring out the best in my looks. I would take my daughter Kendall, an avid make - up lover who would be able to use all the experience and knowledge to her best advantage. Also as she has scarring on her face from medication she was taking for her chronic illness which laser has not been able to remove completely....her make - up does to a certain extent cover it but I would love her to learn some new tips to hide it better. Thanks Jane

    1. Congratulations Jane! You are the very lucky winner of my Camp Beauty Graduate Class giveaway! I will be in touch with you! Lou xoxo

  3. Great post Lou, I just really wish I lived in Sydney now haha The class sounds fantastic and I wish we had one in Brisbane as this would be something I would love to attend. Both looks you created looked beautiful and suited your fantastically.

    Nicole xo

    1. Oh I wish you had the classes in Brisbane too! You would love it! Thanks so much for your lovely comment, you always put a smile on my face!! Lou xoxo


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