Beauty Beat: A Cheat’s Guide to Flawless Foundation

Friday 18th July 2014, 16.42



Liberty Beauty Buyer, Sarah Coonan spreads her beauty tips on choosing and applying the right foundation for a flawless, expert finish.

Foundation is probably the most important step in any make-up routine. The wrong foundation, when poorly applied, can be really ageing and look mask-like. Luckily, finding the best foundation is much easier than you think and application doesn’t need to take hours. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite makeup tips and tricks to help you achieve an enviably flawless base.

Step 1. Find the perfect colour

Foundation should match your skin as closely as possible, and I recommend visiting a make-up counter for advice. Always test it on your skin and ideally in natural light. If you don’t feel confident the colour is quite right ask for a sample and try it at home. There’s nothing worse than investing in a great foundation and then not using it because the colour is poorly matched.


Step 2. Take a lesson

Nothing beats a one-to-one tuition with a great make-up artist. Pop into store for a lesson and you’ll pick up a handy arsenal of tips. The assistants on our beauty counters are make-up artists too and many of them do freelance work so they really know their stuff. Don’t automatically head to the brand you always use, have a look round and only seek advice from someone with flawlessly applied foundation. If theirs isn’t applied well I find it hard to take their advice seriously.


Step 3. Cherry pick

I’m a firm believer in finding the very best product you can, rather than buying everything from one brand. They may have the best foundations but if their primer or brushes aren’t up to scratch you aren’t going to get the best results. My make up bag is a big mix of products and the best ones for you will vary depending on your skin type, the time of year and what look you want to achieve. For me, I love Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation, Trish McEvoy Correct and Brighten for under the eye, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for any blemishes. I’m not keen on an overly powdered look so my go to products are either Chantecaille HD Powder or Hourglass Ambient Powder.


Step 4. Tailor your products

Depending on the look you want to achieve, you will need to use the right products. If you want dewy skin, a mattifying primer is going to work against you, so either skip the primer altogether or use something like Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. For velvety skin, I swear by Hourglass Veil Fluid Make Up and if you want a really natural look and don’t need too much cover you really can’t beat Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturisers.


Step 5. Find the right tools

Now you have the perfect products, you need to make sure you’re applying them correctly! Much of this is down to personal preference, but certain tools will help you achieve a really precise look. For an airbrushed finish, a damp Beauty Blender is a godsend. It’s quick, totally mistake-proof and gives the most beautiful coverage using just the right amount of product. When it comes to brushes, quality is the key. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but do your research first. My favourites for foundation are: Trish McEvoy’s Sheer Mistake-Proof Brush, Hourglass No. 2 (the most versatile brush you will ever use) and London Brush Co. Pyramid Brush.


Step 6. Learn from the professionals

YouTube is an amazing resource where you can get advice from great artists and real people alike. Some of our favourites are Pixiwoo, Wayne Goss and Lisa Eldridge – and the beauty is you can practice while you watch. This is also a great way to get completely impartial advice about which products to use. Wayne Goss has some really great videos about foundation and applying it. His advice is super easy to follow and he is always brutally honest about the products.


Three Tips from Our Artists

Abida from Trish McEvoy

For an airbrushed finish use Trish’s Sheer Mistake Proof Brush to stipple on foundation. Using fast circular motions to blend gives you a really light, even coverage that you can build up.


Anastasia from NARS

I like using my fingers to apply foundation as the heat really helps to melt the product into your skin leaving a really natural finish. Alternatively, I like to use a Beauty Blender slightly wetted.

Yen – Shu Uemura

A good base to even out skin, correct pigmentation and bring down redness is essential for a flawless look. The key is to use a great primer of base product like our UV Underbase. Also, don’t overcompensate with foundation to cover up blemishes. Less is more!


Outdoor Living Decorating Ideas From Selina Lake

Thursday 8th May 2014, 14.53






Interior designer Selina Lake talks about turning your outside space into a stylish setting with her tips on how to make, create and decorate

Outdoor Living design book by Selina Lake

Selina Lake is a popular interiors’ stylist and best-selling author well known for her use of colour, and pretty, vintage and accessible style. Her work appears in magazines across the world, including Mollie Makes, Living etc, Homes & Antiques, Flow Magazine and Country Living as well as via her popular blog In her latest book ‘Selina Lake Outdoor Living‘ she takes her styling and decorating ideas outside and shares her style tips for outdoor lounging, garden parties, picnics, hideaways and weddings.

We’re excited to have Selina in-store Sunday 11 May  2-3pm in the Outdoor Living department on the 4th floor to launch her new book. Whether you’re eating alfresco or sleeping beneath the stars, ‘Selina Lake Outdoor Living’ is packed with inspiring and stylish ideas for enjoying outdoor life to the full. It’s a great opportunity to come and and meet Selina and get your hands on a signed copy of her book.


If you can’t make it into store, you can still pick up a few of Selina’s top tips right here as she shares some of the best bits from her book:

1. Logistically, setting up a dining table in the middle of a buttercup field, on a River bank or even at the bottom of your garden does involve a little pre-planning. Invest in a lightweight folding table for such occasions that can easily be assembled and ask your guests to bring along their own chairs – that way your create an easy and casual mix and match feel around the table. Remember to take a tablecloth along with you to cover up the table, perhaps a length of your favourite Liberty Print?

2. If like me you enjoy buying and collecting vintage Eiderdowns and unique cushions, then you could create a comfy patchwork seating area on the ground as a fun way to use them in the Summer months, when it’s too hot to adorn beds with them. I love Bluebellgrey Floral watercolour cushions available in Liberty’s Outdoor Living Dept.

3. I like using traditional gardening items in different ways. Could an old plant pot be used as a cutlery holder on your outside table? Or how about filling a wheelbarrow with ice and bottles of drinks to create a moveable bar perfect for a garden party?


Need a quick way to update your outdoor space for a party, barbecue or just because you feel it needs sprucing up? Selina has chosen three of her favourite pieces from the Liberty Outdoor Living department to give it a speedy update:

1. Liberty Print Deckchairs – I love deck chairs and I love Liberty prints so for me this is a perfect combo. These chairs would be a super edition to a garden, deck or balcony – how lovely to soak up the summer sunshine from these seats?

2. Turquoise Watering Can – ‘I garden therefore I am …’ Love the colour of this and it could double as an outdoor vase for long sprigs of Lilacs or hydrangeas.

3. Cream 6 Glass Carrier – this a great way to serve drinks at a garden party, you could add sprigs of wild flowers to the carrier using ribbon for an extra prettiness.



How to make crystallised flowers with Lily Vanilli

Thursday 17th April 2014, 8.00

Unique cake decorating techniques for the perfect spring bake.

lily vanilli main image

Baker and cake decorator extraordinaire, Lily Vanilli has been wowing customers at her East London bakery with her naturally delectable designs. Boasting the best bakewell in town, the shop on Columbia Road opens solely on Sundays, offering Lily’s stand-out bakes and a cosy vintage-feel interior to enjoy them in. Cakes feature fresh flowers, fruits and nuts as her decoration techniques focus on putting nature firmly at the helm.

In this easy to follow guide, Lily shows us how to make crystallised spring flowers, perfect for giving your Easter cake that extra wow factor. She also shares her thoughts on traditional Easter baking and her top picks from our Kitchen collection.

“For the first time in recent memory, April actually feels like the start of spring and not a stretch into the abyss from the previous winter to the next one. The sun is out (mostly), the flowers are blooming at the right times and the first spring crops have been healthy. This is good news for the pastry chef, who looks forward to this time of year when some of the best fruit and edible flowers are on their way into season.

As traditional Easter baking (bunnies, eggs, chicks) has never really been my thing I have been busying myself with crystallising the first crop of edible spring flowers. If done carefully enough (it can be painstaking work, though the kind many bakers enjoy, myself included) they will last up to a year. Store them airtight in a cool place and make sure they are fully sugar coated.
Use them fresh or crystallised to decorate cakes and pastries for a really pretty spring look with subtle, fresh flavours.”

Some lovely edible flowers out now include:
Blackthorn blossom
Viola and cultivated/wild primrose
Brassica buds/flowers
Sorrel flowers


To crystallise a handful of edible flowers you will need:

1–2 egg whites, loosened with a few drops of water (approximately 4 drops per white)
Small bowl of caster sugar
One baking tray, lined
Fine, clean paintbrush, not used for anything besides food

1. Clip the flower stems as close to the base as possible and snip away the sepals (the green pockets on the back of the flower). Place a flower on your prepared tray and use the paintbrush to coat with the egg white, making sure you are thorough. Brush away any excess egg white. Hold the flower by what’s left of the stem over the sugar bowl and sprinkle generously with sugar. Turn it over and shake gently to release any excess sugar.

2. Do the same for the back of the flower, making sure the entire flower is coated. Place it face up on the baking tray. Repeat with the other flowers, and when you are done, put them in a cool, dry, dark place overnight or until the flowers feel crisp to the touch. Store them in an airtight container.

Lily’s Baking Picks:

Shop Lily’s top three kitchen picks from our inspirational Baking Essentials edit and kit yourself out like a pro. From the all important wooden spoon, to recipes from the Peruvian Kitchen, these pieces will enhance any culinary collection.

lily vanilli picks

1. Blue Six-Piece Enamel Prep Set by Falcon, £55.00
2. Olive Wood Spoon, £4.95
3. Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen, £25.00

Lily Vanilli’s first book, ‘Sweet Tooth’ will be available from the Liberty Home department soon!

Share your Easter baking successes with us and Lily:
Twitter: @Libertylondon @lilyvanillicake
Instagram: @LibertyLondon @lily_vanilli_cake


How to make an Easter bunny with Lisa Foreman

Wednesday 26th March 2014, 17.01

Easter crafts with children’s accessories designer, Lisa Foreman

easter bunny toy

Children’s toys and accessories designer, Lisa Foreman, has put together an easy-to-follow guide to create your very own Liberty print rabbit, complete with pompom tail. Featured in issue 25 of inspirational sewing projects magazine, Mollie Makes, this design is the perfect past time for even novice sewers. Find out more about Lisa and follow her step-by-step tutorial below to fashion an adorable bunny friend in time for Easter.

Lisa’s enthusiasm for crafting began with lessons from her grandmother and aunt when she was eight. Since then she’s graduated from making a wardrobe of clothes for Strawberry Shortcake dolls to creating soft toys and homewares for her website, Particularly inspired by retro colours and Scandinavian design, she developed a range of animals and appliquéd pinafores after making a cat called Patch for her daughter.

Step by step instructions

Here’s an easy-make wabbit with lots of character. Stitch with some leftover fabric or maybe that special piece you’ve been dying to use for a while. Change his expression by tweaking his mouth, whiskers, or the angle of his ears.

1. Use one fabric for the body and a coordinating fabric for the arms, legs and ears. Fold the fabrics right sides (RS) together and then cut out your pieces using these templates.  Do the same for your felt pieces.

easter bunny craft leg

2. Make a small pom-pom for the rabbit’s tail. A pom-pom maker is really handy but you could also use two ring-shaped pieces of cardboard. Leave the ends of the securing piece of cotton long as they’re used to attach the tail to the fabric. For a denser pom-pom, make a slightly larger one than is needed, then trim it to size.

easter bunny pompom

3. Attach the pom-pom to one of the body pieces by using a needle to pull through each end of thread and secure tightly with a knot.

easter bunny craft face and tail

4. Sew the eyes and nose onto the other body piece using two strands of black embroidery thread. Use back stitch and the same embroidery thread to create the mouth and whiskers. This could be done freehand, or use a soluble embroidery pen to trace the design, and then embroider over the lines. A spray of water will eradicate any traces of the line.

5. Use two strands of white embroidery thread to sew a cross in the centre of each eye. This brings the face to life and gives your rabbit character. Machine sew or back stitch the felt pieces to the front body and ear pieces.

easter bunny liberty print

6. Place each set of ear, arm and leg pieces RS together. Pin or tack, then machine sew, leaving roughly 0.5cm seam allowance. Zig-zag stitch around each leg and arm to prevent fraying – remember to leave a gap for stuffing later on.

easter bunny sewing project

7. Turn each ear, arm and leg RS out (a chopstick, knitting needle or similar pointy tool is really helpful here) then press, turning the raw edges of the holes in neatly. Pressing makes it much easier to sew up the holes later on.

liberty print bunny project

8. At the base of each ear, fold the outside edges into the centre and secure both sides together with a stitch (don’t worry, this will be removed later).

9. Arrange and pin the ears, arms and legs onto the front body piece, and tack into place. This stops the pieces from having a will of their own and moving when you sew the body pieces together.


10. Pin the body pieces, RS together, and machine sew leaving a 0.5cm seam allowance. Just like before when you were sewing the limbs together, make sure you leave a gap for both turning and stuffing. Then zig-zag stitch around the edge to prevent fraying, and trim any excess.

11. Turn RS out and cut away the tacking stitch on the ears.

handmade bunny sewing project

12. Fill the arms, legs and body tightly with stuffing (your chopstick or knitting needle will come in handy again). Then fold the raw edges in and sew the holes up using blind stitch. Say hello to your finished rabbit!

mollie makes liberty print bunny


How To Get Perfect Legs with Kate Shapland

Tuesday 25th March 2014, 16.38





Beauty journalist and founder of Legology, Kate Shapland, shares her tips on how to get rid of cellulite and have beautiful legs

Kate Shapland Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs
Beauty Editor of The Telegraph Magazine, is an award-winning journalist with over 25 years of beauty writing experience. Her obsession with sculpting perfect legs, free of cellulite has seen her dedicate an entire blog on the subject as well as the launch of her first beauty product, Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs- the new generation cream that lightens heavy legs, discourages cellulite and oedema while toning and tightening the entire leg from ankle to buttock.As one of our guest speakers at our in-store beauty event, What’s Your Issue, Kate spoke about her passion for legs and shared her knowledge on cellulite and tired legs with eager attendees in her special two-hour ‘Legathon’. If you missed the event you catch up on all of Kate’s most important notes and tips in today’s guest blog.Legs – My PassionAs some of you might know, I’m passionate about legs – their beauty and their wellbeing. I think our legs have had a rather poor deal in the beauty world up till recently. The market is flooded with products that aim to fight cellulite, but not a whole lot else. And as all women know, there is more to our legs – and the issues we have with them – than this. Legs get puffy – especially during pregnancy, hot weather and long haul flights. Legs can feel tender and sore – especially after exercising. Lower legs can feel achy and sore – especially if you’ve been on your feet all day. And don’t even get me onto the balls of your feet after an evening in high heels. Ankles can puff up. Skin can get dehydrated, scaly even, lose its tone and go goosepimply. Stretch marks can come and go, and come back again to stay. Varicose and spider veins can develop, seemingly overnight, often after pregnancy. There is a lot that can go wrong with our legs.First of all though, I’m going to ask you all to do yourselves all a few favours:


1. If you’re sitting with your legs crossed, uncross them! Constantly crossing your legs can impede blood flow and exacerbate varicose veins.

2. Slip off your heels – I know you’re dying to do it!

3. Now give yourself some leg room, raise your legs a little and point your toes; now flex your feet by pushing down with your heels. Try and keep doing this intermittently over the next half an hour, it will stimulate your circulation and lymph, and help energise your legs.

tips for beautiful legs

Cellulite – A Real Issue

An issue that affects up to 99% of us in differing stages and forms. You can have cellulite on your thighs, buttocks, hips, stomach and upper arms. You can also have it on your calves, around your knees, and even on your ankles. I can personally vouch for that. Nobody had heard of it till the early 80’s. Until then, women were blissfully unaware of this so-called beast from planet cling-on. They had no knowledge of it. It was just fat. Today, of course, we all know what it looks like, most of us know what it feels like, and many wonder whether it can be spirited away. Can it? Hmm. Well this is where things get interesting and frustrating. The thing about cellulite is that we all have it for different reasons. Cellulite is a collection of fat and fluid which manifests in its familiar lumpy bumpy way because of the way our fat cells sit. It’s more predominant in women because our fat cells lie horizontally; in men they are vertical.

There are, however, a few common denominators in the formation of cellulite: these are your sex, your genes and your lymph. If you are prone to cellulite, you can thank your parents – especially your mother! In addition to these influences, being overweight, having fluid retention and being sedentary – in other words sitting at your desk all day – all contribute to cellulite in individual ways. So to make a difference to cellulite you need to identify your enemies – be it a combination of genes and sitting at a desk all day or overeating – address that, and then some.


Lymph Lightening

Over the past 20 odd years I’ve done more research into cellulite than any other beauty/wellbeing topic, and have concluded that while several factors contribute to cellulite, one in particular stands out. The lymph. People don’t often talk about the lymph. You usually read about the circulation, meaning blood flow – and indeed good circulation is integral to preventing cellulite. Lymph is rather different.  Lymph is the fluid that flows through your lymphatic system, carrying away bacteria to the lymph nodes where it’s destroyed. When your lymph and blood circulation are sluggish your body, and particularly your legs because of gravity, can feel heavy and congested. Fluid can get trapped in and around the fat cells and this can cause puffiness, especially in areas of cellulite. Any of you who have tried high protein diets may have noticed that while you lose weight your cellulite often looks worse. This is because carbohydrate – starch – encourages the body to hold on to fluid, and when it’s released, cellulite areas become less plumped and the lumps appear more angular and obvious. And as lymph has no natural pump – it moves when you move – keeping it active is key to keeping your legs light and uncongested.

cellulite treatment by kate shapland

Get Active

The solution then, if there is one for cellulite, but certainly where legs become heavy and feel tight and toxic, is to enhance the lymph and blood flow – to be active. Pump that circulation round – by any way, be it through good old exercise, massage or stimulation of any kind: this is why body brushing helps. If you want to improve your leg shape and health, try to do something everyday that activates the circulation: use a body brush in the shower, brushing from feet to knees, knees to thighs and over hips and buttocks. Always brush in a heartwards direction – up. Another excellent way to improve your circulation and skin tone is to spray your legs with intermittent blasts of warm and cold water with the shower head after a shower. Hard to do in the winter, easier in summer. Then apply your treatment cream or oil, massaging upwards again, from feet to knees, knees to thighs.

This is how I do it:

1. Begin at your feet and use your thumb to massage along the inside of your soles, across the bridge of your foot, and around the ankle. Use your thumbs as if you are pushing fluid around.
2. Work around your ankles and up your calves, using your thumbs to push upwards in lines, all round your shins and calves.
3. Massage around your knees; pinching the sides gently, kneading the backs to stimulate lymph – there are lymph nodes here.
4. Use your thumbs to push up the sides of your thighs, and then gently knead and pinch the sides.
5. If you have more time, focus on the Marma points on your legs and feet. These are areas on the body where flesh, veins, arteries, tendon, bones and joints meet. There are 22 points in total, 11 on each leg, and in Ayurvedic medicine stimulating them can help to ease congestion and enhance energy. Apply a little resting pressure to these areas:

- Centre front of thighs (urvi)
- Top of knee (ani)
- Lower point of knee cap (janu)


You can use an oil or cream to do this. I developed Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs specially to be used for massaging the legs, but also so it would absorb quickly and leave skin supple and scented with lemon. The whole point of my product is that it’s a joy to use, not a chore. Because I believe this is part of the science to good legs: the key is to be regular with your treatment – to enhance lymph and circulation regularly, so you need a cream that you love to use, so you want to use it everyday. Just as a bit of background, I developed this cream with powerful drainage qualities – two French complexes which promote lymph and help to flush excess fluid out, since I feel that the action of the lymph is key to good leg health and shape. I was inspired by a leg clinic I visited in Italy some years ago, by the elegant way they treated clients legs, the way they had thought through the diet. At this clinic, the detail was such that even the water you were given to drink had a special low dry residue, which means it had the least amount of unknown toxins in it. I felt that this detail and elegance was missing in the current leg care offering – everything we have is too practical, too much of a chore. I wanted to create a product that was uplifting in every sense – for your legs and your mind.


A Few Tips

• Puffy legs on a flight – always wear your flight socks, and put them on before you leave home. Point and flex your feet, just as you were doing earlier on, as often as you remember during the flight. Try to book a bulkhead seat, so you can stretch your legs out and raise them. Wear loose trousers – nothing that pinches or is tight around the ankle, knee or upper thigh.

• Seated at work – get up and walk around regularly, and point and flex your feet.

• Puffy legs in hot weather – lie flat on the floor, or your bed, and put your feet up against the wall at right angles for 10 minutes.

• Feeling bloated at the wrong time of the month – take a bath in Epsom or magnesium salts.

• Swollen feet – soak a towel in cold water, wring it out well, wrap it around your feet, and place them up against the wall at right angles.