Sally Townsend Makeup Artistry: slideshow image 1
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Makeup Haul: Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek eyeshadowsMy friends, this haul was one of my most exciting cosmetic purchases of all time. It’s not just the kind of product, or the quality of the product, but the usability and the value that make me so thrilled this product line even exists.

Makeup Geek is the brainchild of You Tube sensation, Marlena, also known as Makeup Geek. She has created a makeup brand that not only boasts equality, or arguably even superiority, to MAC Cosmetics, but it is so affordable.

As a makeup artist, I spend a small fortune keeping my makeup kit stocked full of high end products of the highest quality. It’s really rare to find a brand that keeps the quality high and the prices low. Makeup Geek eyeshadows are priced at $US5.99 (today AUD$7.67.) The equivalent product from MAC Cosmetics in Australia will set you back AUD$33.00. Yikes!

The 27 beautiful eyeshadows I chose cost me $202.05. The MAC Cosmetics equivalent would have cost me $891.00!

‘Nuff said. But let’s say some more, anyway…

Makeup Geek delivery packagingThis is how my products arrived. They are packaged exactly the same as MAC Cosmetics eyeshadow pans, nice and safe. They were also bundled and bubble wrapped and topped with those fun little puffs to fill the box; nothing was damaging these suckers!

It was positively agonising to wait almost 3 weeks for my delivery! The delivery itself cost me AUD$23.39. It was quite sweet to also receive a hand-written note from the lovely lass, who packaged my products.

I must credit my Mum for first telling me about Makeup Geek after watching Marlena’s video. Then I went into research mode, searching online, watching countless You Tube videos, finally I concurred they were worth a try. Never to do things by halves, I ordered a Z Palette (which at US$20 is also much cheaper than any we can source in Australia), and as many Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans that could fit in a large Z Palette, which turned out to be 27.

From watching the You Tube videos from beauty vloggers I really trust, I knew I would be happy with the purchase and I just didn’t see the sense in waiting for weeks for my order only to want to order more immediately and wasting the postage. Even though that’s exactly what happened anyway! I want more already!

Makeup Geek Starter KitYou may have done the calculations and figured out that AUD$7.67 x 27 actually equals $207.09. You see, I made another little saving by purchasing my first nine shades in the Makeup Geek Starter Kit, which cost US$49.99 (AUD$63.99.) The nine shades pictured above are:

Creme Brûlée, Cocoa Bear, Unexpected

Shimma Shimma, Mocha, Prom Night

Glamorous, Corrupt, Drama Queen

There are 64 eyeshadow shades available in the Makeup Geek range, so to choose just 27 I also looked to my fave makeup guru You Tubers for advice. The nine shades in the starter kit were in every single video I watched, and the ones below were in many of them, too, and they were also the shades I believed I would watch the most.

Beaches and Cream, Burlesque, Cinderella, Cosmopolitan, Cupcake, Frappe, Graphite, Homecoming, Ice Queen, White Lies, Latte, Mango Tango, Mercury, Moondust, Peach Smoothie, Pop Culture, Taupe Notch, Vanilla Bean.

A lot of these shades are neutrals, and I chose a lot of what I knew would be great transition colours. I also threw in a few fun colours. I took into account my existing kit and what I know my clients, being primarily brides, ask for. Sunshine Coast and Brisbane brides are not typically wanting an overly made up glamour look, but more of a subtle beautification of their already pretty fresh faces.

(By the way, these shadows are really really soft and creamy, so you have to be careful not to slip and dig your nail in, like I did with my Prom Night… boo hoo!)

Z Palette Makeup Geek

Z Palettes are brilliant. They are strongly magnetised, so you can safely store any of your makeup pans conveniently, and they have a see-through lid, so you can always see your products. This is very time-saving for me as a makeup artist.

Let’s address something important.

We all know by now that prices of makeup, and cosmetics in general, in Australia are ridiculous. For whatever reason, we are being completely taken for a ride when it comes to this particular industry.

Why exactly? It cannot be simply postage… it really does not cost all that much to ship from the US and UK, where most of our fave brands hail from. It does, however, cost an exorbitant amount in import taxes – in many cases more than the original product price. There is also the consideration that in Australia our minimum wage is a lot higher than in the US, so it actually costs a lot more for our retailers to run their stores. That part is a good thing, in the grand scheme of things.

Bottom line is, buying makeup in Australia is not affordable. Products that cost $5 in the US are being charged at $30 in Australia. Unbelievable! It’s no wonder we all buy online or beg our travelling friends to make purchases for us!

Sally Townsend _ Makeup Geek look

Disclaimer: First, my brows are shockingly unattended to in this pic, sorry! Second, I have a horrible blemish I was silly enough to mess with on my nose… it’s all scabby and gross -what’s a girl to do? :(

So, I’m sure you’re wondering, do they in fact match up to MAC eyeshadows? I can unequivocally say yes, yes they do. I have a close friend who worked for MAC and has a huge collection. I compared them by swatching the colours on my hands, and almost every Makeup Geek out-performed in terms of colour pay off.

I have now played with my new shades a few times, and they wear beautifully. We are just at the end of Summer here in Australia, and if you have ever been to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, you will know the turn of season means nothing. It is scorching hot and humid. Today I shopped all day and my Makeup Geek eye makeup is still perfect.

In conclusion: I love Makeup Geek! I think I might give the blushes a try next… Stay tuned!

My Fave Makeup You Tube Channels

Gals, I’ve been wasting a lot o’ time lately getting my You Tube on. Nope, no I have not being doing anything so productive as creating makeup tutorial videos… I have simply been watching ‘em.

It all started like this. I wanted to buy some new brushes, a new trolley case for all my freelance makeup artist gear, and various new products. These I will be blogging about, so stay tuned!

Nobody wants to part with money and feel like it’s been wasted, so I went to my gurus and started to search on You Tube very specific things I wanted to know about, such as must-have brushes, top 10 products from specific lines etc. I found that extremely useful in making my purchase choices.

And in doing so, I also found a whole stack of beauty bloggers I haven’t come across before. So, as I have done in the past, I thought I would share my fave makeup You Tube films and channels with you, because these beauty gurus are in-the -know product-wise, they are fun with their makeup and they have great personality.

Heidi Hamoud

I cannot stop looking at this pretty face! I really like Heidi a lot. She has a gorgeous Instagram account, she is a freelance makeup artist, who was self-taught, and she does some really creative looks using mostly high end products. I also enjoy her Aussie accent, which, like mine, is a little rough around the edges at times!

This video is a lovely tutorial with a beautiful look and it’s only short, so spend the four odd minutes and do yourself a favour.


Love this little Latina babe! She’s so cute and funny, and I like how honest she is about the products. She’s down to earth and uses as many cheaper brands as she does expensive ones.

In this video, she shares her IMATS haul, and although I’m super jealous, I just love seeing new cosmetics! I’m a bit obsessed.

Lauren Curtis

Another Aussie lass, hurrah! I very much enjoy the whole look of Lauren’s videos from her pretty pretty face to her gorgeous white apartment in the background. I also love her honesty and she’s not afraid to criticise products, no matter whether they are drug store or high end.

This video is useful for anyone looking for a new foundation as everything here is available in Australia, which is not always the case with You Tubers, who are more often located in the UK or US.

Makeup Geek

Ah, Marlena. A real veteran of You Tube in the beauty arena. She has taken her success as a You Tuber and following to help her start her own brand named after her channel, Makeup Geek. Her eyeshadows are fabulous dupes of MAC eyeshadown. And… I have order TWENTY-SEVEN of them! I cannot wait to receive them. I’m actually becoming really impatient, because it’s been a couple of weeks since I ordered them… this is what we get for living in the


Now this guy I’ve loved for a long time. I love everything about him. He is an amazing makeup artist, he is a no bullshit (excuse my language!) approach, and I love how he keeps his videos short and precise. You always have time for his videos, and don’t get halfway through and start wondering when it’s going to end, like with some!

The subject of this video is a makeup technique many people ask me about. I actually love what has become widely known as the Kim Kardashian technique; I apply it on myself for a night out and some clients; I’ve always loved doing a cream or liquid contour and highlight. It was happening long before Kim Kardashian, but girlfriend definitely takes it to a whole new level! I quite love it.

I hope you enjoyed some of these films. If you would like to share your faves with me, I would love that!

Bridal Show Model Makeup

Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0087

I was recently asked to be part of something very special. The inaugural Caloundra Wedding Collective Open Day. I have lived in Caloundra the majority of my life, so it really excites me to be part of the local Caloundra wedding industry.

I love being one of the official Caloundra makeup artists in the Collective!

I was lucky enough to do the bridal makeup for the models for the bridal fashion show. There were seven gorgeous girls all up, so I asked my lovely assistant, Kirra, to help me out with gussying them up for the occasion.

It is always a pleasure to work alongside Sandi and Ash from Rolling Scissors, as well!

The lovely Lou of Images by Lou O’Brien took these gorgeous images that I cannot stop looking at! They are ahmayzing! And I really love all of these different wedding makeup and hair styles we got to create. What a fun day of play – uh, work…

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Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0094Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0037Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0039Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0101Caloundra Wedding Collective 2015 -  images by Lou OBrien_0103Photos // Images by Lou O’Brien

Hair // Rolling Scissors

Makuep // Sally Townsend Makeup Artistry

Venue // Pelican Waters Golf Club 

Occasion // Caloundra Wedding Collective Open Day

If you would like to see the fashion these beautiful ladies wore on the day, head over to The Bride’s Tree to see the couture bridal fashion they were decked out in for the day.