Best Bronzers

Bronze Bain de Soleil Ad 1985

Bronze like a Bain de Soleil ad in 1985
 

Today is so incredibly warm and divine that only a post on my favourite bronzers seemed appropriate. If you want to feel like you’re on a yacht, in a bikini drinking white wine whilst a man with a fake French accent narrates your every move, you’ve come to the right post.

It’s that time of year when panicky unwrapping of winter white limbs ensues – legs that look like cheese sticks suddenly need to look like Victoria’s Secret Angel legs, toned, and lithe and, well, toasty brown. Faces need to look similarly sunkissed (but totally natural, bien sûr).

Enter my favourite products to give you a honey sun-kissed visage – without the sun damage.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronze Universel – this is never, NEVER out of my kit. It’s a cream bronzer with a very slight iridescence that adds shape to the face and when gently buffed on the cheeks and forehead (wherever the sun would hit) adds the prefect amount of radiant tan. It only comes in one colour, which weirdly (but thankfully!) looks great on almost all but the darkest skin tones. It’s perfect for livening up winter pallid skin, or topping up a burgeoning (or fading) tan.

NARS Laguna Bronzer – Probably my favourite powder bronzer of all time, there is a reason why this one is a modern classic. It’s the perfect shade of golden bronze, with a bit of shimmer. It’s not too red, and not too grey. It’s good on fair to medium skintones.

NARS Casino Bronzer – As above, but this is perfect for medium to deep skin tones

YSL Terre Saharienne in 3 – This is my absolute fave for dark skin tones as it adds warmth to the face but looks totally natural. I used this on a gorgeous Jamaican model last week (who had incredible deep black skin) and this added a touch of warmth without looking ashy.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder – I love this range of pressed powders (that come in a range of shades) for boys and kids as it looks totally natural and has no shimmer. It’s also good for the red carpet for a perfectly subtle contour. (note – not Kontour)

So if you want the sunkiss without the sun damage, it’s all to be found at the makeup counter. You can bask without the bake factor! Yacht and voice over man come separately.

My work – Pixie Lott for Fault Magazine

Pixie Lott - Fault Magazine - Makeup by Christabel Draffin

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of doing Pixie Lott for the cover of Fault magazine in London. Pixie has just released her new single, Baby, which is her first new single for three years.

It was a lovely job as Pixie not only has a dream face for makeup but is super nice, and very warm and relaxed.

I used quite a lot of Charlotte Tilbury’s range on Pixie – I really love it for red carpet and celebrity (as well as private clients) as it just works. Quite often time is short with celebrities and you need products that are quick and easy to use and make them look amazing in the shortest time possible.

Pixie has beautiful skin so I just used Chanel Vitalumiere foundation on her with a damp sponge, and a bit of Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in areas that needed more coverage.

She has amazing brows so I just filled in where needed with MAC Lingering pencil (always a classic!) On her eyes I wanted a rock n’ roll smoky eye with some colour to give it some edge and also to work with the red background that the photographer, Rossella Vanon had chosen. I used MAC Embark eyeshadow in the crease to create some depth and then a mix of Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise in Marie Antoinette (a golden oyster champagne colour) with Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise in Veruschka, which is an incredible complex grey-taupe shade with some green to it, which was lovely on her eye colour.

I used MAC Smolder eye pencil all around her eyes, as well as NARS Filibuste black shadow stick on the outer corners, topped with MAC Carbon eyeshadow. Kat Von D black liquid liner and MAC Haute and Naughty mascara finished the look.

On her cheeks I used Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow as well as MAC Fleur Power blush. Lips were lined with Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude lipliner and finished with Charlotte Tilbury’s Nude Kate lipstick which I have to say was the loveliest, easiest nude lip ever!

Photographer – Rossella Vanon
Stylist – Rachel Gold
Hairdresser – Enzo Volpe
Manicurist – Georgia Hart
Shot at Huddle Studios

In My Makeup Kit – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens

I know I’m late to the concealer party with this post as I can’t believe how long I managed without these creamy little sticks of goodness in my kit. I only discovered them a few months ago after a makeup friend kept raving about them, and then I tried one and now… well I’m hooked. I’m up to 6 shades so far and not looking back.

NARS has really upgraded all its formulas for foundation, concealers and powders in recent years and I find that the more I use them, the more I like the shade range and the coverage. So the Radiant Creamy Concealers are wands filled with high-coverage liquid – a product type that has been around for ages and I stopped using years ago because I got into stick formulas that I would sheer out (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, I’m talking to you). But I’d never tried the NARS wand version, and now I can’t believe I’ve done without it all this time.

Since I’ve been back working in London I’ve had to change my kit a bit to accommodate different skin tones, and different skin issues. One thing that is different to working in Australia is that people generally have darker circles under their eyes, probably due to less sunlight (I guess). So darker circles became my bête noire for awhile, until the Radiant Creamy Concealers came along. Because the product is a liquid it goes on really easily without getting cakey, and a little goes a long way but covers a multitude of sins. Also it’s colours for darker skin tones are really great, perfectly covering the deeper end of the skin shade spectrum with ease (which let’s be real, not all the brands manage to do). It’s also great for super fair, almost white skins if you are of the fairer persuasion. I also love it for any discolorations around the nose and chin, or even veins and broken capillaries.

One small word of warning though – it is a radiant concealer and this has some light reflection to it. So don’t go too crazy with it or you run the risk of looking like J Lo on the red carpet c. 2001, like a deer caught in the headlights. A dab will generally do you, and you can always layer it with another matte dense concealer if you want straight up extra coverage. Perfect skin can now be yours! (Well at least look like it is).

www.narscosmetics.com

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens
I used NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer on stunning Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens from Premier Models. Photographer Zoe Economides, Stylist Phillipa Kaye and hair and makeup by me.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock n’ Kohl Eyeliner in Bedroom Black

til014_charlottetilbury_rocknkohl_bedroomblack

Charlotte Tilbury Rock n’ Kohl Eyeliner in Bedroom Black is hands down the best black eyeliner I have ever tried. It has an amazing formula that glides on, that locks on and doesn’t move. It’s great for lining the waterline (lots of eyeliners don’t love the waterline, which is pretty annoying since, let’s face it, that’s often what you want to line!) I don’t want to be in the model’s face every five minutes poking around touching up her eyes.

It’s a really black eyeliner – dense and inky and dark as the #creepyclown hashtag on Instagram (be warned, that hashtag may give you nightmares). It’s sharp, it’s precise, and because it’s so black and budge proof, it just makes life so easy. This is key when you have to do a lot of looks or models in a day, or have to get someone ready for the red carpet fast. Plus it lasts. We all love things that perform exactly as advertised, and this is one of them.

I’ve been super impressed with everything I’ve tried from the Charlotte Tilbury line so far – the eyeshadows, the lipsticks, and the lip liners are heaven! So anything that makes it into my kit and then into my regular rotation at work is a winner in my book. I’ve been raving about it to clients and friends alike, so if you haven’t already done so, you should treat yo’self.

 

ELLE Vietnam, February –  ‘Spring in Budapest’

Elle Vietnam February 2017

This was such a fun story to shoot! It was all new Spring/Summer 2017 clothes, and we flew to Budapest (where I’d never been) for the shoot. Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in, so it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to on holiday when I can have more time to explore.

The clothes were incredible with stylist Steven Doan bringing out dream outfit after dream outfit – from Louis Vuitton to Chanel to Gucci, from slinky sheath dresses to tulle skirts paired with the softest leather bomber jackets and killer high heels. We were super lucky with the weather as it was unseasonably warm, about 6 degrees, rather than -2 as it had been the week before.

Lucky for our gorgeous model Dasha! She was not only very beautiful but a total trooper as well, out in light spring fabrics in the cold all day without one word of complaint. She was also having her hair slicked down with water by Kris the hairdresser all day, but you would never know she was cold as she would stride out, the picture of Spring beauty. That’s the mark of an amazing model!

For makeup I wanted it to look chic and sophisticated, yet still youthful, so I went with a natural glow and a soft blown out smoky eye. I prepped the skin with Embryolisse moisturizer (great for cold weather) and Chanel Vitalumiere foundation. For concealing I used the Bobbi Brown Universal palette and my new favourite under eye concealer, NARS Radiant concealer. Powder was minimal but I used a bit of MAC loose translucent when needed.  For cheeks, Stila Convertible Colour in Poppy provided a spring flush.

For eyes I used the new Chanel eye palette in Les Quatre Ombres in Codes Subtils, along with their Ecriture de Chanel liquid liner in Noir. Mascara was a touch of MAC’s Haute and Naughty.

Lips were lined in Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk liner, and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy lips. Spring has most definitely sprung!

Photographer – Fredric Pinet
Stylist – Steven Doan Style
Hair – Kris Smith
Makeup: Christabel Draffin