Summer Products to Bring out your South Beach Glow

Miami South Beach

Suddenly it’s summer. London is definitely in the peak of the hot weather and it’s making me think of ice creams, and beaches, and holidays and fresh watermelon eaten in the sun.

Since my ACTUAL summer holidays are a little while away, I need to make do with cheering myself up with some new summer makeup. Which luckily is easy as I’ve had a bunch of gorgeous new things arrive recently. It’s not your typical summer fare either – oh sure there are bronzers, and fresh apricot shine lipsticks and blush the colour of fresh papaya, but there are also sparkling highlighters, candy coloured liners, shimmery obsidian dark eyeshadow and jungle green mascara for when you feel like taking the tropical vibe to – well, your lashes, actually.

Here’s my pick of the summer crop so far:

NARS Bord de Plage Highlighting and Bronzing Palette – this is heaven in a makeup compact. The new summer collection from NARS reformulates their classic bronzers, Laguna and Casino (which are ALWAYS in my kit), and the new version has no shimmer. Which I’m pretty excited by, as sometimes, like when doing male grooming, you don’t want shimmer when you bronze someone up. Contouring is also a zero shimmer proposition (I do believe we have discussed this before on MM  – contouring in general is something that needs to be handled with extreme care).

This NARS palette not only has the two new bronzers, but four delicious new powder highlighters in shades ranging from peach to gold to copper. You will literally never need to buy another highlighter again. And let’s discuss the packaging shall we? It’s tortoiseshell. Metallic tortoiseshell print. Gorgey-worgey and super chic.

Sisley’s Phytoblush Twist in number 3
The sweetest, domed stick blush in a wind up, zebra print case – it’s the colour of a ripe rockmelon and is guaranteed to make you feel like Brigitte Bardot lounging beachside in the South of France (instead of sweating on the tube in rush hour, which, let’s be real is more likely where you’ll be wearing it). I love the feel of it as it melts into the skin and gives a just touched by the sun hint of colour. Perfect to complement my (soon to be) new back from the beach tan!

Sisley’s Phytoblush Twist in number 3

Chanel Ombre Première eyeshadow range – The Chanel eyeshadow range has just been totally reformulated and it’s an extensive collection of cream and powder eyeshadows that you can layer or wear alone. I’m currently obsessed with the Silver Pink cream one in this range, and was thrilled to see a new black cream version (816 Obscur), an update on my favourite but discontinued Mirifique from my beloved Chanel’s Ombre d’Illusion range. This is what you want when you’re doing a super glam smoky eye. The powder shadows come in an incredible range with golds, shimmering purples and cobalts as well as the more traditional flattering browns.

Chanel Ombre Première eyeshadow range

Kiko Milano Eyeliners – I’m totally obsessed with Kiko Milano’s range of cheap, amazing makeup and I’ve been using their coloured eyeliners at work. A few weeks ago on a summer beauty shoot I used Kiko Smart Eyepencil in 805 Violet, and I also love their Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner in Turquoise 08 for just a jolt of colour on the eye with sheer skin and  nude lips. Best of all, Kiko is so reasonably priced you can grab a basket and start collecting new kit products like candy! They’re a life saver right before beauty shoots, let me tell you.

Kiko Smart Eyepencil in 805

 

Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara in 87 – it’s green, hunter green. It’s not too bright, or scary but it’s definitely there, and it brings out every eye colour. Plus it’s waterproof so ideal for long days of swimming as well as pool party nights. For some reason it makes me think of J Lo videos c 2001 (maybe because secretly I’d like to live in a J Lo video c. 2001.)

Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara in 87

NARS Laguna Body Tint – another all-star winner from NARS’ summer collection, this one is going straight in my kit. It has a slight amount of shimmer to it but not enough to make you feel like YOU should be in that J Lo video – it’s not that tacky over blingy shimmer look of yore. It’s also got a good tint to it, taking my pasta coloured legs to a believable shade of bronze in as long as it takes to rub it in, and it’s scented with NARS’ signature Mono de Tahiti scent. It has an SPF of 30 so not only does it give you a Haitian goddess colour, it protects you from the sun. This is definitely going with me on holidays.

NARS Laguna Body Tint

Let’s have some J Lo inspo, ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ from her 2001 album, ‘On the 6’. If I can’t get to Miami, Miami will have to come to me. I’m going to self tan myself now with my NARS Laguna Body Tint whilst imagining I’m in a Miami mega mansion wearing ridiculously oversized Gucci aviators, some major hair extensions and peach coloured lip gloss. BRB.

 

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream

Bobbi Brown you are really floating my boat at the moment! I’m totally loving Bobbi Brown skincare.

It takes me ages (as in, ahem, years), to try a different moisturiser because at work THERE CAN BE NO SURPRISES! I need to know the products that I use work reliably on everyone, anytime. And they need to play nicely together as well. I don’t want to moisturise and then add a sunscreen that pills up on the skin and goes weird, or that makes the foundation sit on top of the skin or make it look cakey and masky. And I’m certainly not going to drag a million products around either, so things that ALMOST make the cut just aren’t an option.

Thus my skin bag is now really small as it’s a tiny, perfect edit of products I love and that work amazingly well together. When another product is coming into the bag, it’s a BIG DEAL. I test it on myself (and sometimes my teenage son who as it turns out is quite partial to a bit of luxury skincare), then it goes in with my older products and I start busting it out here and there to see how it performs. It doesn’t replace my current favourite product for quite awhile until I’m definitely sure.

So if Bobbi Brown skincare has finally made it into the bag, it means it’s good y’all! I’ve loved the BB Vitamin Enriched Face Base for years and now it’s summer in London I’m rocking the BB Hydrating Gel Cream which is a water-based moisturiser, so perfect and cooling for the summer months. It plumps the skin and leaves it looking hydrated but not greasy. So even the oiliest skins love it as it plumps the surface but doesn’t create more shine. It works well with mattifiers as well like MAC Matte and YSL Blur Perfector and basically provides the perfect base for makeup. My new skincare love.

christabel-draffin-makeup-elle

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

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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.

 

In My Makeup Kit – NARS Satin Lip Pencils

christabel-draffin-makeup

I’m trying to escape the Trump inauguration today, and as I have the day off I thought let’s dive into some NARS, shall we?

I have covered the NARS Velvet Matte Pencils on MM before, but I’m slightly obsessed with all the NARS lip products at the moment and have just got back into their lip range in a big way. The Audacious lipsticks are amazing, and I’ve added a few of the Satin Lip Pencils to my kit recently – because let’s face it, you can never have enough chubby lip crayons in your kit, can you?

I use one of these on nearly every job, whether it’s editorial or the red carpet. I used them as a base colour for one of my recent red carpet clients, and they’re so perfect because the pigment holds true and you know it’s going to last (so important for longevity on the red carpet). Plus they aren’t drying, which with the snap-frozen temperatures in London at present is really key. Strong colour on flaky dry lips is seriously the worst!

They give a great base for other lip colours or can be used on their own. I use the natural shades that look like ‘your lips but better’ on natural beauty shoots with a bit of lip balm for the perfect wisp of nothing colour. At the other end of the colour spectrum I recently used the amazing red Dragon Girl on a shoot and it was so good. I’d forgotten how easy the NARS pencils make a great red lip.

It’s just so bloody easy to draw a great lip with a fat crayon! Quick colour pay off that goes on fast. Top tip – if you want to neaten up the edges of your lip more precisely than the crayon will allow, use a lip brush and run over the tip of the pencil with it, allowing you to then go into the lip and make any small corrections needed.

My favourite colours that I think should be in everyone’s kit are:

  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Dragon Girl (Vivid bright red)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama (a deeper version of your natural lip colour)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Belle du Jour (best nude ever and worth buying just for its name)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bolero (Pink grapefruit – lovely for sweet girly lips)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Damned (Rich wine – also lovely as a stain)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu – Bright vivid pink (because sometimes you want to go pink)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park – (lovely deep red, also looks great as a stain)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya – bright orange (this is a weird editorial orange colour, but I actually love weird editorial colours. So wrong it’s right!)

As an added bonus they are super lightweight for your kit, so you can carry lots of them. For every day life, just having one handy at the bottom of your handbag means you will never need to be caught bare-lipped again.

www.narscosmetics.com

nars satin lip pencils

Top picture:  Photo by Jenni Hare, styling by Emma Cotterill.  Makeup by Christabel Draffin – using NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama.