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.

In my makeup Kit: Topshop Liquid Lip in Rascal

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I’m slightly obsessed with the new liquid lipsticks by Topshop at the moment. My lips bag was feeling quite boring a couple of months ago – even my editorial colours just weren’t making me feel excited. All my old classic brights were in there (MAC, Illamasqua, NARS, you know who you are), but I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Let’s face it, your editorial lips bag should make your heart sing. Also I have a slew of new beauty shoots coming up and we all know you need fresh inspiration for those.

So I went shopping and I found some great new colours. Surprisingly although I love me some violet, black or even blue lipstick on occasion, my favourite was Rascal by Topshop which is a classic bright red. Liquid lipsticks are ace, there’s no other way too describe them. I’ve also loved the MAC Retro Matte ones since they came out, and I just find for that super high pigment and quick application of colour you can’t go past them. Also sometimes on a job you need to do a perfect lipstick application in no time flat, so there’s no chance to fiddle around with liners and lipstick bullets. Liquid lipsticks are your new best friend in those circumstances!

Also Topshop Beauty really get the trend colours of the season. They always have new colours that aren’t the norm and you didn’t know that you needed them in your life (or in your makeup bag) until they come out. So if you’re a lipstick fan or a makeup artist needing something new, and brightly lacquered and hell, like Jerry Hall would have pulled out if she was shooting with Guy Bourdin, get some Topshop Rascal in your life.

jerry grande

In My Makeup Kit: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

 

This is my favourite moisturizer du jour. It’s the perfect weight for trans-seasonal times like this, and it has a heavenly scent – hard to describe but it’s like a cross between citrus and sunshine, in a jar. That means it’s like a little slice of holidays in your kit, and makes both you and clients feel (briefly) like you’re on a tropical island, instead of a windowless studio in London.

It contains shea butter and feels hydrating but is oil-free, so the skin feels plump and juicy and ready for makeup application, but never greasy. I love this all over as a hydrating base or it’s also nice as a sheen on cheekbones. I’ve even been known to use it on lids for a soft non-shimmery highlight which is beautiful when photographed.

I do love the Bobbi Brown range. I find it such a simple, no-nonsense incredibly comprehensive brand that works both for makeup artists and also for real life. I’m always recommending the Bobbi Brown foundation and concealers to clients as the range is very inclusive for all skin tones (from Icelandic models to Somalian beauties), and the staff are also very well trained. So you won’t find yourself walking in for a concealer and coming out with a 12 step contouring kit that looks like a blueprint of the Hadron Collider that you’d need a degree in engineering to figure it out. Just the right makeup for you, and your skin tone. Bobbi has always stuck to her guns and produced consistently flattering makeup that just works, and she’s always in my kit.

This is how this moisturiser makes you feel – like you’re on holiday! Daria Werbowy giving some island vibes in US Vogue, 2004. Shot by Patrick Demarchelier, makeup by Gucci Westman.

daria werbowy