Right Now: Benefit Talk to the Tan

Benefit Tell it to the TanA while ago, I posted about the new pale trend – skin like milk that looks touched by moonlight. Certainly with the release of the latest film in the Twilight saga, New Moon, whitening skin products are up over 200% (200 % people, that’s not a trend, that’s a tsunami of creamy complexions!), and that looks set to continue.

I applaud this wholeheartedly with skin cancers also on the rise – pale is beautiful. But now, in the depths of winter and with skin the color of an uncooked mackerel, it’s time to buck the trend (something I’ve always liked doing), and go the other way – let’s find a bronzer for winter-struck skin.

And I bring you my new addition to my kit, Benefit’s Talk to the Tan. It is delicious. It’s a self-tanner that washes off at the end of the day, so for those commitment-phobes, it’s perfect. One coat will give you sun-kissed gorgeousness, and you can layer it to go deeper if you must (although please, no Jordan tans!) I’m pretty pale and it boosts my complexion just enough to take me from this side of the undead to passably human. It solves the problem of deep-freeze weather time, where your normal blush looks like you’re auditioning for the circus. And apparently it’s one of those products that combines with your natural chemistry to make it the right shade for you – and it’s certainly working for me. And with its cute sunshine-y packaging (one of the things Benefit is justifiably loved for), it’s making me feel more Acapulco than Alaska.

Now the only question is, is this one going into my personal bag, or into my kit? It’s a tough call but the last model I worked on was the color of unbaked oatmeal, so I think it will be kit-side for now. Maybe I’ll have to channel my inner Bella until I can get to Benefit again – particularly if that pale skin comes complete with an Edward.

Right Now: NARS Penny Lane cream Blush

NARS Penny Lane cream Blush“Penny Lane, you’re in my heart and on my cheeks…”

Indeed you are, you cheeky perfect lilac nude-y creamy flush you! I have to confess I forgot about you for a while, but when I pulled you from the Vault and tapped you on my cheekbones I can’t believe you were ever out of my kit.

NARS is justifiably renowned for his blushes – the colors, the payoff, sweet baby Jesus the names! The names! Hungry Heart anyone? Exhibit A? Gold Member? How about the straight to the point Sin?

And let’s not forget how downright shocking Orgasm was back in the day, when it’s gorgeous peach-y tones was making everyone look post-coital. (This was before the road to fame and fortune was paved with intimate gynecological knowledge of a celebrity’s Baby Parts. ‘Orgasm’ now is about as racy as calling a blush ‘Elbow.’)

I have pretty much all of the blushes, both cream and powder (I went through a bit of a NARS craze a few years back), so I have to confess to being a fan. Penny Lane is currently back to it’s Number 1 spot on my blush parade, as it’s perfect on it’s own, layered under other blushes or with bronzer. It’s even gorgeous on the lips! (Apparently it’s Lindsay Lohan’s favourite, but you didn’t hear that from me).

“Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes…

There, beneath the blue, suburban skies…”

Visible Lip Liner – Make it go Away!

pamelaandersonbaywatchYes, it’s back. How do I know that it’s really back and not some Alzheimeresque glitch in the brains of oldsters like myself who were around for this travesty the first time?

 Because the women currently wearing it were clanking alphabet blocks together in kindergarten in the mid-1990’s, which means they’ve never seen it except in pictures, and are reincarnating it for a reason – presumably because they think it looks good. (They are wrong).

 I’m not talking about normal nude-colored lip liner which you can’t see (if it’s done properly), I’m talking about dark brown pencil overdrawn with a pale centre. Back in the day Naomi Campbell, Pamela Anderson and Vanessa Paradis all went there, and it is still quite the staple lip look for the Playboy crowd. Presumably the idea is that overdrawing your mouth in chocolate crayon makes your lips look bigger, and hopefully, (perhaps for the sight impaired?) more Bardot-like. That was the 90’s theory anyway.  But no guy in the world is going to fall for the fiction that your lips are three times their actual size due to the fact that they are etched in with sludge brown.

 The first sighting was about two weeks ago on a 15 year old on a bus who had the aforementioned lip look that I thought I would never see again – and damn didn’t it take me back! To a time when CJ Parker was queen of the beach on Baywatch, Vanilla Ice was considered to be a sex symbol and Heather Locklear was out-bitching all the inhabitants of Melrose Place.

 I’m deeply ashamed to say that I not only participated in this trend for a while, I actively embraced it. Behold a fair skinned, blue-eyed blonde who used a PURPLE BROWN Maybelline eyeliner to out line my whole mouth, then filled in with MAC Faux, a Pepto Bismol pinky grey.  How ghetto is that?? Perhaps it’s for makeup sins like these that I became a makeup artist? If so I’m going to be doing penance for a looong time. Luckily there are no photos still in existence of this look which can only be described as One Hot Mess.

 Even though, clearly, I have a pretty good idea of how to recreate this look at home, I’m not giving you any hints on how to rock this particular trend – if you’re into it you can channel your inner Baywatch Bunny and sort it out yourself.

 The scariest thing of all is it’s going from the street to high fashion since major makeup artist Peter Phillips used a hardcore visible chocolate lip liner on Lara Stone in this month’s W. This means, like a tsunami, you can run but you can’t hide. It’s coming to get you. Be very afraid!


Right Now: Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment


A few years ago, I would have laughed if you had told me there was a better lip balm than Kiehl’s lip balm. I loved it so much I would have married it (if it was legal to marry a lip balm, which I’m pretty sure in continental Europe and most states of America it’s not.)

Oh sure, I’d flirted with Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (expensive Vaseline, let’s be real), and Smith’s Rosebud Salve (which was considered to be really cool because you couldn’t get it in Sydney. Which meant you had been overseas.)

Then when I was assisting Alex Box in Paris, she put me onto the homeopathic French wonder (only from French pharmacies, so even cooler again!) that is Homeoplasmine. This was my Number One lip lover for quite some time.

And then I found my Paw Paw Ointment. The simple red tube that can be found in any pharmacy in Australia, $5, lasts forever, next to the till. (Really daggy! Can get it at any chemist in Australia!) But then I moved overseas and I realized how good that little red tube really was.

Lucas’ Paw Paw is an Australian remedy that cures chapping, cuts, sunburn, bruises and irritations of the skin, and because it uses the antiseptic properties of the paw paw fruit, it cleanses and heals the wound with enzymes. I have had models literally begging to buy my Paw Paw from me at the shows because it did such a good job of healing their makeup ravaged faces.

It was first created by a doctor (Dr Lucas, unsurprisingly) in 1906, in Queensland, who noted the medicinal properties of the paw paw fruit in healing in his patients. He then passed the recipe on to his wife, and it’s been handed down within his family through the generations. It still uses the image of his original hospital in Queensland on the tube.

It’s become something of a cult fave over here, as more and more fashion insiders hear of it. I hand out tubes like M&M’s, because if I love you, you need some Paw Paw in your life, and I have always had to ask family to bring over suitcases of the stuff. Until now – finally it is available in the UK on the internet at www.pawpawshop.co.uk

So you don’t have to wait for my next smuggled shipment!