Secret Weapon: Becca Concealer

Becca ConcealerIt’s not because I’m an Aussie that I’m partial to this lovely line made by an Australian makeup artist, Rebecca Morrice Williams – no, it takes an awful lot more than that to get a free pass in my kit these days. Space is at a premium, baby! And because of my severe space issues, for a while I took out my selection of Becca concealers. But I quickly found out, I couldn’t live without them. No, really.

The Becca range is designed around the foundations and concealers – they are the DNA of the brand if you like, and the CRAZY idea, that people are different colors – not just 6 shades of Barbie doll beige (not mentioning any names here, but you know which brands you are), or even worse, one shade fits all. Because in this crazy patchwork quilt world we live in, 6 shades of foundation just doesn’t cut the mustard. Which is why Becca has a whopping 31 shades of stick foundation, and 34 of concealer. And, my beauty loving friends, why I can’t live without it. Because it has certain shades you just can’t get anywhere else. I’m talking alabaster white for our fair skinned sisters, and the deeper duskier hues of caramel and walnut for black skins, which often have undertones of green and red (or even yellow if you’re mixed race), that the bigger cosmetics players don’t address. I defy you to try Becca and not meet your match.

Regular Moleage fans probably know that I endlessly bang the drum for cosmetics houses to be in more inclusive of all skintones – reason being I’m a fair skinned blonde, so for me personally I’ll be right Jack, I’ve got a zillion shades in every brand to choose from, but as a makeup artist I get to feel the pain of anyone who doesn’t have whitebread skin. I have to deal with every type of skin and every type of skin tone, and it’s taken me literally YEARS to find the right products.

Which is why Becca is back in my kit and staying there, because not only is the color range second to none, it covers with serious staying powder and can be used equally under the eyes, or on a pimple without cakiness (as you can sheer it out with a brush). And even more genius! It comes in two densities in one compact – one lighter for under the eye, and the heavier one for any skin problems.

Kay Montano also loves it, and uses concealer in Cappucino on Thandie Newton, Sherbert on Nicole Kidman and Praline on Rachel Weisz.

Secret Weapon: Duo Eyelash Adhesive

Duo Eyelash AdhesiveAt Makeup Mole HQ we’re always looking for the best of everything – let’s face it, life is too short to deal with poor pigmentation, nasty and outdated color selections and downright inferior glamorization products.

So when faced with the challenge of false lashes, what does every makeup artist I know reach for? Duo Surgical Adhesive. It’s a tiny tube of lash attaching goodness that comes in black or white (although the white dries clear). The latex is gentle enough to hold the most diva of lashes but sturdy enough to hold even the most cantilevered of lash canopies all day (or night). As an added bonus it can also affix rhinestones, crystals or whatever makeup madness takes your fancy to the face or body.

If you’ve been batting 1000 and finding yourself with two spiders mating on your cheeks, it’s time to get out of the drugstore and go to the hardcore – MAC, or a theatrical supply shop like Screenface or Charles Fox in London both stock it.

It’s quite simply the best lash glue on the market. Because repeat after me: the lashes can be any old cheap-ass tranny affair, but the glue must be DUO!

Even if you’re wearing diamond encrusted, fox fur numbers (don’t laugh, it’s been done before – ahem, Madonna), if they’re hanging off your eyelid it’s a lot less luxe and a lot more crazy homeless person. Simply apply to the lash (or lash cluster), and wave it around for about ten seconds whilst the glue gets tacky, then cuddle the lash into your lash line. Provided you’ve done it right they will stay until you peel ‘em off.

If you’ve been battling with those nasty little tubes of no-name eyelash adhesive and wondering why you’re so rubbish at false eyelashes, try some Duo, and come back to me. It’s not you, it’s the glue!

Secret Weapon: Bioderma Crealine H20 cleanser


Bioderma Crealine

Without being all melodramatic, I don’t think I could function at work without this cleanser. It’s kind of a cult secret amongst makeup artists, so I hope I’m not going to be excommunicated for talking about it outside the hallowed portals of professional makeup artistry, but this really is the ultimate makeup remover.

It’s gentle enough to be used on people with sensitive skin and eyes yet takes off pretty much all makeup in one wipe. On the last show season I was working on the Australian model Myf Shepherd (who is such a rapidly rising star that she walked 62 shows over the international Fashion Weeks), and by London her skin was already feeling the burn from constant makeup changes and the skin-insulting properties of baby wipes.

So I told her what I tell all the girls who are sick of ripping their faces off with whatever happens to be backstage, and that is to get herself a bottle of Crealine remover next time she was in Paris so she wouldn’t get caught short again.

It comes in a clear bottle and looks like water, so you simply saturate a cotton pad, and one wipe later, your makeup is off. It removes eye makeup in one swipe, it doesn’t sting and it can be used on skin as well, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated, not taut and dry (even in winter).

The drawback? It’s French (so like lots of good stuff), you need to get it from French pharmacies and even then not all of them have it. I’ve spent many a trip to Paris figuring out which pharmacies do and which ones don’t. But it does last ages and it’s not expensive – about 15 Euros per bottle. I always have about 3 or 4 in stock so I know I will never run out (which is probably a little paranoid but you never know when there will be an apocalyptic makeup war that will wipe out all forms of skincare and color cosmetics, so I’m stockpiling NOW).

Although it’s fine for most waterproof makeup, one thing I would say is that if you wear a lot of extremely hardcore waterproof liners (like MAC Liquidlast), you need an oil makeup remover as well. Crealine will do the job eventually but you will be there for a while – however if you’re a Liquidlast lover you know you need something pretty potent to get it off as once on, that sucker does not move!

On a side note: not that you would do this because it would be really stupid, but don’t leave a bottle next to your bed after a night of heavy cocktail consumption, and right next to it a bottle of Evian (which it bears a more than passing resemblance to in the dark). Because if you were to wake up with a raging thirst in the middle of night, Crealine TASTES REALLY REALLY BAD. Don’t for the love of God go drinking it.

Don’t ask me how I know that.