Illamasqua Behind The Scenes – Toxic Nature Campaign

By now you’d have to have been living in a yurt in Outer Mongolia to have missed seeing the incredible campaign images from Illamasqua’s newest collection, Toxic Nature (Creative Director Alex Box in Uber box Mode on this one!)

Check out what went on behind the scenes..



The. Best. Eyeshadow. Quads. Ever. Chanel

Chanel eyeshadow quadThis post is slightly cheating – really it should be “Best Eyeshadow Ever”, but I just couldn’t pick one brand. I have too many eyeshadows that I like – MAC and Dior and NARS and Illamasqua and Chanel and my old Stila ones and Myface and Laura Mercier – oh, and Bobbi Brown! It would be like Sophie’s Choice but with about 50 kids to choose from. Horrible, and too distressing to contemplate. So instead I decided to cheat and start with Eyeshadow Quads. Chanel win those hands down. I was doing makeup for a private client at the weekend and I got seriously back into them.

I have loads! I have at least nine that come with me on every job. Old ones that have been discontinued for years, and newer ones (like last year’s delicious Kaska Beige), and they all get a regular work-out. The colours are super-flattering and can be mixed beautifully, either from within the quad or with others in the Chanel range – or if you’re feeling crazy, from other brands!

Yes I know, the pigment pay off on other brands can be superior, but the finish is so beautiful! And the colour ranges are gorgeous, and go together so well. And yes they are expensive, but you wouldn’t expect to get a discount Ferrari would you?

One thing I have found though is that I much prefer the US versions of the quads – I just prefer the texture, and the texture is markedly different to their UK/European/Australian versions. But sill I love all of them, no matter where I bought them from. And the packaging, well, there is no substitute for that elegant black lacquer.

The only downside is that they have terrible tendency to encourage you to want more – as in new ones every season, as every new collection is more delectable than the last. Ombres Perlees de Chanel for Spring? Don’t mind if I do!

The Interview: James Pecis

James Pecis

Tagged last month by British Vogue as one of the rising stars of the international creative firmament, New York based hairdresser James Pecis is going from strength to strength, booking editorials with photographers like Mario Testino, Liz Collins, Tim Walker, Miles Aldridge and Mariano Vivanco. His work regularly graces Harper’s Bazaar, British Vogue, Numero and V magazine, and aside from being a wonderful hairdresser he’s one of the nicest people I have ever worked with. Last time I worked with James we shot a TopMan Campaign together in London (with the rather gorgeous Louis Simonon, son of iconic Clash guitarist, Paul Simonon), and James is just such a wonderful person to be around. Plus he has the best tattoos I’ve ever seen – his hands alone are a work of art!

What are you working on at the moment?

Last week was Teen Vogue, French Vogue, Numero and now we are starting the campaigns for the season. It’s a fun and busy time.

Favourite hair job ever?

I don’t think there could be a favorite. I’m fortunate to get to do, see, and travel to amazing places for my job. I couldn’t have a favorite…  just lots of amazing memories and more to come.

Top 5 products?

  1. Surf Spray by Bumble & Bumble
  2. -Elnett hairspray by L’Oreal
  3. -Tecni.Art Pli by L’Oreal
  4. -Light Elements Texturising Cream by Aveda
  5. -Water – by mother nature

Best hair tip ever?

Hair grows

How did you get started in the business?

Years of assisting and hard work.

How is it different to when you started?

A lot has changed in a short time. The obvious would be the switch from analog to digital and the use of new electronic medias and moving images. Most photo assistants today could not load a 5X4 back and most hairdressers could not do a full head of marcel waves properly with tongs. But the competition is stronger than ever before which increases the demand to not only be creative, talented, and professional, but you also need to be fast, nice, and have impeccable taste.

Favourite looks for the next coming season?

Girls being creative and styling their own hair. Twisting, braiding, back-combing, pinning…. Just developing their own styles. Mixes of vintage with modern. Having fun and enjoying playing with their hair.

What do you love doing in your spare time?

Hmmmm….spare time….not a lot of that…..I may get this new operation so I don’t have to sleep anymore. I can stay awake 24/7.  Then I’ll have more spare time. I like to keep my hands and mind busy. I sew, make books, make felt hats, stickers, write letters, spend time with friends, yoga, exhibitions, etc.

James is represented in New York and London by D+V Management.  You can view his portfolio at

James Pecis

James Pecis

In My Makeup Kit: Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash

AESOP Rinse-free hand sanitizerSo I can now die a happy lady. The ONE thing that used to disturb me about my kit was my nasty bottle of chemist dry soap – I have bought it in Paris, and London and the US, and no matter what brands I tried, it just never looked chic. Because when you have all your lovely bottles and tubes of La Mer and Kiehl’s and Chanel laid out, it was always jarring to have a tacky little bottle of Aqium or Purell stuck in the middle. It screamed “Here I am! I’m a hand sanitizer!” Not the first thing I want to jump out at a client when they look at my work table.

But now my prayers have been answered – and at the risk of my blog turning into an Aesop infomercial, it’s the good people at Aesop who have answered them. It’s an alcohol based hand wash to cleanse and refresh hands – so it’s the Chanel of Aqium basically. And best of all – it comes in their classic brown bottles, but, wait for it, IT’S PLASTIC. So there’s no carting glass around (which, whilst chic would also be heavy, and let’s face it, potentially dangerous). And it’s only 50ml, so it’s perfect for planes, or throwing into your handbag for a little on the spot refresher wherever you are. Clean hands without water! And I don’t know about you guys, but I get increasingly germ phobic as I get older. It all started on the Paris Metro when I saw a guy scratch his nose – except he had no nose, it had been eaten away by some devastating disease. Poor man – but then he wrapped that itchy finger back around the Metro pole and I nearly passed out at the thought of what detritus he was leaving everywhere. So at the risk of sounding all Howard Hughes, hand sanitizer is my friend.

This one smells gorgeous, and has Mandarin Rind and Rosemary Leaf in it, plus unlike its nasty chemist counterparts, it contains moisturizing agents to ensure skin is left clean but not dehydrated.

So now my kit looks classy AND clean. Delish.