Valentine’s Day – The Naughty Version

Rosie Huntington Whiteley Agent Provocateur

I have to confess to not being a fan of Valentine’s Day generally – well not the sickly sweet chocolates and teddy bears version (unless you’re five, when it’s therefore age-appropriate and OK). Otherwise, really the flying cupids draped in red velvet and the love hearts on everything are just twee and make me feel vaguely ill.

Come on, we’re all grown ups, right? So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day in the raciest sense of the word, I bring you an Agent Provocateur video I worked on a couple of years ago, with the unbelievable Rosie Huntington-Whiteley playing the woman scorned. Fabulous director Greg Williams wrote and directed it, Kay Montano was on makeup, and Johnnie Sapong (one of my favourite hairdressers) was on hair. The set was closed (you’ll see why when you watch it!) and the AP underwear – well it speaks for itself.

Here’s my beauty recipe for a dangerous Valentine’s day – the kind you’re really looking forward to…

For a touchable body I’m loving Liz Earle’s delicious new Energising Body Lotion with Damask Rose Flower Water and Sweet Orange Oil (this is as sweet as this recipe gets).

For a sultry gaze, mix up MAC Smolder and Coffee eye khols and add a little bit of grease like Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. Not loads but enough to give it that just-been rumpled look. Add lots of Lancome Hypnose mascara for some serious bedroom eyes.

Cheeks should be softly blushed – I like a good cream blush. Becca make a fab selection of cream blushes that look amazing on – particular faves are Geranium, Turkish Rose, Wild Orchid and Amaryllis.

To gild your body I like Illamasqua’s Ether Powdered Metal, which provides a golden glow for fair skins whilst Powdered Metal in Thalia is beautiful on darker skins.

Nails also must be Illamasqua this Valentine’s as they have the best polishes around – I’ll be using Throb, a deep blood red, or Load, which is well, a gorgeous creamy, milky colour.

No Valentine’s day would be complete without a kiss! Dab on Myface Gigabyte Lipstick in Strawberry Fields or Cherry Bomb, and add a touch of their Lip Pop gloss in 136 for lips that would give Rosie a run for her money.

Let Rosie be your Valentine… or else!

www.lizearle.comwww.maccosmetics.com | www.lancome.co.ukwww.beccacosmetics.comwww.illamasqua.comwww.myfacecosmetics.com

Best. Luminiser Ever. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

Best. Luminiser Ever. Becca Shimmering Skin PerfectorI realized (rather belatedly, since my blog is over 18 months old now), that I very rarely post about luminisers and face glowy things (my last post for becauselondon.com made me realize I’m rather tardy to that party).

It’s not that I don’t believe in them, – in fact I have a whole drawer full of them that says I do, but rather I have whittled them down now through many years of trial and error to a few key items that I swear by. And the best luminser on the market? To my mind, it’s Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector.

I love these. I carry four colours in my kit that cover me for all luminising emergencies and eventualities, from super pale to the deepest bronze. I have blogged about Becca the Aussie wonderbrand before, but perhaps not enough. I think it’s such a beautiful range for real women, and every day life. The whole philosophy of the brand is about skin, and looking gorgeous IN that skin no matter whether you’re super pale or very dark, or somewhere in between. It’s a range that’s particularly great if you’re mixed race as these can be skintones who have a notoriously difficult time matching undertones. I have posted about my love of their concealers before, and these luxurious luminsers definitely make it on to my favourites list as well.

I use Pearl on very fair skins, Gold on medium, Opal on everyone but the darkest, and Bronze (which I can no longer see on their website, so it may have been discontinued, which would be a CRYING SHAME for our darker-skinned sisters) is absolutely amazing on deep skins. It can be used on face or body and the packaging is even travel friendly – very handy when you’re lugging that kit around. The best thing about it is the pearl particle is very small, so it really does mimic skin and give you a healthy glow, instead of looking like you’re auditioning for the remake of Studio 54 (NOT what you want in direct sunlight with a hot guy around. Not. At. All.)

And since everyone who doesn’t live in a yurt knows how and where to apply luminser – on the high points of the face silly, where the light hits (cheekbones, cupid’s bow, browbone if you must and for a sexy sheen, the clavicles), so I won’t go into it here. Brush or fingers is fine, summer or winter, you know you need some shine in your life!

www.beccacosmetics.com

Beauty Breakdown – Thandie Newton for Virgin Shorts festival

Makeup by Kay Montano - Photographer Lorenzo Agius

How incredible does gorgeous actress Thandie Newton look in these pictures? It’s for the Virgin Shorts film competition which Thandie will soon be judging, and the brief was to recreate the drama of 1920’s silent screen actress Theda Bara.

Celebrity photographer Lorenzo Agius was behind the camera, and top hairdresser Neil Moodie was tending to her locks. As usual Kay Montano rocked it on the makeup front, and Thandie was her usual amazing self – how many movie stars will offer you a seat whilst you’re working? I can tell you now, not many – but there’s a reason why Thandie is one of my favourite stars. Here’s what Kay used to transform her into a Cecil B. DeMille era siren.

Base – Myface Mymix foundation in Med/Dark 01

Concealer – Becca concealer in Cappucino

Powder – Jurlique Translucent powder

Blush – No blush

Eyes

  • MyFace Soulful Shades Eyeshadow trio in Midnight Hour (the black shadow) as a base, creating the distinctive shape
  • Chanel Eye Gloss quad in black over this, with a bit of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on top for extra shine (which is key to this look)
  • Eye rimmed with black Guyliner eye khol
  • Black Chanel Inimitable Mascara

Lips – Chanel Les Rouge Noirs Hysteria lipstick in a 1920’s bee stung shape

Beauty Breakdown – Alexa Davalos at the Clash of the Titans premiere

Alexa Davalos by Kay Montano
Alexa Davalos by Kay Montano

Makeup by Kay Montano

There’s a new starlet in town and her name is Alexa Davalos. She is Andromeda in the new film Clash of the Titans, and this week in London she’s been lighting up the red carpet in a dress by Ralph Lauren and diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Makeup artist Kay Montano was inspired by the makeup at the recent YSL show, which was very matte skin with a bright, glossy lip, and a hint of shine on the eyes and the cheeks.  Juxtaposing textures creates a look that’s beautiful, polished and fresh – perfect for the red carpet.

Base – Chanel Pro Lumiere in 20

Concealer – Laura Mercier in Secret Camouflage 3

Powder – Chanel Poudre Libre in Translucent 20

Cheeks – Becca Blossom Crème Cheek and Lip Color

Eyes

  • Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on lids for shine
  • Clinique Naturally Glossy Black mascara

Lips

  • Chanel lipstick in Enthusiast
  • MyFace Lip Pop Gloss in 136

Trends: Lilac Eyes

Dior-Spring-2010-Make-up-Vlada-Roslyakova

Spring isn’t quite officially here, but as far as I’m concerned, its time to look ahead and think about bare legs, short skirts (yessssss! say all the men in London), and most importantly, re-think your makeup bag for the coming season. I call it a bonafide trend as of today, because I saw three ladies on the Tube in one morning wearing varying shades of violet on their eyes. So my top trend? It’s Lilac Eyes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had (interesting, cough) true beauty trends – for a few seasons it’s been the same old stuff recycled again and again – natural makeup, perfect skin, smoky eyes, red lips – and much as I love those classics, aren’t we all just a little bit keen for something different?

I know I am, which is why I sat up just a little bit straighter when the genius makeup maestro Pat McGrath sent a bevy of beauties down the runway for Dior with gasp! lavender eyelids. Gorgeous, glowing, proper washes of Easter egg purple – it’s part of a bigger seasonal trend for pastels that I predict will be huge this season, as we all search for color to lift us out of (let’s be honest), 2009’s deep funk. The ubiquitous Ms McGrath even did pastel eyebrows yesterday for Balenciaga. Whilst I don’t see us necessarily sporting a pastel brow to herald in the warmer months, a pastel lid we can do. To the paintbox, ladies!

Lilacs I love

NARS Jolie Poupee duo – vibrant lavender and deep jewel toned purple. This is where NARS really comes into its own as a range – they have one of the most rockin’ colour selections anywhere. Colours you didn’t know existed let alone thought that you needed – that is until you headed down to your makeup counter.

NARS D. Gorgeous single eyeshadow  – a shimmery pale lilac. Worth wearing for the name alone!

Bobbi Brown Lavender and Lilac eyshadows, with Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Orchid. Yeeeeeeeaaaah. That’s what I’m talking about.

Becca Lapis Eyetint with Ametrine – this creates a more subtle, shiny wash of color that is so, so gorgeous on. Lapis is apparently a Limited Edition color so if you want it, you’ll have to be quick.

Estee Lauder single eyeshadow in Lilac – beautiful, does what it says in the box, shimmering lavender to make your eyes glow.

How to wear it

Although lavender looks gorgeous on every eye color, pastels can be a little hard to wear if not done correctly. The application part is easy – simply wash your chosen color from the lashline to the crease, with a brush or your finger in the case of a cream.

But in order to make it work, you need a very thin black liner along the lashes – like dental floss! Oh so thin. Liquid or gel eyeliner is more defined than a pencil. And lashes, lots and lots of lashes. You’re going to need a Bad Boy mascara, one that gives you lashes for days – not clumpy, not trampy, but ultra flirty and lots of ‘em. Go nuts. I am currently liking Lancome Hypnose mascara for this uber-sexy effect.

Without eyeliner and mascara you will look like an egg – but not of the Easter variety. Just an albino one. If you feel a bit naked under the eyes you can always softly smudge a nice chocolate pencil. MAC Coffee pencil is a good one.

Go easy on the foundation – heavy, mask-like base will quickly take this into Grannyland (and nobody really wants to go there). Myface foundation is lovely for light, everyday wear that still gives sufficient coverage. And no weird fake tans please – pastels and fake tan will make you look like the bonkers neighbour in There’s Something about Mary, and the Mole is never EVER going to tell you to look like that!

Blush is a must, a soft pink would be good, but nothing too cutesy. I like a pink with a little bit of gold shimmer in it – my latest fave for most skintones is Chantecaille powder blush in Laughter.

Although Ms McGrath went for the full magilla at Dior with a bright red lip, I would possibly choose something a little more understated if you’re just going out for groceries. I like a soft pink lip with a bit of brown (again to keep it out of the kindergarten, and make it pretty without looking like you should be sporting an Easter bonnet). Becca Sheer Tint lip colour in Gisella, Myface Vintage Pink lipstick, and the old classic Estee Lauder Crystal Baby lipstick are all good options. You may not have a Spring in your step yet, but at least it can be Spring on your eyes.