Stop Press! Becca EXTRA SMALL Polishing Brush

Look what I found today – check out this dude. It’s a tiny duofibre brush for blending eyes (and concealer or foundation, if it so tickled your fancy). This is possibly more of a thrill for makeup artists, since we’re like that, getting very excited about new and innovative additions to our brush collections, but believe me when I tell you this is ace.

Duofibre brushes are fairly new to the market, only being around for the last few years, but they are amazing for polishing and blending. Most makeup artists I know carry at least one in their kit (usually MAC 187, which is the larger one and MAC 188 which is smaller) as they are fabulous for buffing foundation, or for sheering out cream blush. This is the first time I’ve seen a duofibre for the eyes, and it’s gone from being something I’ve never heard of, to something I feel I can’t live without.

If you love a blended eyeshadow, this is the new guy in your life.

MakeupMole Christmas Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again, when it’s time to start thinking about loved ones and what they would like for Christmas. And given that the holiday seasonMakeupMole Christmas Gift Guide can be stressful, and tiring, and there are lots of parties, isn’t it time to start thinking of a gift guide for yourself? After all, ‘tis the season of tiny little lip glosses, bundled together into one gorgeous package, of miniature elf sized nail polish in a whole rainbow of colors, fabulous brush sets in tiny clutches, in short, makeup that is good enough to eat. So follow my lead – one for you, and one for me, one for you…

Here are my picks for cute as a button present giving (and keeping!)

Illamasqua

The Gold Goddess box contains Liquid metal in ‘Solstice’, Pure Pigment in ‘Furore’, False Lashes 019 and the Medium Pencil in ‘Sophie’ – £3 of the sale of this box will go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The Silver Seductress box contains Liquid metal in ‘Phenomena’ and is complemented with Pure Pigment in ‘Android’, False Lashes in 19 and the Medium Pencil in ‘Sophie’. Again, £3 of the sale of this box will go directly to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

NARS 15th Anniversary Palette ‘Everlasting Love’

NARS is justly famed for his palettes and this little Christmas cracker to commemorate his 15th year of makeup goodness is no exception. It has eyeshadows in Edie, Nightbreed and Underworld Duo, plus one of my all time favourite nude lipstick colors, Belle de Jour, and lip lacquer in Chelsea Girls. Nice!

Nude

Nude’s adorable little box set of travel sized potions is just what the doctor ordered for party-weary skin – a Cleansing Oil, Miracle Mask and Age Defense Moisturiser to come soothe your over-partied spirit. And your conscience can feel as good as your skin does since it’s not tested on animals and has no sulfates or parabens.

MAC

As always MAC comes into it’s own at Christmas and this year is no exception. The eyeshadow sets are gorgeous – particularly noteworthy is Smoke and Mirrors which has six beautiful smoky eye colors, for those times you need sultry eyes in seconds.

And their mini pigments and gloss sets are back! For budding makeup artists they are a great way to build your collection, and quite frankly for anyone who loves something small and squirrelly (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) you really can’t go past them.

Bobbi Brown

Loving the Earth Metal Lip and Eye palette from the Chrome Collection, which features six yummy eye shadows and four natural but better lip colors.

Black Plum Mini Travel Brush set – I LOVE Bobbi’s brushes as they are exceptionally good quality, just the right size to do the jobs you want and they last forever. And what have we here… Look at this bad boy! Six travel size brushes in a little bag. Perfect for all of those of you out there (ahem!) who have grimy,

mismatched brushes lying in dust at the bottom of your makeup bag (not mentioning any names… That goes double if you’re blending things with cotton buds.) No more excuses!

Laura Mercier

Mini Lip Glace set contains five little glossy bonbons, all in a row.

Eyeko

Tiny vials of nail varnish in 8 different shades – and at £3 each, you could definitely bundle these into one sweet gift!

Becca

The Showgirl palette is what’s in their stocking this year, with a deep brown shadow, orchid and a stone color that work surprisingly well together, and a rosebud stain with a pink gloss. What you need to look gorgeous this party season.

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.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Gothic Drama at Zac PosenIt started as a murmur at the last Fashion Week – not a bronzer in sight, instead either natural skin tomes or slightly paler, bones highlighted with judicious use of contour and luminiser. Then came Twilight, the vampire film seemingly beloved by all, and the murmur became a whisper, and now with the release of New Moon (the sequel to Twilight), and the fact that I haven’t opened my bronzer bag in six months, I think the whisper is officially a roar – pale skin is back in.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of Fashion Weeks brings up in September, but I don’t see paler skin going anywhere. When the only people wedded to their toxic tans seem to be Lindsey Lohan, Victoria Beckham and Jordan, I do think it’s time to move on and embrace the skin you’re in, one free of nasty melanomas and prematurely aged by the sun.

Being on the lighter side myself I can attest too many long Australian summers in the sun, cooking myself to my deepest color – a disappointing watery tea shade that invariably burned, and took about 150 hours of hard core sun exposure to get what I could have done in half an hour in the bathroom with a coat of Clarins fake tan. So even on holidays now I protect myself with SPF 50, and try not to worry too much about those toxic (but oh so enjoyable!) rays. Thus it’s great to see that there is a new movement afoot to embrace our natural, un-suntanned selves. Just in time for winter!Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Twilight

Chantecaille have introduced a new pale shade of their fabulous Future Skin foundation, which was sorely lacking from their line before, and both MAC and Illamasqua do pure white foundations for the fairest amongst you.  Kay Montano uses Becca Sherbert when she is looking after the creamy complexion of regular client, Nicole Kidman, and for highlighting the alabaster-skinned I like either Becca Pearl, or Pat McGrath’s favourite, Armani Fluid Sheer in 0.

And of course for our friends whose skin is NEVER going to be a whiter shade of pale, rock the gorgeous skin tone of caramel, honey or ebony that you are, and don’t feel left out – because black is ALWAYS beautiful.

Summer Lovin’: Becca Watermelon Beach Tint

picture-1Well the plan on holidays was that I’d test lots of waterproof makeup, but given that I didn’t swim due to the unheated-ness of our villa’s swimming pool, it was a little difficult. What I did test at the beach and fall in love with on those hot (almost summer) days, was Becca Beach Tint.

 This is a fabulous rose colored waterproof gel that gives the perfect flush of health. It glides over your sunscreen (‘cause you are wearing sunscreen every day aren’t you?) and did last the distance for a whole day at the beach, even through a rather sweat inducing game of Frisbee. I am a fair skinned blonde so it’s perfect on me, and I think would be gorgeous on more olive-y or even black skintones also– no ashiness here. It’s also beyond gorge as a lipstain.

 Although, like all makeup goodness that I love it always seems to find its way into The Kit, so I will be able to update you in future on how it fares at work.