New Beauty Breakdown! – Autumn Beauty for Grazia Croatia

Apologies for the radio silence, work has been pretty crazy over the last few weeks so time at the computer has been in short supply. Because it’s one thing to be actually shooting, but there’s all the other bits of being a makeup artist that no one tells you when you’re studying how to actually BE a makeup artist. There’s the meetings with photographers, organising your portfolio, prepping your kit for different jobs (I hate carrying everything so I have different kits for different jobs – what I would take to a red carpet job is very different to what I’d take on a beauty shoot, to what I’d take on an ad job, and for fashion or beauty editorials it is literally the whole kit and caboodle! White body makeup? In it goes. Lime green handwoven lashes? Check. Day-glo orange eye makeup? You never know. Brow bleach? Chuck it in). So packing for different jobs can take awhile, not to mention if you’re involved with model selection, or putting together mood boards and looking for references for a shoot.

Plus you know, exercise and doing your washing and seeing family and friends occasionally. The actual putting makeup on people is the easy bit! So even though people think it’s all glamorous and you just turn up, put some lipstick on people and scoot home in a cab there’s a lot of extra stuff that goes into the job. Not that I don’t love nearly every minute of it! But it has meant that time is often in short supply and blogging has been on the backburner the last few weeks.

So apologies if I haven’t been posting as much, I am trying to work out how to get more time as I keep finding more makeup gems literally every week (Case in point – the Eyeko Eyleash Curler is literally the best eyelash curler I’ve tried!) I’ve been testing skincare, new foundations, and new mascaras so there’s definitely lots to tell you all. But first I thought I’d bring you a Beauty Breakdown (which we haven’t had in awhile) of a recent beauty Autumn story I had for Grazia Croatia, shot by Rossella Vanon.

Skin and Foundation

  • NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser
  • Chanel Vitalumiere foundation
  • MAC Translucent loose powder
  • NARS Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer – Laguna

Look 1 – Brown Eyeliner

  • Eyes
    • NARS Eye Paint in Baalbek (warm brown)
    • NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley (at lash line)
    • NARS Audacious mascara
  • Cheeks
    • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
  • Lips
    • NARS Bolero and Belle de Jour Velvet Matte Pencils mixed

 

Look 2 – Pink Duo eye

  • Eyes
    • Chanel Ombre Première eyeshadow in Silver Pink
    • NARS Bengali eyeshadow on outer corners
    • NARS Dark Angel Shadow stick along lashline
    • NARS Audacious mascara
    • MAC Sushi Flower eyeshadow in crease
    • MAC Fuchsia pigment on inner eye corners
  • Lips
    • Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipliner
    • MAC Clear Lipglass

 

Look 3 -Heather Eye and Pink Lips

  • Eyes
    • MAC Teddy eyeliner rimming the eye
    • NARS Duo eyeshadow in Habanera
    • NARS Duo eyeshadow in Marie Galante
  • Cheeks
    • She Uemura M Amber 82
  • Lips
    • NARS Manhunt lipstick as a stain

 

Look 4 – Berry Lips

  • Eyes
    • MAC Coffee eyeliner and Clear Lipglass
    • NARS Audacious mascara
  • Lips
    • NARS Damned Velvet Matte Pencil

 

Look 5 – Coffee eyes

  • Eyes
    • MAC Coffee eyeliner
    • NARS Dark Angel Eye Shadow stick
    • Charlotte Tilbury Marie Antoinette cream eyeshadow on inner eye corners
    • Chanel Candeur et Experience Eyeshadow quad in crease
    • NARS Audacious mascara
  • Cheeks
    • NARS Sunwash Diffusing Bronzer in Laguna and NARS Multiple in Lamu
    • NARS blush in Gina
  • Lips – NARS Fantasia lipliner and NARS Blonde Venus Sheer lipstick

 

Team Credits:

In My Makeup Kit: MAC Haute and Naughty Mascara

Val Garland Masara Lashes

 

I’m ALWAYS testing out new mascaras, constantly searching for that new favourite that outperforms all the rest. After a few duds (namely Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Lash – not a fan, and Lancôme’s Grandiôse, which quickly became Lancôme Crunchy Lash, although I did love it to start off with) I have finally hit the jackpot with MAC’s Haute and Naughty mascara.

This one has been around for awhile, and I’d heard around the makeup traps that it was great. I just hadn’t got around to trying it (so many mascaras, so little time!) but now that I have, I’m hooked.

Why is it so amazing? It has not one but two fabulous brushes, so you have a brush for the upper AND lower lashes. It also dispenses just the right amount of product so you get full lashes very rapidly without a complete overload of mascara. When you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for blotches or fiddling around combing out the lashes, this is the one to reach for.

The large main brush gives you fluttery, full volumised lashes in a couple of strokes, but the piece de resistance is the small brush, hidden in the cap. This allows you to coat all the lower lashes from root to tip with the utmost precision. Years ago I used to have a Maybelline one called Lash Discovery for the lower lashes but I’ve not seen that anywhere for ages, so I’m pretty happy to have MAC Haute and Naughty as a replacement. So if you like lashes that can go from basic to bombshell in two seconds, this is the mascara for you!

Val Garland Masara Lashes

Right Now: Marian Newman and MAC Nail Transformations

MAC Nail Transformations

I’m loving these new nail topcoats from MAC, in collaboration with mega manicurist Marian Newman. Marian is arguably one of the world’s top nail technicians with over 50 British Vogue covers under her belt, and given that her career before becoming a top manicurist was as a forensic scientist, the precision and perfection of her work has to be seen to be believed.

Marian would quite often be booked on the same shoots as Kay Montano when I was assisting Kay, and I used to love chatting to her as she was so lovely and fun to be around. She gets booked for countless celebs (from Keira Knightley to Lady Gaga) and runway shows in the dozens from Valentino to Givenchy. I remember one Vanity Fair shoot with Miles Aldridge shooting English actress Gemma Arterton, she very kindly chatted to me for ages about the best nude nails – and I still have the polishes she gave me from her kit. How lovely is that?

When MAC asked her to create a collection, Marian wanted to make it something exciting, that could expand on your existing nail wardrobe and create a myriad of looks. Check out the video below for all the different finishes:

www.mariannewmannails.com
www.maccosmetics.com

Right Now: How YOU doin’?

Friends

So this week is the 10th anniversary of the final episode of Friends. I’ll say that again – a decade since that TV show that epitomized the 90’s FINISHED. Basically what this means is that if you were there to watch the show when it aired on terrestrial TV (I’m talking pre-cable, pre DVD, pre-TIVO, practically pre-clunky video tapes AKA pre-historic) then you are officially old. Old I tell you.

And if you don’t remember it first time around well consider yourselves lucky as this makes you young. But you should still be catching up on it as you will urgently be wanting to reference the style of Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox – the crop top and washboard stomach plus floral shorts trend, the double denim, the fabulous 90’s brown lipcolour that was a staple on everyone’s lips and that is now having a comeback, despite not suiting anyone apart from models. (Seriously you have to be insanely gorgeous to pull that colour off – if you can, more power to you and make sure you’re generous with the concealer as it will show up every tiny bit of redness in your skin).

The shock of discovering that the Friends finale was ten years ago and I remember it – well not quite like it was yesterday, but certainly not as if it was ten years ago, making ME officially old – has made me want to write a post about my favourite products that bring out the Joey Tribiani in me. As in I want to say “How YOU doin?” to each and every one of them every time I use them.

 

MAC Paintsticks

These guys make my heart sing every time I get the chance to pull them out. They are creamy, matte sticks (literally paint sticks) of opaque, shimmer-free colour and they are gorgeous as eyeshadows, blush, lipstick, or you can even use them all over the face as a foundation if it was that kind of shoot/day/party. They are fantastic to have in your kit for any type of avant garde look and play equally nicely when you have to tone it down for more natural looks. The colours are what have my heart – sky blues, cerulean and emerald green, vivid red, an amazing orange. The beauty of these is you can mix them together and create whatever colour you like (similar to the Make Up Forever Flash Case which I also love and has also been a kit staple for many years.) They are eminently decantable and can be used as a cream base for powder eyeshadows or blush as well. LOVE.

Chantecaille blushers in Laughter and Emotion

How gorgeous are Chantecaille blushers? They are super finely pigmented and with just a touch of sheen to them, they give a vibrance to the face that subtly makes you glow. I first used Chantecaille on a show in London and it was a wonderful introduction to the brand as I got to use their Future Skin foundation (still an MM fave) and most of their colour products. I’ve had these blushes in and out of my kit for many seasons as they’re classic and beautiful and just very flattering. Laughter is a gorgeous candy-rose pink (very hard to describe! Let’s just say it’s lovely) and Emotion is a peachy-pinky gold. Apparently they have anti-aging vitamins A, C and E and I guess that’s good, right?

Illamasqua Nailpolish

I’m currently really into nail colours that aren’t quite neons, but definitely pack a punch. Illamasqua consistently make some of the best polishes and colours in the world, so this season I’ve put Collide, (hot pink), Obsess, (vivid Fuchsia), Cameo (bright sky blue), and Lament (bright coral pink) in my kit. It might be winter Down Under but a girl needs to have some colour to cheer her up! I’m also into glittered purple Perseid as a sophisticated evening look which helps work this season’s metallic trend. Gorgeous. For a chic alternative to brights for daytime I love a grey, particularly Essie’s Playa del Platinum.

NARS Corfu Cream eyeshadow

Where to start? This is such a beautiful, bronze-y cream eyeshadow which is lovely on its own or layered under another powder bronze shadow (Lancome, MAC and Illamasqua all have great bronze shadows – forgive me but I feel too lazy to unpack my kit to check the names). On its own it’s a shimmery, twinkl-y wisp of nothing of a shadow which actually ends up being really something.  Perfect for an “your eyelids but better” type scenario. NARS do some of the best cream eyeshadows out there as the texture is sheer yet you can build them, and the colours are amazing. Be warned though – it is a cream and it will move so be prepared to be on shadow patrol throughout the day.

All old favourites, that I use all the time. And not a smelly cat in sight.

Secret Weapon – MAC Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk

MAC Silver Dusk

With New York Fashion Week just gone and London Fashion Week about to kick off it seems only fitting to pay homage to one of my favourite products, MAC Silver Dusk powder. This one is an oldie but a goodie and it can come out to play on so many occasions that it’s always in my kit. On the face it gives that perfect hit of illumination to all the high points you might want to emphasise, such as the browbone, cheekbone or Cupid’s bow of the lips, and it’s lovely with a big brush along the clavicles and shoulders as well.

Principally I like to have it for editorial work as it provides eye popping highlights exactly where you want, yet the shimmer is so fine that it doesn’t look jarring or OTT. It’s like moonlight in a jar, perfect for a soft, ethereal romantic finish or you can build it when you want to do full-on disco strobe highlights (I think we all have those days sometimes).

I haven’t covered many luminisers on MM in the past, which isn’t because I don’t like them. I use a highlighter of some description on pretty much every makeup I do as it just adds such beautiful dimension to the face, but I think I MIGHT have overdosed on them a few years ago. Not literally of course – imagine that, glowing like a light bulb from too much highlighter! But I fell in love with them in the early 2000’s (well hello MAC Strobe Cream and NARS Copacabana) and just kept adding to my collection – Becca and Benefit, Illamasqua Gleam Cream and Revlon Skinlights… the list, and my collection, just went on and on. Since even as a makeup artist it takes half a century to get through even one of those sparkly little tubes and pots, I never really felt like writing about them.

But I was going through my kit again the other day, doing yet another decanting session, and I wanted to start covering some of my hero products that I use job in and job out. Not everything has to be new to be wonderful! Silver Dusk also feeds in perfectly with the metallic trend that’s coming out of NY this week – silvery glitter eyes at Donna Karan, gold highlighter at Sass and Bide (both courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury) and even pink glitter lips from James Kaliardos at Rodarte.

Black skins needn’t feel left out either (as Silver Dusk is quite a wintry, pale colour and better on paler skin tones) since MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes shimmer powders are divine as a highlight on black skin. My classic go-to highlighter for darker skins in the Mineralize Skinfinish is Shooting Star.  For olive skins I’m very partial to NARS Gold Rush powder. Judicious highlighting never goes out of style!