In My Makeup Kit: MAC Face and Body foundation


Recently I’ve had to radically downsize my kit, as you know what? My body doesn’t love me carrying my bodyweight in makeup to and from work every day.

So I’ve stripped my kit back to bare bones, re-tuned the chassis, super-charged the performance and fine-tuned it to just what I need.

One of the few foundations that survived the cull? MAC Face and Body (although I decanted the ass of them first, as they come in jumbo outsize bottles which I love, but they weigh a ton). I carry it in five colors, (although there are many more available) ranging from pure white to deep mahogany. I won’t go on a job without it, mainly for its extraordinary body improving abilities. It’s like a gym and a solarium in a jar (but with a lot less effort involved).

It evens out the skin tone, making it look smooth and polished, taking the color up a couple of notches, or many to a deep dark tan if desired. Or down to a Twilight pale glow if that’s more your speed. The finish can be built up with two coats to robotic and plasticized, or one coat for a more natural glow. Simply apply liberally with bare hands, smoothing it out – but be careful of pale colored clothing, as it can transfer. And it is literally the wonder-product for what I call ‘corned beef’ legs – pale, translucent, slightly blue, the color of well – you get the picture. And not what you want in a picture peeking out from a Prada dress.

Another lovely thing – it’s a beautiful, super sheer face foundation. Applied either with fingers or a brush it will give you the baby skin (you wish) you were born with.

Please explain – Cream Eyeshadows

How many of my Makeup Molettes have bought a cream eyeshadow expecting it to be amazing and got it home, smeared it on, and it’s just well…not? I’m constantly mystified as to why magazines tell people to try a new color eyeshadow in a cream texture, as if buying a powder  eyeshadow to test something out would be too shocking. Ladies, I think we’re strong enough to handle it!

What the magazines don’t tell you is that cream eyeshadows are the diet version of powder eyeshadow – the anorexic younger cousin, the Lite to powder’s Maxi. Yes, they can be beautiful on their own, but you’re never going to get a full fledged rockin’ look if you don’t layer it with powder.  So expecting to get some amazing strong effect from a cream shadow, well it’s just not going to happen (sorry).Nars Cream eyeshadow

Because cream is more transparent than powder it’s always going to give you a sheerer wash of color – so for a neutral, natural everyday look they can be lovely. For this transparent, taupe-y effect I highly recommend NARS cream shadows in Corfu and Savage and Laura Mercier Metallic Crème Shadows in Gold and Rose Gold.

They are great as a base – MAC Paint Pots and Paints (which come in dinky little tubes) are often used as a base color to give the powder something to adhere to. Personally I don’t like using a ‘base’ color as I think it changes the color you put on top, but on any given Sunday Youtube is awash with people who disagree with me, so it’s really personal choice.

If you are looking for something with more oomph, Illamasqua cream eyeshadows come in amazing strong colors and strong pigments, (the strongest I have come across), so for creating really bright colored eyes I would definitely recommend these. MAC Paint sticks are also a winner although the color range is a bit limited.

I do love creating editorial looks with creams, and for this I generally turn to my trusty MAC Cream Color Bases (or CCB’s as they are fondly known around the traps). These are a staple, staple item in my kit in pretty much every color available. They are unbeatable for smudging and creating beautiful shadows and highlights – once you try them you will be hooked!

Bobbi Brown Cream EyeshadowI have also recently tried and LOVED the Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadows which are the only ones that I have found that don’t crease. For this is the definite drawback with cream eyeshadows – most of them crease like crazy, which means they need to be repaired throughout the day (not usually something most people want to worry about!) They also crease more on those with oily eyelids or in summer. You can help prevent this by setting with a small brush and a translucent powder, or a powder eyeshadow in a similar color.

And if you are channeling your inner 80’s diva, nothing beats the combo of powder and cream eyeshadow to give you mega glam slam eyes. And just like painting, half the fun is in the mix. Get to work!

Beauty Breakdown – Selma Blair at the 2009 Met Ball

We are lucky enough to have a makeup breakdown for the original belle of the Met ball, Selma Blair, actress and muse for designer Marc Jacobs.

Selma Blair at the 2009 Met Ball in New York
Selma Blair at the 2009 Met Ball in New York

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base to create a youthful glow

Chanel Vitalumiere in 30, Cendre

Chanel Estompe Eclat Concealer in 30

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder on T-zone only

Chanel Powder Blush in Be-Bop


  • Smudge Chanel Eye Pencil in Black into upper eyelashes to create added depth
  • Chanel Smoky Eyes over entire eye area, creating ‘half-moon’ contour in sockets with the darker shade, and a soft, undefined smokiness underneath with a lighter grey
  • Finish eyes with a line of Ecriture De Chanel on root of upper lashes and ending with slight outward ‘tick’ at each outer corner
  • Finally lashings of Black Exceptionnel Mascara


Wanted to keep Selma’s ‘underground’ chic so plumped them up slightly with Bobbi Browm Blush lipliner and MAC Clear Lipglass

Makeup by Kay Montano

Eyeliners that Rock My World

This was an excellent question asked after my last post on smoky eyes, and I thought I’d do a whole post on it, as eyeliner is a key and very misunderstood product.

Eyeliner applied correctly can make your eyes look bigger, your gaze more smoldering and generally more like the all-out diva you want to be. Eyeliner applied incorrectly will make you look like Uncle Fester back from an all night rave – possibly not the look you’re going for. So to begin:

Eyeliner comes in three forms – pencil, gel eyeliner (in a pot), and liquid, usually in a pen or inkwell type arrangement. And in intensity, that is also the order – pencil is softest, gel is next in terms of strength and depth of color, followed by liquid, which is the mack daddy of all liners but should be used with caution – it’s also the hardest to apply (although with practice it can look amazing).


Chanel Eye Pencils

My favourites are Chanel and MAC. MAC Smolder is the best soft black for a rock n’ roll smoky eye, and MAC Coffee is a beautiful brown. If you’re feeling creative you can mix the black and the brown for a gorgeous color which frames every eye color beautifully. MAC also has pretty much every color under the rainbow, so if you’re feeling like getting experimental with a fluoro orange eyeliner one morning, MAC is the place to go. Chanel I like for the more discreet range of colors like navy and bronze, plus a top range of browns, and when you may not want so much smudgability (‘cause you know, some days are just like that).

Gel eyeliner

bobbibrowngeleyelinerThis is a favourite of mine and a fairly newfangled addition to the eyeliner pantheon. My favourite by a long shot is Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink, and believe me, I’ve tried them all. It’s a really true, rich black and it glides on (with a brush and a steady hand!), but then it doesn’t budge. Or flake. Or smudge. All day. Love it.macliquideyeliner

It also comes in lots of other colours which manage to be both ladylike and arresting. I particularly like Bronze Shimmer Ink and Sepia Ink, but there are about 15 gorgeous colors to try in all.

Liquid liner

And last (but by no means least), is liquid eyeliner. This is the strongest type of eyeliner and so requires a bit of practice, but nothing beats it for instant drama. I am currently using MAC Bootblack liquid eyeliner, although I usually use a proper brush, not the little pen applicator thing it comes with which I don’t find precise enough. A tip if you’ve done a smoky eye but it’s not making your eyes pop – add a thin line of liquid liner just above your lashes. This will frame your eyes to give you the Bambi-like gaze (the doe, not the stripper, if you’ve done it correctly) you’ve been looking for.

The. Best. Red. Lipstick. Ever.

No really.

MAC's Ruby Woo
MAC's Ruby Woo

Why is this little red bullet of perfection so good? I love it for its dense matte color, and the perfect blend of orange and blue so that it looks amazing on every skin tone. I’ve seen it working on a shoot on seven different people, from the English blue-eyed beauty of Karl Lagerfeld’s muse Amanda Harlech to the olive gorgeousness that is Yasmin Le Bon. How many other red lipsticks can say that, huh?

If you’re looking for glossy it’s not that guy, although you can soup it up with a clear or red gloss to take it to a whole other place, where Michelle Pfeiffer waits for Al Pacino in a smoky bar. But I love it with a bit of MAC Cherry or Redd pencil underneath – real siren lips at their best.

Sick of waiting to find out what it is? It’s (drumroll please!) MAC’s Ruby Woo, the classy older sister to MAC’s brash Lady Danger which is also great, but younger and edgier as it’s more on the orange side. (The fabulous London makeup artist Andrew Gallimore used Lady Danger on Lily Allen who loved it.)

But back to our star, Miss Ruby Woo? Well you can take her anywhere.


Mac Redd Lip Pencil
Mac Redd Lip Pencil