Summer Products to Bring out your South Beach Glow

Miami South Beach

Suddenly it’s summer. London is definitely in the peak of the hot weather and it’s making me think of ice creams, and beaches, and holidays and fresh watermelon eaten in the sun.

Since my ACTUAL summer holidays are a little while away, I need to make do with cheering myself up with some new summer makeup. Which luckily is easy as I’ve had a bunch of gorgeous new things arrive recently. It’s not your typical summer fare either – oh sure there are bronzers, and fresh apricot shine lipsticks and blush the colour of fresh papaya, but there are also sparkling highlighters, candy coloured liners, shimmery obsidian dark eyeshadow and jungle green mascara for when you feel like taking the tropical vibe to – well, your lashes, actually.

Here’s my pick of the summer crop so far:

NARS Bord de Plage Highlighting and Bronzing Palette – this is heaven in a makeup compact. The new summer collection from NARS reformulates their classic bronzers, Laguna and Casino (which are ALWAYS in my kit), and the new version has no shimmer. Which I’m pretty excited by, as sometimes, like when doing male grooming, you don’t want shimmer when you bronze someone up. Contouring is also a zero shimmer proposition (I do believe we have discussed this before on MM  – contouring in general is something that needs to be handled with extreme care).

This NARS palette not only has the two new bronzers, but four delicious new powder highlighters in shades ranging from peach to gold to copper. You will literally never need to buy another highlighter again. And let’s discuss the packaging shall we? It’s tortoiseshell. Metallic tortoiseshell print. Gorgey-worgey and super chic.

Sisley’s Phytoblush Twist in number 3
The sweetest, domed stick blush in a wind up, zebra print case – it’s the colour of a ripe rockmelon and is guaranteed to make you feel like Brigitte Bardot lounging beachside in the South of France (instead of sweating on the tube in rush hour, which, let’s be real is more likely where you’ll be wearing it). I love the feel of it as it melts into the skin and gives a just touched by the sun hint of colour. Perfect to complement my (soon to be) new back from the beach tan!

Sisley’s Phytoblush Twist in number 3

Chanel Ombre Première eyeshadow range – The Chanel eyeshadow range has just been totally reformulated and it’s an extensive collection of cream and powder eyeshadows that you can layer or wear alone. I’m currently obsessed with the Silver Pink cream one in this range, and was thrilled to see a new black cream version (816 Obscur), an update on my favourite but discontinued Mirifique from my beloved Chanel’s Ombre d’Illusion range. This is what you want when you’re doing a super glam smoky eye. The powder shadows come in an incredible range with golds, shimmering purples and cobalts as well as the more traditional flattering browns.

Chanel Ombre Première eyeshadow range

Kiko Milano Eyeliners – I’m totally obsessed with Kiko Milano’s range of cheap, amazing makeup and I’ve been using their coloured eyeliners at work. A few weeks ago on a summer beauty shoot I used Kiko Smart Eyepencil in 805 Violet, and I also love their Lasting Precision Automatic Eyeliner in Turquoise 08 for just a jolt of colour on the eye with sheer skin and  nude lips. Best of all, Kiko is so reasonably priced you can grab a basket and start collecting new kit products like candy! They’re a life saver right before beauty shoots, let me tell you.

Kiko Smart Eyepencil in 805

 

Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara in 87 – it’s green, hunter green. It’s not too bright, or scary but it’s definitely there, and it brings out every eye colour. Plus it’s waterproof so ideal for long days of swimming as well as pool party nights. For some reason it makes me think of J Lo videos c 2001 (maybe because secretly I’d like to live in a J Lo video c. 2001.)

Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara in 87

NARS Laguna Body Tint – another all-star winner from NARS’ summer collection, this one is going straight in my kit. It has a slight amount of shimmer to it but not enough to make you feel like YOU should be in that J Lo video – it’s not that tacky over blingy shimmer look of yore. It’s also got a good tint to it, taking my pasta coloured legs to a believable shade of bronze in as long as it takes to rub it in, and it’s scented with NARS’ signature Mono de Tahiti scent. It has an SPF of 30 so not only does it give you a Haitian goddess colour, it protects you from the sun. This is definitely going with me on holidays.

NARS Laguna Body Tint

Let’s have some J Lo inspo, ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ from her 2001 album, ‘On the 6’. If I can’t get to Miami, Miami will have to come to me. I’m going to self tan myself now with my NARS Laguna Body Tint whilst imagining I’m in a Miami mega mansion wearing ridiculously oversized Gucci aviators, some major hair extensions and peach coloured lip gloss. BRB.

 

In My Makeup Kit – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens

I know I’m late to the concealer party with this post as I can’t believe how long I managed without these creamy little sticks of goodness in my kit. I only discovered them a few months ago after a makeup friend kept raving about them, and then I tried one and now… well I’m hooked. I’m up to 6 shades so far and not looking back.

NARS has really upgraded all its formulas for foundation, concealers and powders in recent years and I find that the more I use them, the more I like the shade range and the coverage. So the Radiant Creamy Concealers are wands filled with high-coverage liquid – a product type that has been around for ages and I stopped using years ago because I got into stick formulas that I would sheer out (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, I’m talking to you). But I’d never tried the NARS wand version, and now I can’t believe I’ve done without it all this time.

Since I’ve been back working in London I’ve had to change my kit a bit to accommodate different skin tones, and different skin issues. One thing that is different to working in Australia is that people generally have darker circles under their eyes, probably due to less sunlight (I guess). So darker circles became my bête noire for awhile, until the Radiant Creamy Concealers came along. Because the product is a liquid it goes on really easily without getting cakey, and a little goes a long way but covers a multitude of sins. Also it’s colours for darker skin tones are really great, perfectly covering the deeper end of the skin shade spectrum with ease (which let’s be real, not all the brands manage to do). It’s also great for super fair, almost white skins if you are of the fairer persuasion. I also love it for any discolorations around the nose and chin, or even veins and broken capillaries.

One small word of warning though – it is a radiant concealer and this has some light reflection to it. So don’t go too crazy with it or you run the risk of looking like J Lo on the red carpet c. 2001, like a deer caught in the headlights. A dab will generally do you, and you can always layer it with another matte dense concealer if you want straight up extra coverage. Perfect skin can now be yours! (Well at least look like it is).

www.narscosmetics.com

Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens
I used NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer on stunning Ayaana Aschkar-Stevens from Premier Models. Photographer Zoe Economides, Stylist Phillipa Kaye and hair and makeup by me.

In My Makeup Kit – NARS Satin Lip Pencils

christabel-draffin-makeup

I’m trying to escape the Trump inauguration today, and as I have the day off I thought let’s dive into some NARS, shall we?

I have covered the NARS Velvet Matte Pencils on MM before, but I’m slightly obsessed with all the NARS lip products at the moment and have just got back into their lip range in a big way. The Audacious lipsticks are amazing, and I’ve added a few of the Satin Lip Pencils to my kit recently – because let’s face it, you can never have enough chubby lip crayons in your kit, can you?

I use one of these on nearly every job, whether it’s editorial or the red carpet. I used them as a base colour for one of my recent red carpet clients, and they’re so perfect because the pigment holds true and you know it’s going to last (so important for longevity on the red carpet). Plus they aren’t drying, which with the snap-frozen temperatures in London at present is really key. Strong colour on flaky dry lips is seriously the worst!

They give a great base for other lip colours or can be used on their own. I use the natural shades that look like ‘your lips but better’ on natural beauty shoots with a bit of lip balm for the perfect wisp of nothing colour. At the other end of the colour spectrum I recently used the amazing red Dragon Girl on a shoot and it was so good. I’d forgotten how easy the NARS pencils make a great red lip.

It’s just so bloody easy to draw a great lip with a fat crayon! Quick colour pay off that goes on fast. Top tip – if you want to neaten up the edges of your lip more precisely than the crayon will allow, use a lip brush and run over the tip of the pencil with it, allowing you to then go into the lip and make any small corrections needed.

My favourite colours that I think should be in everyone’s kit are:

  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Dragon Girl (Vivid bright red)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama (a deeper version of your natural lip colour)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Belle du Jour (best nude ever and worth buying just for its name)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bolero (Pink grapefruit – lovely for sweet girly lips)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Damned (Rich wine – also lovely as a stain)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu – Bright vivid pink (because sometimes you want to go pink)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park – (lovely deep red, also looks great as a stain)
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya – bright orange (this is a weird editorial orange colour, but I actually love weird editorial colours. So wrong it’s right!)

As an added bonus they are super lightweight for your kit, so you can carry lots of them. For every day life, just having one handy at the bottom of your handbag means you will never need to be caught bare-lipped again.

www.narscosmetics.com

nars satin lip pencils

Top picture:  Photo by Jenni Hare, styling by Emma Cotterill.  Makeup by Christabel Draffin – using NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama.

Right Now: Changing of the Guard

It’s the beginning of a new year, which can only mean one thing – you thought I was going to say “Detox Time” or “New Year New You” or some such, didn’t you? No – it means new cosmetics contracts for some of my favourite makeup artists! It’s always good to see some new blood coming into the brands – different artists bring different perspectives and create more products for us to love in the coming year. I don’t know about you but my kit could do with a few new colours and formulas.

Andrew Gallimore is the new UK Brand Ambassador for NARS

Andrew Gallimore

I was thrilled to see that London makeup artist, Andrew Gallimore, has just signed a contract with NARS and will be their UK Makeup Artist Ambassador. Andrew is an extraordinary makeup artist (his new makeup book with Rankin came out a month or so ago, and it really is incredible).

I was lucky enough to assist him in London for awhile and he’s not only a fabulous artist, he’s just an all round bloody lovely guy. Funny, charming, very calm and one of the most creative makeup artists I know, so I was always thrilled to assist him – you never knew what the day would bring!

And I think we all know by now how I feel about NARS – always a staple in my kit it has consistently amazing colours and is constantly innovating new concepts and formulas. Whether you want to do a totally tonal nude-on-nude makeup or a full-on Studio 54 extravaganza, NARS can take you there.

 

Lisa Eldridge is the Creative Director at Lancôme

Lisa Eldridge

Starting the new year off with a bang, lovely London makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has been signed by Lancôme as the their new Creative Director. With previous contracts at No 7 and Chanel under her belt and a global audience of fans who adore her weekly YouTube tutorials, Lisa is a great choice for Lancôme.

Lancôme first started their “celebrity’ makeup artist Creative Directors with Gucci Westman a few years ago, (she’s now at Revlon), followed by the wonderful Aaron de Mey (now Creative Director at Sephora). Given I’ve been loving some of the new Lancôme products I’ve been using recently (Flash Bronzer and the Rouge in Love lipsticks, anyone?), I can’t wait to see what Lisa and Lancôme come up with.

Florrie White – UK Colour Artist for Clinique

Florrie-white-1-Vogue-27aug14-PR_b_426x639

This happened late last year but with all the kerfuffle with my house move I didn’t get time to tell you. Florrie is another fantastic artist I used to assist in London and her polished, perfect editorial has to be seen to be believed.

As well as being a Vogue regular she’s been working more and more of late with celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alexa Chung and on the global press film circuit with Rosamund Pike and Emily Blunt. (In fact, she just did Rosamund Pike’s makeup at this week’s BAFTA Awards in London). She’ll be a wonderful brand ambassador for Clinique as Florrie has an instinctive understanding of what makes a woman look beautiful, and a cool London sensibility honed by many years in the fashion trenches.

Clinique is probably the first brand I got massively into as a teenager – that 3-step system! – and I almost overdosed on their mint green and silver packaging back in the day. I’m still a regular user of their Airbrush Concealer, the Glossy mascara, and I love their lipsticks and blushes. The colours are flattering and wearable and their new Chubby Stick range is amazing.

So keep an eye on these brands – they’ll probably be the next ones with things you covet for your kit.

Video – BTS for NARS Summer Campaign 2014

NARS Summer Campaign 2014

NARS have really been nailing their campaign images lately – gorgeous, colour saturated images with beautiful model Toni Garn (who is also, FYI, Leonardo di Caprio’s current squeeze) fronting the images. This girl can take some serious makeup, and the images for Summer 2014 don’t disappoint with pumped up pastels and the sickest chartreuse eyeshadow I’ve seen in years. Oh, and that incredible fuchsia lip!

Garren on hair, Diane Kendal on makeup, Francois Nars behind the camera. All glamour, all the time. And I need some more summer-y makeup colours for my kit (my brights selection has me totally bored at present.)

And on a side note I’m thrilled that NARS has finally shifted their packaging away from it’s long-time black rubberised matte coating which looks super cool but goes crunchy in a hot climate. As in, the rubber seems to get melty. So yours truly has been investigating on the internet if it’s cleanable as I got sick of hacking up and decanting perfectly good NARS. I’ll be testing out some Dettol wipes which apparently work to get them clean. I’ll report back on the success of my clean-up operation – I know you makeup heads out there love that stuff.