In My Makeup Kit: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld


So Karl Lagerfeld’s cat has a makeup collection. And it’s amazing. First off, you need to meet Karl Lagerfeld’s actual cat, Choupette (can we just have a moment to reflect on the genius play on words? Chou in French is a pet name – like ‘darling’. Our lovely French au pair Julie in London used to call my son “mon petit chou”.) So Choupette is already a dangerously cute name for a very cute cat. And THEN Mr Lagerfeld has spliced that with a bit of loveliness from the brilliant Japanese makeup company, Shu Uemura, and you have Choupette’s new makeup line, Shupette. Let me reiterate, a makeup collection based on a cat. Which combines my two favourite things in the world, makeup and small fluffy animals. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

The collection even has Karl Lagerfeld’s drawings of Choupette/Shupette on it (although we don’t buy makeup for the packaging. Do we? Do we??) It’s the new Holiday collection and the campaign images have been shot by Karl, with needless to say the gorgeous Choupette and the also not too shabby Josephine Skriver.

I’m currently in love with the cream blusher Rouge Bonbon Fantasy Trio in 02 which is burning a hole in my kit and jumping out on every job lately – it’s gorgeous on clients for the red carpet and equally at home flushing cheeks on beach shoots. It has a transparent, weightless finish which I’m sorry, leaves my beloved Stila creams in the dust, making them look positively heavy and old fashioned (sorry Stila – I do love you. And I haven’t really permanently gone off your Convertible Colours – it’s just your place has currently been usurped by Shupette.)

There are three colours in the lip and cheek trio – a bright candy pink, a sheer red and a deep fuchsia pink. They are so beautiful, providing a transparent wash of colour that just lifts the face. For those in colder climes they will give your winter pallor that holiday glow, and for those in Australia, I can tell you right now that pretty much nothing looks better with a tan.

Here’s a video of the very cute Choupette-cam so you can have a look at the life of the world’s most pampered kitty. And yes, it’s guaranteed that her life is more glam than yours.

And behind the scenes of the impossibly cute campaign

A Tale of Two Cleansers – Shu Uemura Unmasked and Sisley’s Eau Efficace Gentle Makeup Remover

She Uemura Unmasked

Although it’s been hectic of late as I’m now beauty writing for two magazines and juggling blogging and makeup (and moving house, UGH UGH UGH) I have also found time to test out not one but two new cleansers. Even better I use one in the morning and one in the evening, although both of them could easily do double duty. It takes awhile for me to test things as I like to make sure they work – some products are great the first couple of times you use them and then for some reason aren’t good with repeated usage, and I like products that are consistently good, time after time.

First off the Shu Unmasked, which I like to use in the morning. I’ve been a long-time sporadic user of the classic (and now iconic) Shu cleansing oil, first released in 1967. Its basic principle (which can sound counter-intuitive) is that it takes oil to dissolve makeup and oil effectively. The new Unmasked oil not only comes in an industrial size (450 ml), it has a gorgeous hand drawn mask on the bottle which never fails to cheer me up on my bathroom window sill.

But it’s what’s inside that I like – the oil is super light weight and silky, and I find lighter than the regular Shu Skin Purifier facial oil or the Aesop Fabulous Face Oil that I also use and like. I wasn’t expecting to find anything radically different when I started testing the Unmasked, but it really leaves my skin feeling hydrated for hours afterwards – considering my face is pretty much permanently dry, not matter how much Astalift and Liz Earle Superskin I pile onto it, that is no mean feat. So I was very pleasantly surprised as I find many cleansers are just too drying. And since my skin is more hydrated, I then feel my skin looks less shiny later in the day (which is always a good thing. I’m sick of looking like you could hang me from the ceiling of Studio 54 and dance to disco).

And now to my second cleansing discovery! Sisley – oooh Sisley. This is a new brand on my radar of late and I have loved everything I have tried. The products feel luxurious – which they should, as they are expensive. They are also based on plant essences which I find very non-irritating. The Sisley Eau Efficace has, quite frankly, done the unthinkable – it has bumped my Crealine water out of my daily beauty routine. (Although I still use it for work). The Sisley does the job just as effectively, but I feel a little less harshly.

Also I love Sisley’s pump packaging – it’s the ultimate in no hassle for the evenings when you just CAN’T BE BOTHERED to tip a bottle of Crealine onto a cotton pad (that’s really lazy isn’t it? It’s hardly taxing). But you just press your cotton pad down onto the pump and hey presto, two swipes around the old visage and you’re done, fresh as a daisy and ready for bed.

One caveat – as I can no longer wear eye makeup (let’s all pause for a requiem there as it really is so sad, but my eyes are just still too sensitive. That’s a topic for a later post) I haven’t tried to take off hardcore mascara, or eyeliner, or big beauty looks with the Sisley. But for day to day cleansing I can totally vouch for it. Plus the big bottle lasts for ages.

So there you have it. I now have enough beautiful cleansers that make my skin look and feel amazing to last me for… well until it’s time to start testing out more new goodies.

Right Now: Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura

Karl Lagerfeld Shu Uemura

This is the most exciting (and unusual) beauty collaboration I have heard about for ages – Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura, out Christmas 2012.

Apparently Karl Lagerfeld has long been a fan of Mr Uemura’s, and the collaboration follows a friendship and relationship of mutual admiration spanning twenty years.

Karl has used shu uemura pressed eye shadows to sketch with for many years. He said: “I love sketching in the morning. When I go to sleep, I always put my pens and papers next to my bed. I use shu uemura eye shadow [to] sketch, since shu uemura has fantastic colors. I design with shu uemura make-up because other manufacturers do not offer such beautiful colors.”

I have had the good fortune to meet and work with Karl Lagerfeld in his extraordinary atelier in Paris, and he is not only a wonderful designer but an impeccably mannered man with an unfailing understanding of the zeitgeist. I’m sure the shu uemura /Karl Lagerfeld collaboration will be well worth waiting for – with shu’s luxurious cosmetics knowledge and Karl’s amazing design talents, it will definitely be one for the Christmas stocking.

Karl Lagerfeld home

(Not So) Secret Weapon – Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers

Shu Uemura eyelash curler

I almost feel stupid for writing this as a Secret Weapon, and I’ve had it on my list to write about ever since I started blogging really. How can something so blindingly obvious be a Secret Weapon?

Then I realized about 70% of my private clients had either never used an eyelash curler, or hadn’t done so for years, and I thought what’s obvious to a makeup artist is not always so obvious to everyone else. (Although if I had 50 cents for every time a makeup artist called it their Number 1 beautifying tip, I’d have, well, more money than I do now. But sometimes the reason things are cliché is because they are true!)

Eyelash curlers make your lashes, and by extension, your eyes, look awesome. They open the eye and make them look bigger since you don’t have all that droopy eye fringe hanging in the way. They make your lashes look longer and give them a beautiful, flirty shape, ready to be mascara-ed. If you look tired they wake you up, and if you’re on the older side of the equation – well let’s face it we can use all the help we can get, and anything that lifts your features has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

There are lots of eyelash curlers on the market, but I just can’t go past Shu Uemura’s. I have used it for my whole career, and I carry back-ups since they always seem to go “missing” (aka STOLEN by some light-fingered, stick-lashed nasty person). The Shu curlers are the best as they are designed for Asian eyes, so they can get into the smallest corners of the lashes. They are the perfect shape, never tugging or pulling, and as Asian lashes tend to be quite straight they deliver serious curling action without weird crimping or bends.

And they are workhorses! My own personal pair – which miraculously never seems to go “missing”, I have had for about 8 years now. It curls like a dream every time, and never breaks, despite being dumped unceremoniously in my makeup bag every day without fail.

Every makeup artist I know carries lash curlers, and there is a reason for this people – they make you prettier. You can’t go past the Shu original – it’s the best.

Current Obsession: Facial Oils

I’m having an oil moment (that sounds wrong, doesn’t it?) But it’s true, I am – I have fallen in love with not one but THREE facial oils, so I consider it my sworn duty as a beauty blogger to tell you all about them.

AesopThe first is from my Aussie wonderbrand favourite, Aesop – really is there anything that this brand can’t do? I have yet to try a dud product from them. It’s their Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil. It’s great for combination, sensitive and dry skin (which would certainly be myself), and has skin-calming properties combined with anti-oxidants.

Then there is also the latest addition to the Parsley Seed family, which is their new Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser (out this month). This one is a gel cleanser (that feels like an oil), but this one is special – it EXFOLIATES whilst it cleanses. How does it do that? I hear you ask (well even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway), it combines a softly lathering gel cleanser with lactic acid to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin.

So as a pre-makeup cleanse for shoots and clients, it’s amazing as it gently stimulates blood flow, giving you the all-important GLOW. Yes, that GLOW, the one every makeup artist knows about as it’s what you strive to impart to someone’s skin before you start putting makeup on, since makeup going on a crusty, dry flakey surface just looks like ass, and makes your job much more difficult.

It probably seems pretty counter-intuitive to use oil to wash the face, but Japanese makeup artist Shu Uemura pioneered this in the late 1950’s when he realized that an oil cleanser effectively removed all traces of heavy makeup, whilst maintaining the delicate acid mantle of the skin. He created the Shu Uemura High Performance Cleansing Oil in the early 60’s, which is my second facial oil pick. I’ve had this in my kit for oooh, around 10 years now as it softens the skin and is miraculous at removing makeup. So now I have two oils to use – the Aesop for pre-makeup cleansing- for the GLOW, and Shu for afterwards for it’s makeup melting properties. (Especially when you’re on a job where the girl is wearing an extra head full of makeup, you need something with some serious grunt to take it off. I do love my Crealine but sometimes you just need the Makeup Removing Big Guns – that’s when my Shu comes into play).

And last, but by no means least, Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil. This has a different purpose – I use this sometimes on dry, dehydrated skin to perk it up and impart some serious moisture before starting the makeup. It can also be mixed into foundation to give it extra slip and shine – lovely when your skin is feeling the cold (ie the whole of the Northern hemisphere at the moment).
Jurlique is another favourite Aussie organic brand of mine, as their products are just plain yummy. This oil has biodynamic and organic Chamomile, Calendula, Marshamallow and Rose, and Rose Hip oil to give the skin elasticity.

Even in the heat of summer the skin can get dehydrated and can benefit from oils. However if your skin is very oily anyway I would advise using oils with caution – don’t discount them, but try a sample before you invest in them. Sometimes those with an oily finish to the skin actually have very dehydrated skin underneath (*cough* don’t ask me how I know that).