Thursday, 26 December 2013

Kryolan Illusion Highlighter

Once again professional brand Kryolan has created a make up kit essential. Illusion Highlighter has launched in the mist of my contouring obession, and is just in time to join my ever expanding contouring kit bag before the zip gives way for good!

llusion is a cream product with a glossy finish, which can be buffed into skin for a delicate glow or precisely applied for a brighter finish. The warm golden tone of shade Velvet,  reminds me of cult favourite MAC Vanilla, which I've even applied over Illuison for a stronger 'catwalk' (or in my case, Night out in Liverpool) look.

The soft pearlescent finish is subtle enough to be worn day-to-day aswell as special occasions without the dreaded OTT frosted shimmer, which we see far too much of! It's perfect for bridal clients, offering beautifully glowing skin, which will last all day long, without looking heavy or oily.

I've personally been buffing Illusion onto the tops of my cheekbones and along my collarbones using my favourite Crown Dual Fibre brushes. For a stronger application. I then use a small synthetic concealer brush to apply to the inner corners of my eye, under the arch of my brow, down the centre of my nose and just above the Cupid's bow. 

Voila! Instantly brighter looking skin and sculpted cheek and collar bones! Illusion is available now, from  Charles Fox. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer

I've always been a fan of a matte lip, especially a bold red one during the crisp winter months! Like most make-up artists, I've been desperate to get my hands on the famed Lime Crime Velevetines,but unfortunately  due to their massive success and demand I'm still waiting my velvet lip fix.
So during a pre-holiday browse in my local Superdrug, just imagine how excited I was to discover budget brand MUA have launched their take on the trend. 
At only £3.00 , MUALuxe Velvet Lip Lacquers provide a 'long - lasting and kiss proof finish' so MUA say. Available in five rich shades, from a vampy plum to a bold orange and fuchsia pink. I decided to stick to what I know and love. Red. One bold pillar box, named Reckless, and the other a rich pink tone, called Funk.
The wand, lipgloss style, applicator holds A LOT of product, and I spend the first few seconds removing excess product. This may not be necessary to every user, but as I found myself lip liner-less and at the airport, I needed a small amount of product on a dry applicator to line my lips first. 

Next, I soaked the applicator in the excess product I scraped off only moment before, and applied as usual to my lips. The product immediately feels quite tacky, but as it begins to dry to a matte finish it becomes much more comfortable. Within 5 minutes you wouldn't know you had it on- ideal for me.

However, velvet finish? I'm not so sure. It's definitely not in the league of Lime Crimes Velvetines, from the reviews and images I have read. But then, for £3.00 what can we expect?  
Three weeks on and Reckless practically lives in my handbag, and on my lips, on a daily basis. Alongside a low shine lip balm such as Carmex, just to prevent any of the dreaded winter chapped lips. 
Matte? Yes. Long lasting? Most definitely- even after lunch, dinner and drinks. Kiss proof? Can't answer that one I'm afraid....but then it is the season of mistletoe, so maybe I can let you know about this bit soon! 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

The final glimmers of sunshine have well and truly left us, and now it seems dark again only moments after I get to work. Winter and I are defintiely not getting along right now.

From stress distrubed sleep, and lets be honest a little too much weekend partying, by Monday morning my under eye circles are almost matching my cloche hat- which is a deep aubergine in case your wondering. So, out comes the industrial strength DermaColour corrector and concealer to help me look less zombie like.

But being a beauty spend-a-holic, I decided to treat myself to a little winter extra- in the shape of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. This little pot of loveliness is adored by make-up artists, models and celebrities, so if it's good enough for them, I'm definitely giving it a go!

This finely milled powder, contains a white pigment to lighten and brighten, whilst not appearing overly shimmery or glittery. I'm also a huge fan of contouring, and this mutli use powder can even be used down the centre of the nose and tops of cheekbones to add natural highlights. Just be careful not too apply all over- not a good look when a flash camera is about!!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Nars Holiday Collection

I'm sure every make-up artist remembers what first inspired them. For me, it was the thought of working backstage transforming barefaced models into the statuesqe figures that graced the runaway, bringing out womens natural beauty a la Kevyn Aucoin and preparing the stars for the red carpet like Lisa Eldridge.

It has been revealed that famed make-up maestro Francois Nars was in fact inspired by the photogrpahy of Guy Bourdin, which insinuated "a world of dangerous women and intriguing sensual decadance". Sadly, Nars wasn't fortunate enough to work with Bourdin before his death in 1991, but this year he has collaberated with Bourdins estate to create a 17 piece collection, inspired by Bourdins colour palette of rich and bright pink, purple, red and blues.

Probably not a collection to show your brides-to-be then...

I however, LOVE this collection, especially the One Night Stand Cheek Palette, Cambodia and Rage Eyeshadows and Exhibit A Blusher.

The cheek palette has now sold out- which isn't surprising. Consisiting of best selling peach blushers Orgasm and Deep Throat, a pretty pinks, rich plum, a shimmery highlighter and pro favourite Laguna bronzer, this one will be my new kit fave and was a god send in Vegas.

Exhibit A Blush, Cambodia and Rage Eyeshadows
Eyeshadow Rage is a rich yet vivid purple, which I am loving when mixed with Night Clubbing for a new take on a classic smokey eye. (It looks really amazing on brown eyes!)
Cambodia however, is a burnt copper with pink undertones, perfect for making blue eyes stand out. I've been applying this mainly to the eyelid and inner corners, adding rich chocolate browns to the outer corners.

Finally, Exhibit A, is a matte red blush, which I'd personally use on darker skin tones or for creative make-up. Probably not something you'd pull out for every client- unless you want to see them dart out of the chair at quick speed!

xhibit A, Cambodia, Orgasm and |Highligter 

I'd recommend heading down to your nearest Nars counter sharpish- because these beauties won't hang around for long!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

BBB Beauty Box II

The day before I flew off to Vegas, Christmas arrived. Well, not exactly Christmas, but the beauty addicts version of it. The postman delivered the latest British Beauty Bloggers Beauty Box, filled to the brim with delicious treats!

The British Beauty Blogger AKA beauty writer Jane Cunningham, first launched a Beauty Box back in July, which sold out in only 5 hours! And much to my dismay, I was one of the hundreds trying for a box without any luck. So this time, when Beauty Box II was launched in October, my alarm was set nice and early, and low and behold the box was all mine!

Filled with full sized and smaller verisons of high end products, newer brands and drugstore favourites, I couldn't wait to start playing with them all. Some even jumped into my case and joined me on my travels!

I will be revealing my thoughts on each and every product between now and Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled if there is something you like the look of!

The box contains, in alphabetical order:
Alterna Bamboo Volume 48 Hour Spray (25ml)
Bourjois Shadow & Light Khol & Contour Eye Liner (Full Size)
CND Vinylux (Pinkie Size)
Indeed Labs Hydraluron Serum (5ml)
L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream (30ml)
L’Occitane Angelica Cleansing Gel (50ml)
L’Occitane Angelica Face Toner (50ml)
La Roche Posay Redermic (Full Size)
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Moisturising Bath Milk (100ml)
Maybelline Rocket Mascara (Full Size)
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (15ml)
REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (15ml)
Rituals Car Fragrance (Full Size)
Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime (10ml)
Rouge Bunny Rouge Lip Gloss (Full Size)
Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Zodiac (Full Size)
Vichy Idealia Day Cream (15ml)
Washi Wash Cloth.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

It's been a little while since I've had two minutes spare to sit down with a coffee and get into my writing. Why?! Well I've been off enjoying some time off in Las Vegas of all places!

A fortnight ago I headed off to Sin City with a group of family friends for one of my oldest friends wedding. In fact I've known her since she was a 'twinkle in her dad's eye' as they say, so watching her get hitched left me feeling pretty ancient!

Hen Party madness

Vegas has never really been a place on my wish list- I've always been far more interested in visiting LA, San Francisco and New York, but I must admit, I loved it from the moment we touched down! 

Which to be honest isn't surprising, since an hour after landing I was out with the girls creating hen party madness- which included an aussie strip show, dancing out the sunroof of a limo before strutting our stuff on the famed Coyote Ugly bar. It wasn't any surprise that a relaxing spa day at Donald Trump's hotel came as a welcome activity the next morning!

Room with a view!

Once the hen party madness and spa day bliss was done and dusted, and one long jetlagged sleep later, it was time for the bride and groom to say I do!

After a busy morning pampering the bridal party, it was time to jump in the limo's and head down to Lake Mead for a stunning lakeside ceremony, complete with laughs and bucket loads of tears. 
Of happiness may I add!

The bride looked stunning, (if I do say so myself!!) and I'll share how I created her bridal hair and make-up in a few weeks!

Little bridesmaid selfie!

Ceremony over, and it was back to the famous 'Strip' to toast the new Mr and Mrs Corrigan!
With a few days of holiday left, I spent my time exploring the city, dancing and singing along to Rod Stewart at the famous Caesers Palace Collosium, and jumping in a helicopter to see the Grand Canyon. Which is an experience I would happily do on a daily basis!

I REALLY want a helicopter of my own!

A make-up junkee can't visit the US without a splurge at Sephora, so I'll share my spends with you all in the next few weeks.

But for now, it's back to the sofa, with a kingsized duvet and a hot water bottle. Little bit different from spending last week in shorts and tee's!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Gieves and Hawkes Chester

As a lover of men's tailoring and a complete brogue obsessive, yesterdays job for SCR Pro with Think Publicity was a bit of a dream. Making up three striking male models, wearing exquiste clothing totalling a good few thousand pounds, from a high end evening of champagne and canepes. Not too shabby for a foggy Thursday evening!

Robyn and I headed to the gorgeous city of Chester, to the luxury hotel, Chester Grosvenor, to meet the team from Saville Row tailors Gieves and Hawkes, who had an exciting store re-launch ahead of them!

With three Boss Models ready to show off their amazing tailoring to the Chester store's clientele and waiting press, it was time to ensure their hair and skin was looking in tip top shape. And after a touch of Kryolan Derma ConcealerMAC Face and Body Foundation and MUFE HD Powder they were ready to show those suits off!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Bear Faced for Children in Need

In the ten years that I have been working in the make up industry, there has never been one client or model who has agreed with me, when I have told them they have beautiful skin and don't need much make-up. Which, happens quite often to be honest.

So, I'm hoping lots of you will be joining us in being 'Bear Faced' this Friday, and letting your friends and family sponsor you, all in aid of Children In Need! 
(Firstly one big confession.....I'm actually heading out Friday night and had already booked myself in for my own make-over as a treat. So, I was in fact Bear Faced on Tuesday!)

Braving the Bear Faced look!
Lots of celebrities have joined the no make-up fun, including Laura Whitmore, Alex Jones and Michelle Dockery, and I'm sure you'll agree that they all look beautiful in these images!

Why not treat yourself to a DIY facial tonight, using Boots No7 Skincare? Especially as, between the 1st and 9th of November, five pence from every pound spent on No7 skincare will be donated directly to BBC Children in Need! So not only with your skin be looking great, your helping a good cause too!

Remember to tweet your Bear Faced look to @BBCCiN with the #BearFaced- to join the online fun!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Contouring like Kevyn

Since Kimmy K tweeted that now famous image of her pre blended contour make-up, I'm finding lots of my clients are requesting a heavily contoured look. Yet, what I think is being forgotten, is that us make-up artists have been shading, highlighting and altering face shapes with the magic of make-up long before Kim signed up to Twitter. 

Let's go back 11 years, to when I was approaching my 16th birthday, and truly obsessed with make-up. This is when my dad first introduced me to the man who inpsired me (and thousands of others) to jump feet first into my dream career. Kevyn Aucoin.
If you have never witnessed the true magic of Kevyns work in Making Faces, Face Forward or Art of Make-up, then I suggest you head staright to your local book store, and be prepared to gasp in admiration. 
(Which is exactly how my students reacted on their first peek!)

Kevyn, was an American make-up artistphotographer and author, whose work graced Vogue covers and the faces of countless celebrities before his untimely death in 2002. In 2001, Kevyn launched Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, which is still a favoured brand by professionals and consumers alike.
 But, what Kevyn was really famed for was his amazing contouring techniques, which helped transorm Gwyneth Paltrow into James Dean, and male modesl into female supermodels, such as Linda Evangelista. 
His work was truly beautiful, inspiring and his passion for make-up seeps through the pages of each book.

I can honestly say,  these books changed my life. 

So, how do we contour like Kevyn?! Well, you can clearly see from the image above, where we should be applying our products. Using lighter tones, either matte or with a soft shimmer, helps the areas to appear lifted and more promiment, whilst using darker, matte tones, creates a shadowed, receeded appearance. 
There is lots of products on the market- but some are much better than others in my opnion. (And being a spend-a-holic, I've tried them ALL)

Illamasqua Hollow

You can use either liquid, cream or powder products- or a mixture of both for a stronger look if you wish. When training, a great way to experiment with contour is by using foundation- choosing 2 shades lighter for highlighting and 2 shades darker for shading. 

Tom Ford Shade&Illuminate

My favourite cream products for contoruing are Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow for fairer skin tones and Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate for medium to dark skin tones. I like to apply these using my Crown Dual Fibre Brush, or for a stronger application, Illamasqua Blush Up Brush. For highlighting, I use  17 Skin Wow or MAC Strobe to create an irresdesence glow.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder

I also like to apply powder products for a stronger finsih, either over cream alone.
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is a favouirte of mine, as the red, grey and brown tones create a natural shadow effect, which is string but easily blendable.  MAC Blot Powder is also a great kit item, which you can use to keep shine at bay, and add soft contours. I have four shades in my kit- Light, Medium, Dark and Deep Dark. I like to apply powder contour with an angled brush, such as  Crown 104. 
For highlighting, I use a mixture of things, all from MAC, such as the now discontiued Beauty Powder, vanilla eyeshadow (matte) and vanilla pigment (high shimmer), using the Highlighter Brush from Illamasqua.

 Why not try a strong smokey eye or bold berry lip with your contoured look this weekend?! I know I will be!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Macmillan Charity Single

A few weeks ago I headed down the road to Manchester, to work with singer/songwriter Lisa Williams on her latest record Breathe Out.

Lisa was releasing the record exclusively at the Gavin Blyth Ball on Saturday 26th October, which was packed with stars of Emmerdale and Coronation Street. The annual ball, held in memory of the acclaimed producer Gavin Blyth, who sadly passed away after a short battle with cancer in 2010, aims to raise funds for Macmillan. Therefore, all proceeds from the singles proceeds will also be donated to this brilliant cause.

Working as part of the Art Deco creatives team, I created a bold evening make-up, inspired by Lisa's sapphire sequin dress by local designer Nadine Merabi
Stylist Siobhan Cooper from FashionStylist.Me, sourced a gorgeous array of evening gowns, statement jewellery and elegant shoes, which inspired hair stylist James Wilson and I to create hair and make-up fit for a Hollywood scarlet.

Once Lisa's hair had been styled into volumeous waves, I got cracking on make-up! 
Using a warm burgandy shadow in the socket line, with gold shimmer on the eyelid and inner corner, I added a pop of colour to Lisa's eye make-up, with sapphire blue on the outer corner and lashline. 
For an extra hit of Hollywood glamour, I created a deep red lip and matching nails, finishing the look with a contoured cheek.

Then it was time for photographer Ian Mcmanus to work his magic on a rooftop garden, looking over Manchester's buzzing streets.

You can read lots more news from the star studded ball here and listen to Lisa's track here.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween at SCR

Halloween is nearly upon us once again- and at So Coco Rouge it's easily one of our favourite weeks of the year!

With Robyn and I coming from a TV/Film background, we always try to focus more of the SFX side of spooky make-up, but this year Robyn has let her creative side escape a little more!
From Roy Lichtenstein inspired Pop Art to Black Swans and spooky skeletons  this month Robyn Rougette has been busy creating them all!

When it comes to creating our SFX Halloween make-up, we always rely on the same professional brands we'd use on a TV show or film. After all, every make-up that leaves SCR leaves with our pro reputation! If you are looking to go down the SFX avenue, I'd suggest adding the Kryolan Special Effects Range, such as Bruise Wheel, Blood and Latex, to your kit. But most importantly, PLEASE train in this area first. SFX make-up is a completely different ball game to fashion and photographic!

Other products we relay on for our Halloween make-unders include Kryolan SupracolorBen Nye palettes and a whole host of Illamasqua Pigments, Cream Pigments and Liners.

If you are heading out in Liverpool this Halloween, remember to give So Coco Rouge a call, on 0151 708 7245 and let the Rougettes work their mysterious magic on your make-under!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Make-up International Magazine

A good few months ago now, I was briefly interviewed by the lovely people at Make-up International magazine, who wanted to know why I decided to start this blog and what changes I have seen in the industry of late.

It suddenly struck me, that having been in the beauty industry for ten years now, that A LOT has changed since I started down my chosen path. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, and in fact, the first contact I made with production companies was via written letter, with a composition card enclosed, enabling them to see my work immediately. 
I couldn't even tell you the last time I sent a letter, an email with a portfolio link, is now far easier and quicker than depending on the good old Royal Mail.

When I left the School of Make-up back in 2006, it was so important to have a network of fellow new artists as friends and this is exactly how I met my So Coco Rouge business partner, Robyn. After all, if you have had a bad day, haven't been paid on time or are having a wobble over which product to use on which job, who else could you turn to? Your lifetime buddy who works in a 9-5 job with a guaranteed income definitely isn't going to understand your woes that's for sure. Yet, nowadays many make-up artist friends are made over the airwaves- of Facebook and Twitter to be precise.

In the past, if I was intrigued by the latest products, I would have bought the item myself, walking blindly into a costly purchase. Now? I research the item online, read industry expert blogs and even send a tweet out asking for reviews. It's the same with techniques. Instagram has not only helped the consumer, but those step-by-step images can also inspire us professionals, especially when we find ourselves stuck in an ideas rut. 

I can still remember my tutor, Elaine Jones, explaining the latest change in TV, High Definition and how air applied make-up was gradually being introduced. Which was to the despair of some well established artists, who were much happier applying cosmetics with fingers and sponges, let alone an a brush or an airbrush. 

Now more than ever, I can see why we need to constantly follow trends, product developments and train in the latest techniques. After all, if we don't keep up surely we'll easily slip behind.

You can read the full interview in Issue 11 of Make-up International, available here. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

On tour with Blue and Roxanne Pallett

What a week it's been- from a secret music shoot (more about this next week!) to the Inside Soap Awards and working with former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett as she joined boy band Blue on tour, I have certainly been a busy bee!

On Friday I headed off to the O2 academy in Leeds, for the Art Deco Creatives team along with hair stylist James Wilson, to ensure Roxanne was looking flawless for her performance. Some of you might remember her taking part in Soapstar Superstar back in 2006, where she impressed judges with her powerful voice. Well, she's since been treading the boards on The Rocky Horror Show, making her a great choice to accompany the boys when performing their cult hit 'Too Close'.

When working with the bright, hot lights of a large stage, it's important make-up is stronger than a typical photographic application. Roxanne decided to keep focus on her eyes, with sculpted features and nude glossy lips. I chose to use Art Deco Long Lasting Foundation with Perfect Stick and Perfect Teint Concealer for a flawless coverage with Bronzer and Shimmer Cream to add soft contouring. 

To add extra drama to eyes, we added two sets of false lashes to the top lash line and one natural set to the lower lash line, for the Bridget Bardot effect. 

Last minute prep backstage

Watching the gig after Rox's performance

Once making sure Roxanne and the Blue boys were ready for their performance, it was time to enjoy the gig- and relive some of my favourite tunes from my teenage years! 

It's a hard job but someones got to do it!

You can read more information on Roxanne and Blue's gig here.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Beautiful Brows Kit

As a make-up artist, and one based mainly in the city were bold brows are favourited (before you run in panic, I DO NOT create those famed 'Scouse Brows'...) strangely I have always struggled perfecting my own.

Just as most make-up artists hate doing their own make-up (honestly, doing your own after making up 100+ people a month just gets dull) I really hate doing my brows. But with unruly, sparse mousy brows, a large forehead and copper hair, something just has to be done on a daily basis. Make-up free day or not.

Luckily for me, at the Olympia Beauty show I got chatting to a lovely lady at Beautiful Brows. I explained my day job and my personal brow issues, and sat down for a two minute brow makeover. Now, I must honestly admit I was terrified. I saw a stencil, a dark brown powder and no way of escape. Surely, she'd hear my scouse accent, see an unruly brow and create the bold slugs my city has unfortunately become famed for. (This has occurred on MANY occasions)

Left- Before.                                Right- After.

About 5 seconds later, a mirror was placed in front of me. One eyebrow finished, one left untouched. And I actually gasped. I'm glad to say NOT in horror. My finished brow was exactly what I have been trying to achieve for months, and the type of naturally defined brow I love creating for my clients. 

Begging her to show me exactly how to re-create this myself, I was surprised to see how simple it was.

Below- Before.      Above- After.

Selecting the 'Sleek' stencil, I matched the arch up to my natural arch and held in place, whilst I dusted the brown mineral shadow over the stencil. Removing to reveal a perfect arch and defined brow end, which I then softened ever so slightly, using the clean angled brush. Next, I took the 'Natural' stencil and placed this over the bulk of my brow, up to the arch and again, dusted the shadow over the area. 

Voila. Perfect brows in less time than it takes for me to apply my flicks. 

For extra definition, you can also apply the highlighter, a pretty lightly shimmery muted pink, to the underneath of your arch. I personally, keep this for an evening make-up and use a matte, cream shade on a daily basis.

When I returned home and introduced my latest purchase to my mum- who also suffers from brow issues- she was just as excited and eager to try it. Three weeks later, and the kit generally lives by the bathroom mirror- meaning we can both find it easily on those rushed mornings. Neither of us would dare leave without our Beautiful Brows in place!

So, what do you get in this little gem of a kit?! Everything you would need and more. The clever packaging contains a mirror, and areas for the brow shadow shade (5 to choose from, so one for all of you!) and highlighter. You also get three stencils- Sleek, Natural and Bold depending on your brow thickness.
Finally you get a dual ended brush with a angeld end and a fluffy end for applying your brow colour, a hightlighter brush and a set of tweezers- which are just as good as my Tweezerman favourites.

You can buy this kit online for £38.00- it may seem like a big purchase, but honestly, I really couldn't live without it now.