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.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Brazil by OPI

Yesterday not only saw the launch of OPI's collaboration with Gwen Stefani, but they launched their Spring Summer 2014 collection too. The main room was decorated with sea blue and vivid orange chairs, alongisde walls adorned with images of an idyllic beach scene, definitely giving us all a taste of the collection to come.

Artistic director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, described the collection as-

With sun-soaked shores, tropical fruits, and lush flora/fauna, Brazil is such an inspiring locale. I wanted women around the world to embrace the energy and playfulness for which Brazilian women are known. Through the Brazil collectionwith shades drenched in color and charged with shine, women can express themselves, showing off their sexy, mysterious, fun and exciting natures."

Well, if I feel even a tad like a bronzed Brazilian goddess whilst wearing these colours I will be ecstatic. 
My Brazilian manicure thanks to OPI!

Available to purchase from February, the collection features 12 lacquers and 4 liquid sand textured mini lacquers, in a variety of bold, bright and muted earth tones.

Brazil Collection at the mani stations
OPI Treatments at the mani stations

I'm planning on easing myself out of the bleak mid-winter and into Spring gently by focusing on my absolute favourite first- AmazON…AmazOFF, a deep jungle green. I wish this colour was available NOW! (patience isn't my strong point, but it will be well worth the wait!) 
Then there is the rich chocolate, OPI Scores a Goal!, mocha toned I São Paulo Over There and Taupe-less Beach, a beautiful soft taupe, which I plan of wearing together, as the tones compliment each other perfectly. 

Before we jump straight into the summer brights, we can embrace the super shimmery amethyst-pewter tone of Next Stop…The Bikini Zone which looks stunning on the ring finger, worn alongside creamy nude Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around. I can definitely sense a bridal favourite approaching- these two would make such a pretty manicure for the big day ladies! 

Now, it's time to soak up the rays (or apply the self tan!) and enhance our Brazilian glow with 6 bold brights and 4 vivid liquid sands.

For a fun and creative mani-pedi try wearing a variety of shades- I'll be wearing sunny yellow I Just Can’t Cope-acabana, teamed with soft orange Where Did Suzi’s Man-go? and deep blood orange
Toucan Do It If You Try. If you prefer pink tones however, try vibrant coral Live.Love.Carnaval 
with warm pink Kiss Me I’m Brazilian and ruby red Red Hot Rio.

Brazil Collection
Fancy being super creative an adding a fourth or fifth colour to your bold, bright mani? Then try a one of the four mini Liquid Sand lacquers. These shades are GORGEOUS. I have always been a big fan of this matte texture, which is shot through with dazzling sparkle, but theses shades are unbelievable. Available as a holiday sized set, I can see these selling out pretty quickly indeed!

The four shades are- the violet Samba-dy Loves Purple , hot fuchsia pink  I’m Brazil Nuts Over You, bright blue What’s a Little Rain Forest?  And golden yellow You’re So Flippy Floppy
Remember, with liquid sand lacquers, you DON'T need a top coat!

Two great colour collections, all in OPI's famous chip resistant, salon professional formula with the easy to use Pro-wide brush. Yes, next season ladies I think we will all get a little mani-happy!


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

OPI Gwen Stefani Collection

If you love red lips, porcelain skin and embracing the crop tops, bindis and top knots of the 90's, then you'll be just as delighted as I am, to hear Gwen Stefani is the latest celebrity to collaborate with nail brand OPI.

R-L Lisa, Suzi and I

Today, press, buyers and bloggers alike joined the teams from OPI UK and Coty for a sneaky look at the collection, and a special presentation from Artistic Director, Suzi Weiss- Fischmann.

Suzi, who is based at OPI HQ over in North Hollywood lives and breathes OPI and absolutely adores colour. I'll admit I had a bad case of butterflies meeting such an iconic women, but she was so charming, warm and friendly. Then, I suppose her bubbly personality shines through in every bottle of OPI lacquer- she is the creative mind behind each and every shade, from I'm Not Really A Waitress to Suzi's Hungray again, they all lead back to her.

Suzi's presentation

During her presentation, Suzi touched on the history of colour and our long term love of expressing our emotions through nail lacquer. From the classic red tones and stilleto shaped talons of the 50's, frosted nudes and the introduction of floral nail art in the 60's to the bright colours, glitters and creative adornment in the 80s- today we a inspired and influenced by it all. 
Suzi herself was inspired by the 2013 Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala that featured the theme “Punk: Chaos to Couture", for the latest collection- and she knew just which women to turn to. Singer, designer, businesswomen and mother- Gwen Stefani.

Famed for her experimental fashion, Gwen has always finished her look with bold eyes, a statement lip and nail shade. The ultimate beauty idol for us experimental girls!

 This collection offers seven unique shades, complete with a variety of textures and finishes.

From the classic red and Gwens signature hue,  Over & Over A-Gwen, to sparkly sliver glitter In True Stefani Fashion, and creme pink Hey Baby plus deep, dark  I Sing in Color, this collection offers a great variety.

If you prefer to finish your manicure with the matte top coat, then try Love.Angel.Music.Baby and 4 in the Morning, which don't require a top coat and dry to a satin finish. I can't wait to try these two together- wearing mostly the deep green hues of 4 in the Morning, teamed with the golden Love.Angel.Music.Baby on my ring finger 

Gwen Stefani collection

For a totally show stopping mani, I'd suggest Push and Shove, a bold chrome hue. Just like the satin finish lacquers, this is also worn without top coat but does require a special base coat – Lay Down that Base, which is complimentary. Simply apply one thin coat of Lay Down that Base, followed with two thin coats of Push and Shove, for an intense, mirrored finish. Plus, if you are a fan of nail art, make sure you grab the special edition of Over & Over A-Gwen, which is teamed with Swarovski black crystals and silver, gold and pewter studs in bar, square, diamond and circle shapes in a variety of sizes.

With a variety of textures, bold shades, and an endorsement from Ms Stefani herself, this is one limited collection that won't be around for long. Take my advice, get your mitts on it when you can!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

PFW SS14 Make-up Trends

Finally- we've come to the last post in the SS14 series- Paris! The city I am desperate to visit, for a weekend of jazz, coffee and romance. 
(Can you tell I've been watching a bit too much Midnight in Paris?!)

Paris Fashion Week, to me, is all about Chanel, beautiful  elegant Chanel, all wrapped up in a pearl necklace with a tweed jacket.
Well, we are mid way into October, and yet everyone is STILL talking about last months Chanel show. Why?! Well, to say it was bright and arty is an understatement.

Chanel's former Global make-up director, Peter Phillips, created a rainbow eye, framed with thick black liner. Think blue, yellow, gold, green and pink. Yes. That's right. At Chanel. 

We've yet to hear which products Phillips used to create a well love artists palette on models such as Cara Delevingne, but I'm guessing they aren't from Chanel's subtle range. I would hazard a guess that these strong colours have come from the pro favourite, MUFE Flash Palette. These grease paints are packed with colour, and are easily set used loose pigments. 

Next to a slightly more wearable look, from Kenzo. Artist Aaron De May for MAC, created a striking white liner, accompanying bleached brow, nude lashes and bare skin. 
I personally love white top liner, especially when teamed with a bright eyeshadow on a darker complexion- it's a great way to mix up your usual routine!
My favourite budget white liner is from Barry M, once applied its completely waterproof and smuge resisitant! Try using an angled eyeliner brush from Crown for a precise application.

Finally, another show stopping look, this time from now other than Vivienne Westwood.
Make-up legend, Val Garland was in the head chair here, and her inspiration was- 
'Girl waiting for bus, getting splattered by mud'. 
So, just your average brief in the world of Westwood.
The only product I would suggest trying this look with is MAC Pro Acrylic Paint. Unfortunately this is only available to professional artists, but to be honest, I can't see many of you choosing this as your holiday look!

As the SS14 shows now draw to a close, we can return to the 90's punk movement of AW13, safe in the knowledge that whatever make-up we chose next year, it's safe to say, one designer has showcased it this season.
So, have fun, be creative and most of all- embrace it. After all, it's only make-up.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

MFW SS14 Make-up Trends

As we get deeper in the depths of October, those SS14 shows seem further and further away! But, as a fashion week obsessive, I'm still cooing over those images from the four fashion capitals.

Image- ELLE UK

Over in Milan, Make-up was mainly pretty simple with hints of colour on either lips and eyes- but rarely both.
Make-up queen Pat McGrath was once again on hand at Dolce and Gabbana, creating a soft beautifully feminine feel, inspired by Sophia Loren. McGrath used the Dolce and Gabbana make-up line, buffing Luminous Cheek Colour in Rosebud, Apricot and Peach to the areas we would traditionally apply bronzer- forehead, cheek, nose and chin. She also used peachy tones as a wash of colour over the eyelid and pressed into lips for a natural stain.
For a purse friendly alternative, try Bourjois cream blush in Healthy Glow. Smooth onto lid and lips using your finger, and buff into skin using Duo Fibre brush from Crown.

Whilst at Frankie Morello, top MAC artist Terry Barber, created that SS14 staple- the orange lip. With porcelain skin, kept fresh and dewy and eyes left completely nude, all focus was on that lip. Applied in a relaxed fashion- no precise lip lining here- was MAC's SS launch, Velvetease lip pencil in Lover's Lane, topped with loose orange pigment for a totally matte finish. If you can't wait until Spring, invest in Barry M Lip Liner in 113 and NYX Loose Eyeshadow in Orange Zest.


But, my favourite show of all at Milan, has to be Moschino. Here Tom Pecheux was inspired by the collections Good Girl/ Bad Girl Theme, and designed two completing contrasting looks.

The first, an angelic bare faced look, with dewy skin. The quickest way to achieve such a look, is to moistuise the skin well, using massaging motions, always working outwards towards the ears. Next, mix two of my all time favourite MAC products together- MAC Face and Body and Strobe Cream before buffing into skin using Crown Dual Fibre brush in circular motions. 
The 'Bad Girl' look consisted of a bold red lip and a graphic red and black eye liner. Backstage gossip suggests that Pecheux played around with a variety of shapes before choosing his favourite- a lesson that we should all learn. After all, make-up is the simplest tool to play with when creating a new look for ourselves.

The latest gel liner to find its way into my kit is from Illamasqua, and would be ideal for this look.
You can also pick up Colouring Pencil in Spell, which can be used alongside the black liner and as your lip colour too.

Three down, one to go, but already it looks like the SS14 make-up trends are wide open- bring on the creativity!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Kryolan Berlin

Time is really flying- I can't believe it's over a month since I took myself off to Berlin for a few days!
I've been hankering to visit Berlin for a few years now, and when a few days off and a mega cheap deal popped up, I packed my bags and jetted off. I stayed at the stunning Grand Hotel Esplanade, which is famed for its cocktail bar, Harry's, where jazz music is played nightly and the cocktails are seriously impressive- I would definitely recommend the Espresso Martini.
So, right up my street really!

During my long weekend, I explored the city, educated myself on the Berlin Wall and enjoyed a day of flea market shopping, German cuisine eating and dancing to an electro DJ in Mauer Park. And then it was time to shop. Well, a girl has to try the local spending delights!

First on my list, was the Kryolan professional make-up store on Kurfürstendamm. As a huge fan of this brand, I was ecstatic to try their products in a store dedicated to them. As much as I love Charles Fox in London, having a large store solely stocked with Kryolan was an absolute treat- and the staff there couldn't have been more helpful.

Filled with every Kryolan product available, the back-cataloge of Make-up International magazine and a range make-up trolleys, bags and rolls, this store must be a god send to all Berlin MUA's.

They also stocked a great selection of Dermacolor, a camouflage make-up used by professionals and consumers to disguise scars, pigmentation and tattoos. However, I also use this to conceal blemishes, redness and under eye darkness. 
It's one of the  products I certainly could not work without.

If you are a make-up artist or student and have never tried Dermacolor, I'd suggest starting with one of their Mini Palette's which are available in a variety of shades. You can mix the shades together for a custom blend, and I usually use around 3-4 different shades on each client, depending on the pigmentation on areas of the skin.
The Dermacolor Fixing Spray is another great buy. Applied after concealer and setting powder, this spray gives extra protection, leaving the camouflage in place for longer, and totally smudge proof. 
There is also the Dermacolor Light range, which we recommend to our customers at So Coco Rouge, who like the coverage offered with Dermacolor, but like a lighter coverage during the day.

If you are planning on visiting the vibrant city of Berlin, make sure Kryolan is on your shopping spree- you make-up lovers out there will not regret it!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

LFW SS14 Nail Trends

Firstly, huge apologies for my tardiness! This past week has been absolutely crazy work wise, from teaching 30 students, exhibiting at a 3 day wedding fair, working at 2 weddings and holding a Grease Sing-A-Long charity event in aid of NWCR, the Rougettes have been working flat out. Phew- time for a day off I think!

So it's time to take a leap back to London Fashion Week, and the fantastic nail art that graced the catwalks! From pointed acrylics, embellishment and even purposely chipped nails, the manicurists at LFW did not disappoint.

Let's start at PPQ where the artists from Ciate created stiletto pointed nails, in a vivid fuchsia pink. Accented with nail art on the ring finger, in deep purple and yellow's to compliment the berry and violet tones in the SS14 collection. 
I love wearing bright nails in the summer, and my favourite pink is Im Indi A Mood for Love. This hot fuchsia is even a great tone to punk up your AW wardrobe! 

Just as we saw at NYFW,  Jean Pierre Braganza complimented their collection at LFW with a twist on a french manicure. Nail technician Jenni Draper for Orly created soft pink nails with a sharp black line at the outer edge- definitely one for a salon visit I think! At So Coco Rouge, our manicurist Katy would choose to use OPI Gel Colour Lacquer to create such a complex look, using shades Bubble Bath and Lady in Black. If you are a manicurist, I would certainly suggest looking into this range. We couldn't live (or work!) without it!

From simple nail art- to full on masterpieces. At House of Holland nail queen Sophy Robson created acrylic nails dressed with motifs of the Virgin Mary, Joesph and tattoos, all matching the motifs emblazoned on the SS14 collection. Wow. This lady is one creative genius.
For instant decorative nail art, without the manicurist on speed dial, try Pure Lacquer Nail Apps. Available in a variety of designs, these take moments to simply apply and dry instantly.
In fact, Heidi Klum even wore these at NYFW! If you want to follow in Heidi's footsteps, you can purchase 'Metallic Ware' from QVC