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.