Monday, 28 February 2011

3 Out of 4 isn't Too Shabby!

It's not often I get to do 3 covers for a single issue of a magazine! I had my chance and boy am I ecstatic with the results! 

Before Christmas 2010, I was asked to design looks for fashion publication Playing Fashion with amazing photographer Emma Tempest. The project? The first fully bilingual International Issue. 4 covers for all 4 fashion capital cities. New York, London, Milan and Paris, celebrating and featuring the stand out collections of all the designers in that city. How exciting!

I didn't get to do New York as it was shot in NY and I was already busy with other engagements when the shoot was organised but that's alright, I have London, Milan and Paris to play with!

The plan was to get amazing models and come up with makeup, hairstyles & clothes in an attempt to capture the spirit of all the fashion cities.

London: Quirky, Edgy and Innovative!
Model: Olga Shearer.

Milan: Glamorous, Sexy and Vivacious!
Model: Denisa Dvorakova.

Paris: Haughty, Beautiful and Aloof!
Model: Anais Pouliot.

I can't decide which is my favourite as they all have such different vibes but one thing for sure, they're all gorgeous and I'm so happy and proud to have been part of this project! I hope you appreciate it as much as I do and as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. Enjoy!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Behind The Scenes at

Back to what I do for a living, makeup. Here's a little view of my day-to-day business and what I love and enjoy most, fashion shoots. This was a gorgeous shoot that I did with good friend and one of my favourite photographers Robert Harper for awhile ago and has always been one of my favourite shoots. Anyway enough chit chat, let's get down to it shall we?

Location: North London.
Weather: Horrible and wet!
Photographer: Robert Harper.
Stylist: Rebecca Anne Kelsey.
Hairstylist: Shinya Fukami.
Makeup: Kenneth Soh.

The brief to the shoot was sexy, powerful with a slight hit of sado-masochism! The clothes we have to shoot with are amazing! Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Hussein Chalayan, Prada, John Rocha, Celine, Marios Schwab, Lanvin and also leather straps and chaps from Coco De Mer. Kinky!

We convene with cups of tea and to have a chat about how to approach this shoot regarding hair & makeup. I hear words like sheer, sexy, dewy being thrown round and suggested to keep the makeup simple, beautiful but with an edge to reflect the slight S&M feel of the accessories. In layman terms, skin-toned colours in various textures, matte and dewy all mixed together into one hedonistic sexy look! 

And to create the edge? Bleached brows. I know many of you will frown upon this as being totally impractical for the everyday woman. To this, I say I'm not doing an everyday woman here. This is fashion and sometimes, not always normal. There are shoots where all I want is to make the woman look glamorous but today is not one of them! I want a slightly schizophrenic dangerous woman with insecurities but stunningly sexy and dangerous. The makeup is pretty simple and is one that will sit easily and happily on the everyday woman. 

Shall we have a look at Rebecca sans makeup? I know it's cruel but just to let you know that models are human too!

Shinya starts with Rebecca and this involves adding hair extensions to thicken out her hair and also prepping the hair with mousse, thickening lotion and blow-drying and tonging it all to pure lushness! Meanwhile my assistant gets to work with nails. We've decided to go with simple, file, shape, buff and a light sheer pink to get a natural finish.

And here's what Rebecca looks like after I am done with her. Bit of a difference no?

Foundation: Armani Silk Luminous Foundation.
Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
Eyes: MAC Taupe Blusher, MAC Frost Pigment, Madina Shiny Stick in 001, Paris Berlin Eyepencil in Beige, YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils in Noir Radical.
Brows: L'Oreal Peroxide 9%, L'Oreal Bleach Powder, MAC shadow in Gesso.
Cheeks: Armani Cream Blush in No. 4.
Lips: Madina Shiny Stick in 001, MAC Cream Colour Base in Pink & Nude.
Powder: Shu Uemura Face Powder in Sheer Colourless.

I intensified the eyes on the 2nd day of the shoot using the same products but applied it heavier and bringing Taupe further out the eye socket as I wanted to give Rebecca a slightly stronger and bolder persona.

All the above photos were taken by me and unretouched. On the subject of retouching, I personally always aim to work without the benefit of a retoucher. If I can get the makeup as perfect as possible, that leaves the photographer less work to do and also less chances of it going wrong. Nothing is worse than seeing your work played around with in post production by an inexperienced retoucher! Unfortunately sometimes there are things that even the best of makeup cannot hide, like a huge spot, scars etc. Below is a shot taken from the shoot and according to Robert, there was hardly any retouching done. So yay me!

Please click here to see the whole story in it's full glory!

So there you have it! A typical day for me, working with fabulous people doing fun, creative things with makeup, hair, clothes and photography. I am grateful everyday for being able to do this and look forward to doing it for a long time!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

No Rest For the Wicked Part Deux

So here it is, Day Two of my day off and catching up with cosmetic launches from my favourite brands. It's a gorgeous morning, the sun's shining so what better way to spend the day than to play with and test out the upcoming collections coming to the high street?! I finally got to meet a familiar face on the blogging and Twitter scene. After months of chatting online, seeing that we had a similar event to get to, we decided to meet up for a brief coffee before heading off to our first event.

Organised at the very very trendy W Hotel, I'm greeted by a glitzy juice bar. I grab a quick drink and zoom right into the area with the products. It's the relaunch of the iconic Dior Addict Lipstick. The staple of the Dior arsenal now comes in a mind-staggering 44 shades in an improved formulation! If you can't find a shade to suit you here, you'd probably best give up. I had a play and saw the ladies trying the shades and everyone I talked to said it felt comfortable to wear. As a makeup artist I'm more concerned about the density in colour. The few shades I tried layered well and with a slight shine to it. Very modern and I can't wait to actually get to shoot with it.

The Dior Addict Lipsticks are exclusive to Selfridges from 24th March and goes nationwide 11th April.

Also up for show was the new Summer 2011 Dior Electric Tropics Collection.
Dior Addict Crystal Glosses - 4 watery shades of glosses in Peach and Rose and in pure translucent or shimmery finishes.
Dior 5 Couleurs - 2 beautiful 5-shadow palettes in Tan and Nude.
Electric Nails - 2 very bright hot nail varnishes in Paradise (Pink) and Aloha (Orange).
Nude Glow Healthy Glow Summer Powders - 2 velvety lightly shimmery bronzers which I can already see as a must in my kit!
Healthy Glow Summer Fluid - 1 Rosy Nude and 1 Honey Nude, 2 veil-like fluids to wear instead or over foundations. I liked the lighter shade of Rosy Nude as I found it slightly less matte than the deeper Honey Nude. Clever product though.

The Electric Tropics Summer Collection is out exclusively at Selfridges and Brown Thomas 2nd May and then nationwide 16th May.

After another coffee break and to meet another blogger who I chat to on Twitter but have never had the pleasure to meet. It's really nice to finally put faces to names! Right I digress!

I've been a fan of Guerlain since the days of Meteorites but have been a bit of a stranger for years so I was super happy to be invited to the launch! Situated at the architecturally lush Institute of Contemporary Arts, I am greeted by more people I tweet with regularly! There's loads of products being introduced here so I shall only talk about what I'm interested in as a makeup artist.

Terracotta Powder - Now comes in 8 gorgeous shades and sleeker compacts to suit all skin tone. I've always been a fan of this cult product and was super thrilled! 8 shades!

Terracotta Skin - A clever hybrid foundation of powder, cream and gel to give you a veil of colour that is instantly real and velvety. Definitely handy in my work for when you want to create a tan without having to deal with self tanners.

Terracotta Jambes De Gazelle - Definitely caught my attention straightaway! It's a gorgeous bronzing gel for legs to give you a shine and tan to rival any of those rich WAGs that can be washed off with soap and water. Most importantly it will not rub off on your clothes! Another kit staple for instant but washable effects!

All the above available nationwide 27th March 2011.

Terra Inca Summer 2011
Here's the makeup range for the summer-loving lady! I am sure you'd have read about it by now so I shall only pick out what I see myself loving! 

Star Powder - A beautiful warming compact powder encased in the most luxurious wooden shallow bowl with a twist-off magnetic lid! I nearly screamed like a girl at the thought of how amazing it would look on my dressing table if I had one! 

Terre Indigo - An Incan mosaic of orange, blue, 2 shades of brown held together with pale gold. Tried on my hand, the colours are rich, intense and gorgeous with a finish of sun-baked soil in an exotic location!

Kôhl Kajal - The cult pointy-tipped black crayon makes a return! Personally I think best used for the sultry smudged effect.

Ombre Fusion literally made me and companion squeal in excitement. Imagine 3 shades of Pink, Bronze and Copper in a cream that depending on technique, can go from sheerest sheen to molten liquid metal! I'm so using that on my next shoot! Apparently long lasting and budge proof as well but undeniably magnificent!

Terracotta Gloss comes in 3 shimmer-free pure syrup shades of Salsa (Fuchsia), Mambo (Coral) and Tango (Red).

The Terra Inca Summer Collection is out nationwide 5th June 2011.

The last offering courtesy of Guerlain is Rouge Automatique

25 shades categorised under Unforgettable Beiges, Passionate Red, Flamboyant Oranges and Loving Pinks.
The clever gold square barrel boasts the ingenious button that you push to reveal the lipstick bullet, all using only one hand! I suppose that's handy for the woman on the go. 

The Rouge Automatique is exclusive to Selfridges 3rd April and nationwide 1st May 2011.

Yves Saint Laurent
I am greeted with 6 palettes of the new Pure Chromatics Eyeshadows which are just pure joy of colour! With the option of using wet or dry, the finish is pure luxurious colour when applied dry and intense metallic opulence when applied wet. I tried both and love the wet application which gives you a finish like an expensive sports car caught in the rain. Dark and intense and very very expensive!

Now what got me very very excited were the new Long-Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil. It comes in 5 shades that are waterproof once it sets. There's a 30ish second play-time that allows you to blend and smudge and then it sets to non-budge intense colour. I love working with wet textures as they usually give you an intensity that dry textures don't really give you. So it's perfect that these gave me that intensity and yet sets to a waterproof finish! No more smudging! I can see this being a staple with doing my celebs for events for minimal retouching. Have a look at the shades on my hand, I am afraid my photography skills did not do it justice. 

The collection is exclusive to Selfridges 3rd March and goes nationwide mid-March.

Before I left for the day, I managed to grab hold of a quick look of the upcoming Eyes To Kill collection that should be out soon. New heavily-pigmented shadows that are pressed into the jar. It took me awhile to get it but it's loose intense pigment that's gently pressed into a pot. I got to play with a lab sample so it might change when it comes out. Dark intense midnight bruise with flecks of blood rubies! Wooo I can think of all the possibilities of this colour for work already! So here you go, have a look!

So there you have it. My 2 days off! That's the life of a makeup artist. Even when I'm not shooting or working with a celebrity, it's rare that I actually don't come in contact with makeup in whatever form. I love it though and wouldn't change anything about it. I apologise for the long post but hope you enjoy seeing what I got to see!

No Rest For The Wicked!

It's my first day off in ages and you'd think I'd be in bed having a lie-in but oh no! What do I do? Well being a makeup artist, it's off to see the new collections for some of my favourite brands. It's something I try to do once in a while so I get to see what's on offer out there!

I've got 2 days of go sees so here's who I saw today.

Estee Lauder
I've been hearing loads about the new collection for the Pure Colour Long-Lasting Lipsticks. I've been a huge fan of Estee Lauder from as young as when my mom used to spray herself with White Linen and Beautiful! And boy I got a shock, pleasant of course when I saw the array of gorgeous sumptuous colours. I just had to dive in and try them out and the colours and depth of colour is amazing. Below's a shot of what I had to play with!

I also had the new Pure Colour Nail Lacquer range and boy Estee Lauder's gone rock & roll!! Colours that I never thought they would ever do, green, silver, fuchsia etc. I made my friend put it on and the results were impressive and strong even only with one coat! Have a look.

Both Pure Colour ranges go out nationwide on Monday 28th February. I'd say to get it asap as many shades are being sold out fast! 

I also had a chance to pop into the Clarins pop-up shop at 10 Blandford Street. Amidst a cute little set up, there's a juice bar and it smells amazing. The goods on show? A new range targeted at the younger skin. I had a few minutes to play with some of the range and besides smelling really fresh with a slight citrus fragrance, the textures were light but really moisturising. Now as a makeup artist, the last thing I want when working on someone is excess moisture so this might  be worth checking out when it becomes available to buy in June 2011. Personally I think that anyone with slightly greasy skins will appreciate this range and not just the younger consumer.

There's more to come tomorrow when I head off to see more new collections from other brands so stay tuned!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


So here it is, I have finally succumbed to blogging! I will reinstate that I am first and foremost a makeup artist and am only blogging as a hobby and to share what I see and experience in my field of work. So be it food I eat, makeup I get to play with, travels etc. You'll all find it here. Most likely it'll always  be short and concise but also occasionally in-depth and detailed. Most of all I hope it will always be fun and amusing to read. Thanks guys and I look forward to sharing more with you! XX