Sunday, 27 February 2011

Behind The Scenes at ThePop.com

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 ThePop.com 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!

26 comments:

  1. This is possibly one of my favourite blog posts ever, just the kind of thing I like to read! Her skin looks absolutely radiant, well done Kenneth! More like this please xxx

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  2. Really? Thanks hon!! That's so sweet of you to say! Yay! Will do and love to you and Jussi! xx

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  3. Kenneth can I ask a question?

    How long do you get to "do" the models before the shoot starts? How long does the make up and hair actually take?

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  4. It's usually an hr for both hair & makeup. Sometimes if it takes longer than so be it but we normally aim to keep it within and hour depending on the complexity of the look. XX

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  5. Wow what a transformation, the skin looks flawless. Ive heard a few makeup artists say they use the armani foundations a lot. Love the last shot xx

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  6. Thanks Nicoletta! Yes they're definitely one of my all time favs for foundations. I carry about 3 sets at all times but have various different brands and ranges. I choose accordingly to skin type, finish and effect that I want for the shoot. I'll do a round up one day soon of the ones that I use on a regular basis. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment x

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  7. This was really enjoyable to read, lovely to get an insight like this.

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  8. I really like this look. Bleached brows aren't an everyday look, but it's interesting how it intensifies her eyes. The skin look amazing, I need to revisit that foundation.

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  9. I agree with Grace, am rather taken with the brows: was expecting a very hard graphic look but they are actually quite ethereal and , goodness, emphasise and make those eyes glow.

    Please, Kenneth, keep on with the blogging: love the post and the q&a that are coming up in the comments section too!

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  10. Thanks Diane. Am glad that you enjoyed it. Yes Grace and Victoria, that was exactly why I wanted the bleached out brow, as it brings the focus straight to the eyes and has an almost "lost" look. Talking about revisiting foundations, I need to get that out as well, haven't been using it for awhile too! Thanks also Victoria, am glad that it was interesting to you too. Any questions will always be answered asap! Thanks guys x

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  11. I so enjoyed reading that. You are so talented. I have done makeovers on counter but could never aspire to anything like this xx

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  12. love Shinya!!! work with him whenever I can!! great blog my dear!! we REALLY need to meet for our coffee xxx

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  13. CM, don't ever say that! Honestly, it really is just someone showing u what to do and u'll get it! I think makeovers r harder! Do not ever put your work down, ever! :) xx

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  14. Thanks Stephanie! He is a doll he is! Yes we need t soon. Let's set dates soon on twitter! xx

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  15. It's wonderful to see that you now have a blog!
    Loved this post as it's fascinating to see how the whole thing works through the eyes of a pro...the look you created is fantastic!
    Nina x

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  16. Thanks Nina, that's very kind of you to say! XX

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  17. Oh wow, that skin... Kenneth I want that skin! Make her give it to me!

    Seriously though, just beautiful. Dewy perfection and without sounding like a know-all, I can see that the photos haven't seen much facial retouching at all... love it when you can still see the skin texture.

    MORE MORE MORE!

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  18. Haha did u not see her before pic hon? Bless, yeah even with her redness and all, she still looked incedible after. Thank you for the encouragement! XX

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  19. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And like others have said, the bleached brows seem just fine, in fact I barely noticed them!

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  20. Thanks Charlie, I am glad you approve! You know your opinion means the world to me. XX

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  21. Those bleached brows are like my regular eyebrows! Does that mean I look schizophrenic?! Haha! Beautiful looks Kenneth and love those little ears! xx

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  22. Haha nah yours can't be as bleached as hers! Thanks xx

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  23. Shush! I'm ignoring reality and enlarging the 4th picture down... just gorg.e.ous.

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  24. Haha thanks! She is beautiful isn't she? Sigh....

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  25. It's amazing Kenneth! Love this look no makeup makeup. How do you bring back Models brows colour?

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  26. Thanks Rocio, I actually use Just For Men for sideburns and moustache! LOL! Perfect colour and so quick! x Good luck with your test tomorrow x

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