Friday, 30 September 2011

Editorial Update: 125 Magazine

Here's my latest editorial that's out now. I worked with an amazing team of people on this shoot and couple that with an incredible location and some dodgy weather, the results turned out amazing! I've chosen a few of my favourite shots. What do you guys think?
Photographer: Nicole Nodland

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

October 2011: Breast Cancer Awareness

The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I like many others, will be doing my part of using my blog to bring awareness to this disease that will affect 1 in 8 women in the UK and Ireland in their lifetime.

Bringing awareness in a much larger scale are the Estee Lauder companies. In it's 19th year this October, the Estee Lauder Companies' Breast Cancer Awareness(BCA)Campaign started by Evelyn Lauder will have given out 115 million pink ribbons and raised close to $50 million in contributions for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
On the 29th September 12pm-1pm in London, BCA Spokesmodel and Ambassador Elizabeth Hurley will be at Selfridges on Oxford Street to meet and greet and raise funds for the BCRF. She will then return at 8pm to switch on the lights to illuminate the beautiful facade of Selfridges a brilliant pink! So please go and support this worthy cause and watch the 100 year old facade of Selfridges go pink!

Here's a few examples of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign’s Global Landmark Illumination Initiative over the last 12 years. You have to admit it's pretty amazing!
Empire States Building, New York
Niagara Falls, Canada
Statue of Jesus Christ, Brazil

Please also look out for this year's Pink Ribbon Jewelled Pin. For the first time a blue stone has been added to this limited edition pin to symbolise the 1% of men affected by breast cancer. You can purchase this gorgeous pin here.

All the Estee Lauder companies are also doing special editions of their products and proceeds from the sale of these products will help fund research carried out by BCRF. So pop into your favourite beauty hall and help support a very important cause.

Everyone I know, including myself know someone, either family or friend who has been affected by this terrible disease. If you can't afford much in these times of uncertainty, don't worry, talk about the issue of breast cancer and help bring awareness to this disease. You never know who's listening and you might inspire someone to check their breasts and as a result it may save their life!

If social media is good for one thing, this is it guys! Thanks for all your support for this blog and let us use the incredible medium of social media for a powerful good because:

TOGETHER. Connect. Communicate. Conquer. 

For A Future Free of Breast Cancer.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2011

Hi everyone, a quick post in between jobs to say thanks so much for getting my blog nominated and shortlisted! It's all rather thrilling so only a few days left to vote now. Here's a last call out to say if you haven't already, please vote here. Just enter your email address and then click on New Beauty Blogs and find Musingsofamakeupartist and cast your vote! Thanks everyone and let's see where this brings us eh? X

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Brand Alert: Jouer Cosmetics

Once again thanks to Twitter and incredible beauty bloggers, I was brought to the attention of Jouer. I've never even heard of the brand but upon investigation, it became apparent that it had a huge following in the US. When I saw the packaging I thought now that's some sleek and stylish packaging! And the fact that you can click and connect most of the items in the range to form your own customised palette made it even more special!

On a shoot today, I finally got a chance to use:

Luminizing Moisture Tint 
This gorgeous oil-free tinted cream offers an SPF of 20 and is packed with Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf extract to nourish and promote beautiful skin. The light diffusing multi minerals also help blur imperfections and create a glowy finish. It is also water-resistant! Available in 5 Shade: Pearl, Golden, Glow, Bronzed and Deep Bronze.

Age-Repairing Perfector
This is my new love! 10 shades of smooth sheer cream that you can layer to give necessary coverage. Packed with Vitamin E, Arnica Oil and Japanese Tea Extract to help take down redness and tone skin without any heaviness. I used this after a sheer layer of the Luminizing Tint and my models' skin was perfect!

So these are the 2 products that I have used so far from Jouer. There are more but I will post another time after I've actually used them. Remember I said I used the Tint and Perfector on shoot, it was with 5 lovely young ladies of various skin tones. So have a look!

I wanted them to look gorgeously sumptuous with dewy skin and nothing else. It's all about healthy glows!
Face Prep: La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar 3 in 1 Solution, Sisley Botanical Floral Spray, Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion, SUQQU Lip Essence Cream R.
Face: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint, Jouer Age-Repairing  Perfector.
Eyes: MAC Taupe Blusher, Revitalash Volumising Mascara, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil.
Brows: MAC Clear Brow Fix.
Cheeks: Jouer Tint.
Lips: SUQQU Lip Essence Cream R.
Powder: SUQQU Nuancing Loose Powder in Glow.

UK readers can find Jouer Cosmetics stocked at Cult Beauty.

As you can see from the line up, I have a pale Russian, a red Danish and also a dark Eritrean and I still managed fine with the Jouer products. I've been using a lot of tints layered with concealer or cream foundation. I find that in the summer months when I don't really need a lot of coverage, this method gives a really easy to control coverage and glow to your skin. What do you guys think? As always thoughts and comments are very welcome.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Just A Random Eye I Did & Like

I thought in the spirit of London Fashion Week where I've witnessed lots of colour and gorgeous show makeup, I'd post a picture of a look I did. I love the clashing colours and the intensity of the whole look. It's not a hard look but one which you just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it! 
Eyes: YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres Palette in No 5, Shu Uemura Eye Shadow Orange (Discontinued), YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Liner in No3 Ultramarine, YSL Noir Radical Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils.

What do you guys think? Doesn't it remind you of a beautiful bird of paradise? As always thoughts and comments are most welcome!

Burt's Bees: Brand Catch Up

It's been awhile since I've had a look at the new offerings from Burt's Bees. This is one of the brands with products that go about doing their thing and does the job so well quietly that it soon becomes a staple in my work and personal kit. Well fair to say it's due some attention and a shout out from me. 
Exciting to hear that Burt's Bees has introduced a Body Spa Range to treat and pamper right in the comforts of your home! There are 3 delicious flavours in Relaxing (Honey & Shea), Replenishing (Cranberry & Pomegranate) and Revitalising (Mango & Orange)

Each flavour has a corresponding Body Bar, Sugar Scrub and Body Butter. I haven't put the Sugar Scrubs to use yet but it smells delicious! I've already given one tub of Body Butter to a model with dry skin because she loved it so much and said she would steal it if I didn't give it to her! Haha I loved her frankness and she was a doll to work with hence the gifting! I plan to use the Body Bars on myself as I love the luxuriousness of using an old fashion bar of soap! One thing for sure about all the products, they smell absolutely scrumptious! And as per usual, all of the products are made with a gorgeous blend of natural ingredients to leave skin silky smooth and smelling lovely!

Body Bars cost RRP £4.99 for 140g, Body Butters cost RRP £12.99 for 185g and Sugar Scrubs are RRP £12.99 for 225g. All products are available online and in Boots.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Bluebeards Revenge: A Review by 2 Boys/Men

I hmm-ed and ahh-ed about whether I should post this but then thought, it's my blog and I can jolly do what I want! I had the chance to test out some new products from The Bluebeards Revenge. I hardly wet shave anymore, preferring to trim couple of times a week but occasionally will indulge in a full-on wet shave and make a treatment out of it. My partner however wet shaves everyday so I thought between us boys, we should both come up with a reasonable review. First of all, let's have a look at the range shall we?
Bright, blue, shiny and utterly manly and non-threatening to the Alpha Male. Packaging is totally recyclable and products are paraben free. All in all, simple, manly and functional packaging. What makes this different from many of the brands out there? The shaving products contain Decelerine, an ingredient scientifically proven to target hair follicles and weaken new hair formation. In other words, the more you use it, hopefully the less your hair will grow back. Decelerine also has an anti-inflammatory effect on freshly shaved skin. Apparently the shaving cream has proven quite a hit with ladies for shaving their legs. I cannot vouch for this personally but I can see the sense in it.
The Bluebeards Revenge "Doubloon" Bristle Shaving Brush
An affordable stiff bristle brush to work the shaving cream into your skin. We found it quite invigorating first thing in the morning and the bonus from using the brush means that skin is getting a lovely exfoliation as well!
RRP £6.99

The Bluebeards Revenge Luxury Shaving Cream
I like the smell of this smooth cream and upon working in with the brush, becomes a lovely creamy mild lather that makes shaving quite easy and smooth. The smell is pleasant, manly, reminds me of traditional shaving parlours/barbers. Not offensive at all.
RRP £9.99 for 100 ml
The Bluebeards Revenge Post Shave Balm
I haven't tried this as I am really particular with moisturiser but the other half loves this. He has oily skin and says his skin feels lovely and smooth and cool after shaving when he applied this. He is a man of few words and I have had to embellish his opinion to some degree! The texture is a very light silky fluid/lotion and when rubbed into skin leaves it moisturised without any hint of greasiness. The smell is the same fragrance as the shaving balm, clean and masculine.
RRP £9.99 for 100ml

Final thoughts? I am no expert when it comes to shaving. It's been many years since I've wet shaved but after trying the shaving cream, we like it. I am still going to carry on trimming with my shaver but if I do want to indulge in wet shaving again, I would be most happy to carry on using the range. As for my partner, he loves it and is planning to restock as soon as he can. Well maybe not in so many words...

You can purchase the range from here.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Roger & Gallet: A History and Introduction


One of the best parts of my job and being on Twitter is coming into contact again with brands from the past, brands that have made an impact and etched themselves into a little corner of my mind. Roger & Gallet is one such brand. It wasn't until I started travelling to Paris for fashion shows that I came into contact with the brand again. At many of the hotels that I stayed at and some swanky some not so, many provided toiletries from Roger & Gallet but we're jumping ahead of ourselves here. 

The first time I smelt something from Roger & Galette was as a child, playing with the potions and products of my mom's dressing table. Seeing as how she and my dad travelled Europe extensively whilst courting, she also picked up a penchant for refined European toiletries and products. Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Galette was one of them. So it was to great delight and amazement when I saw the toiletries and the very familiar scent brought back countless hours of wonderment as a child. Smell is such a powerful sense and it invokes thoughts and memories that perhaps we might have forgotten. 

Call me a sentimental fool but I love and adore the romantic notion of wearing a scent from an established perfume house with a history. Knowing that you share the same tastes as countless members of royalty, key figures in history and culture surely must mean that you share their same impeccable tastes? It must do.

The History

In 1862, the catalogue of perfume house Jean Marie Farina was bought by Armand Roger and Charles Gallet. I have to bring to your attention that Jean Marie Farina was also court perfumer and in 1806, created portable bottles of his signature eau de cologne for Napoleon and his officers to carry to war! 

In 1875, Roger & Gallet launched Jean Marie Farina Extra-Vieille, meaning Extra Old. This signature scent is now regarded as R&G's most famous scent and for me will forever be associated with Paris.

Throughout the Art Nouveau movement, Roger & Gallet engaged help from some of the major players in Art Nouveau perfume creation. Vera Violette (1895), Pâquerettes (1908), Cigalia (1910), Psyka (1914), Narkiss (1920) and Le Jade (1923) are all considered to be some of the finest examples of Art Nouveau perfume creations.

In 1932, Roger & Gallet moved to Rue du Foubourg Saint Honore where it started collaborating with extraordinary animators to decorate it's shop windows with magnificent creations and thus became a gathering spot for Paris glitterati. The company also hired some of the finest Art Deco artists to decorate it's product packaging.

Throughout the years, Roger & Gallet carried on evolving with the times in terms of packaging and making the products relevant and slowly expanded it's catalogue of fragrances to reflect tastes.

As of 2011, there are currently nine ranges, each range consisting of seven products. Eau de Cologne, Fresh Fragrant Water, Soap Set (containing three 100g soaps), Soap, Liquid Soap, Bath and Shower Gel, and body Lotion. The exception is Bois D'Orange which has a Dry Body and Hair Oil and the L'Homme Collection.

Bois D'Orange: An olfactory journey through the Andalusian gardens of the Alhambra
Ingredients: Mandarin Orange, Basil,Verbena, Orange Blossom, Neroli, Light Amber, Rosewood, Atlas Cedar.

Green Tea: The tender majesty of Mount Fuji at dawn
Ingredients: Yuzu, Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit, Green Tea, White Freesia, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Cedar Wood, Guaiac Wood, Amber.

Rose: The exquisite refinement of a marvellous flower from Bengal
Ingredients: Rose, Mandarin Orange, Peony, Rosebud, Amber, Almond Milk.

Citron: Awakening to sunlight... in a Calabrian garden
Ingredients: Citron, Grapefruit, Mint, Water Fruit, Cardamom, Basil, Ozonic Accord, Cedar, Vetiver, Musk, white Amber.

Ginger: The lush magic of a Rajasthan palace garden
Ingredients: Ginger Flower, Neroli, Bergamot, Ginger Absolute, Ambrette, Benzoin Balm, Musk.

Jean Marie Farina: Mediterranean freshness inspired by Jean Marie Farina's original garden in Santa Maria Megiorre
Ingredients: Lemon, Bergamot, Neroli, Rosemary, Petitgrain, Myrtle, Cedar Wood, Sandalwood.

Amande Persane: A journey in the enchanted Garden of Paradise of Ispahan
Ingredients: Bergamot, Mandarin Orange, Bitter Almond, Iris, Tonka Bean, Atlas Cedar.

Fleur D'Osmanthus: The serene picture of a miniature Eden, tucked away in the gulf of the Guilin Chinese valley
Ingredients: Orange Bark, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Osmanthus, Neroli, Tonka, Benzoin, Sandalwood.
L'Homme: Inspired by the masters of traditional barbering
Ingredients (L'Homme): Lemon, Spearmint, Ylang Ylang, Spices, Vetyver, Patchouli, Amber.
Ingredients (L'Homme Sport): Grapefruit, Tea, Pink Peppercorn, Cardamom, Vetyver, Cedar, Amber.

So you see, a great heritage and a great range, each steeped in mystery, romance and exoticism. I don't know about you but I for one love knowing that I'm wearing something special shared by the great personalities in history. Now wouldn't you just love that too? 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Before/After: Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

When I first heard that I was doing this shoot, I was super excited! Rosemary's Baby is one of my all time favourite films. Utterly eerie but what stuck with me from the very first time I saw it was Mia Farrow. She had that incredible haircut and her bird-like fragility that was mesmerising. If you haven't seen it, I urge you to get it out on DVD and enjoy it! Here's a still from the film.
It's not really a hard look to recreate and there's not really a great deal of makeup involved. Key points to remember for this look is to keep eyes looking as big as possible, colours are all warm neutrals and skin's all glowy and freckly. Shall we meet our Rosemary? Meet Hannah.
Face Prep: La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar 3 in 1 Solution, Sisley Botanical Floral Spray, Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion, Lanolips 101 Ointment.

Now Hannah is pretty amazing looking, gorgeous bones and eyes with the same bird-like quality as Mia Farrow. She normally has very curly hair but super-talented hairstylist Bianca Tuovi wrapped it all up and cut & coloured a wig specially for this shoot, I think the results are quite astounding!
Face: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in Beige 02, Diorskin Nude Foundation, Diorskin Nude Hydrating Concealer, Dior Skinflash in 002.
Eyes: Dior 5-Colours Iridescent Eyeshadow in Iridescent Leather, Dior Long-wear Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Intense Brown, DiorShow Mascara in Black, Paris-Berlin Beige Eyeliner Pencil.
Eyebrows: MAC Clear Brow Fix.
Cheeks: Dior High Protection Matte Bronzing Powder in Amber Matte, Dior Glowing Color Powder Blush in Sugar & Spice.
Lips: Madina Shiny Stick in 100, Rouge Dior Serum in Nude Serum.
Powder: YSL Poudre Sur Mesure in Sand No 2. 

Couple of things I should point out for this look. I kept the liner a lot thicker in the middle of the eye to accentuate the roundness of the eyes. Also the I drew and exaggerated the socket line just a  bit higher than Hannah's natural socket line to really create the illusion of big round eyes! The cheek colour was applied very loosely brought quite close to the under eye to replicate a natural flush and also across the nose bridge for a subtle summery glow.

So thoughts? I think we've captured the essence of Mia Farrow's look in Rosemary's Baby. As always thoughts and comments are very welcome. Hope you enjoyed this look!