Saturday, 21 January 2012

Insight My Kit: Barbados: So Many Products, So Little Luggage Space!

I am sure you're quite tired of hearing about my upcoming work trips to Barbados and also Mauritius. I apologise for that, I get quite excited about location shoots abroad as they result in a very different vibe. The light, weather, climate, textures and skin all change according to the surrounding. So it is a nightmare to actually pack for work trips. All the products that I use in cold, wet London all of a sudden might not work that well in the tropical climate of the Caribbean!

I have spent most of today going through all my products, trying to decide whether they make it into my limited luggage limit or not. I have taken out, put back in, tested, contemplated and repacked my kit countless times. I think I have it finalised, I think...

Face Prep
Eye Colour Products
Cheek Colour
Extras (aka extras that I can't do without usually)

This is the 5th attempt and it is now 16:17 and I have not included my extra bag of lip colours, nail polishes, disposables such as tissues, cotton wool pads and buds and not forgetting my emergency first aid kit. Don't laugh, every trip someone always needs painkillers, anti histamine, bandages and plasters! Now all that's left to be done is to pack my clothes, toiletries and footwear and that's a whole other drama that I probably won't blog about!

If there's anything in the photos you want to know about, please feel free to comment and ask. I shall be most pleased to explain and name the product. I'm pretty confident this kit will allow me to do almost any look I can muster up in sunny Barbados. I think...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Tom Ford Cosmetics: Burnished Amber Eye Colour Quad & Before/After: Burnished Eyes!

I must be the last person to actually blog about the Tom Ford cosmetics even though I think I was the first person to actually arrive at the press day! Needless to say that everything Mr Ford touches turns to gold so I had no worries that this line would disappoint. I will post more about the other products as I get and use them so for now shall we have a look at this?

Burnished Amber Eye Colour Quad
This is the palette I wanted from the start! The colours are all so luscious and stunning and with a lean towards the coppers and the reds, I thought I'd wait for a chance to use them on a green-eyed beauty but it never happened! So when I got to work with the stunning Edita, I broke open the seal and decided if anyone was going to showcase this palette well, it would be Edita!

The textures are as expected lush and buttery-soft, pigment-rich and easily blended without colour spillage anywhere. In fact there was hardly any spillage onto the surrounding areas round the eyes. Right I can't wait so let me introduce you to Edita!
Edita has a beautiful face and has normal skin which tends to get slightly dry. I wanted the finished look to be all burnished and glowy and skin to look really expensive and luxurious, so I prepped it accordingly.

Face Prep: Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellar Water, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spa Water Spray, Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, SUQQU Lip Essence Cream R.

I rarely use only the colours from one palette or brand whilst working but I really wanted to showcase this particular eye quad. Other than that, I added a bit of help with an eye liner pencil from Shu Uemura also in harmony with the colour scheme. The rest of the face I kept quite simple so as to not detract from Edita's stunning eyes and Tom Ford Colours. Pardon the multitude of photos, I just couldn't help myself, the effect was just so mesmerising that I kept snapping away. Have a look.
Face: Clarins Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, Chanel Éclat Lumiére.
Eyes: Tom Ford Burnished Amber Eye Colour Quad, Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil in Orange Brown, YSL False Lash Effect Mascara in Plum & Noir Radical, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil.
Eyebrows: Shu Uemura Hard Formula, MAC Shadow in Brun, MAC Clear Browfix.
Cheeks: MAC Taupe, Dior Rosy Glow in Petale, Burberry Fresh Glow.
Lips: Burberry Fresh Glow, MAC Lipstick in Myth, MAC Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink.
Powder: SUQQU Nuancing Loose Powder in Natural.

What do you guys think? I'm so in love with the colour combination. It's utterly decadent, modern yet has an air of old-school glamour. Here's a couple of close-ups from different angles.
Please do let me know your thoughts on this look. If you have any questions or comments, you know what to do? I'd love to hear about your experience with any other Tom Ford products that you think I should try. 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Supermodel Alert/Product Breakdown: Yasmin Le Bon

I don't need to tell you how thrilled I was when I found out I would be making up the face of one of my favourite supermodels of the 90s who is still going strong today! Yes I was a little bit excited. And best of all it was to be shot in her lovely home where she lives with her husband and family. I've worked with her daughter Amber before so was lovely to see her again however husband Simon was on tour and nowhere to be found. Oh well, we can't have everything can we? 

I got my hands on some products from gorgeous brand SUQQU to use for the shoot and everything just went super well. The look wasn't anything mad, I just wanted to make the gorgeous Yasmin look even more beautiful by using natural copper/bronze colours to enhance her gorgeous skin tone, a result of mixed parentage, Iranian and British to be exact. Actually working with such a pro has it's benefits and it's also nerve-wrecking as models like Yasmin who came from the 90s when the greats all knew how to do their own makeup so we discussed the look and how I saw it and thankfully she liked what I suggested! Please have a look at the shots, I'm extremely happy with them.
Aren't they gorgeous? And doesn't she look incredible? It was quite easy for me as she really is one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the fortune to work with. My only objective I wanted to achieve was to make her glow and make the most of Yasmin's incredible skin tone. I achieved this by using all my favourite secret weapons such as radiance enhancing serums, primers and products. And amazing photographer Kate Martin did the rest with her super gorgeous lighting!

Skin Prep: Bioderma Crealine H2O Micellar Cleansing Water, Sisley Floral Spray Mist, Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Skin Plumping Serum, Emma Hardie Lighter Lotion,  Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Guerlain L'or Radiance Concentrate, SUQQU Lip Essence Cream R.

Face: SUQQU Foundation, SUQQU Concealer Spots Cover.
Eyes: SUQQU Blend Colour Eyeshadow No 3 Matsukasa, SUQQU Eyeliner Creamy in Black, SUQQU Eyeliner Pencil in Brown, SUQQU Volume Long N Mascara, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil.
Eyebrows: SUQQU Balancing Eyebrow, Eyebrow Liquid Pen R.
Cheeks: SUQQU Balancing Cheeks in 03 Hinageshi & 04 Kinmokusei.
Lips: SUQQU Lip Essence Cream R, SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick in 13 Tsukushiiro & 15 Kogarecha.
Powder: SUQQU Nuancing Powder in Glow.

What do you think? I loved working on Yasmin and her beauty is not only skin deep but she was fun, professional and a joy to be with.Well versed in music, literature and art and she loved her dogs so we spent a lot of time laughing and chatting about everything under the sun. What an incredible lady! I might just a little bit of a crush!


Friday, 13 January 2012

Behind The Scenes: Tea With The Grand Dame, Coco Chanel

Over the holiday season I had some time to recuperate and rest but being me, was soon bored and dying to get back to work again! So what did I do? I started clearing out the photo library on my computer, trying to bring a system to the chaos and the multitude of random photos collected over my career! Whilst looking and sorting, I started reminiscing about all the places that I have had the fortune to to visit, then I found this series of photos! 

Years ago, before the invention and convenience of camera phones, I went to Paris with a magazine from Asia to shoot the archive couture collection from one of the most celebrated and famous of Parisian designers. I was young but already a fan and was so excited! What the magazine didn't tell me was that we were going to be shooting on location in her apartment! Enough of the suspense, I am talking of no other than Madame Coco Chanel and the location was none other than in her actual apartment above the boutique at 31 Rue Cambon, Paris!
I will emphasise that I took a stupidly crazy number of photos being the cliched Asian tourist but I curse computers and technology for letting a virus destroy all my pictures! I thought I had lost everything but was so happy to find these few pictures lurking somewhere in my current computer. I apologise if they're blurred or not very good but there's no way I am deleting any of these!
As a designer Coco Chanel was fascinated with foreign countries and would often ship furniture and ornaments direct from continents like Africa and The Orient. It's a bit politically incorrect by today's standards but I was so impressed by the beauty and detail, I think as soon as I had time, I just spent ages looking at all the screens, books, paintings and ornaments.
One of the most iconic parts of the apartment was the spiral staircase that allowed access from the apartment down to the atelier, where she sat to watch her first fashion show whilst it happened, as shown in the movie Coco Before Chanel, played by the fabulous Audrey Tatou. Frustratingly those photos I did not manage to salvage!

I did find a few other ones of the model who flew in from Asia for the shoot. A curious creature with elegantly long limbs and an incredible grace and awareness that fascinated me! She spoke no English and if I remember her name was Alien! Have a look at some of the pictures from the shoot. 
She wore gorgeous couture pieces hand-made, hand-beaded and sequined by expert ladies who worked in the workshop upstairs. I spent as much time as I could talking to them and harassing them with questions! They were so lovely and patient with me and even laughed when I spotted a gigantic bottle of Chanel No 5 and pretended to put it in my makeup kit! They shouted out that it was filled with coloured water! 

It really was a magical opportunity and although frustrating at losing the pictures, I am eternally grateful for having experienced it. I hope this wonderful memory of mine has been entertaining and gives you an insight of my profession.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Emma Hardie: Brand Catch Up

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start the new year than to catch up with one of my favourite skincare brands: Emma Hardie. There really isn't an item from this gorgeous range than I dislike. I have used it all on my celebs and models alike all throughout 2011 and every single one has always commented on the incredible scent and the gorgeous textures of the products! I won't go down the usual New Year let's detox and all that malarkey. There's plenty of blogs, tweets and magazines covering that and they probably do a better job at it.  So let's get down to business.

All this time Emma Hardie has always been about facials and facial products but I am so excited to find out that she has now added 2 body products to the amazing range.
Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Treatment

First up is a body scrub and treatment. This deep cleansing mud-based scrub combines fine rose and china clays, detoxifying Himalayan salt, exfoliating granules of organic red corn, purifying Moringa extract and moisturising sweet almond oil and has a slightly souffle-y texture. 

It is recommended to apply liberally all over the entire body, massaging well and focusing on the rough patches like elbows and knees and rinse off with warm water. You can also use it as a body mask for problem areas, wait for 5 minutes, add water after to loosen and massage and rinse. Emma recommends this method for people with blemishes on the back as all the ingredients work really well to cleanse, purify and draw out excess oils.

RRP £46 for 200ml.

Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Butter

Follow after with this gorgeous body butter that melts into skin and leaves it incredibly soft and hydrated with no signs of greasiness. This body butter combines protective marine actives, hydrating moisturisers, soothing shea butter,  exotic Peruvian Inca Inchi oils rich in Omega 3. 6 and 9, and healing vitamin E. Due to the delicate botanicals, this is great for sensitive, damaged and dry skins. Tempting as it is to use loads, don't. Emma recommends applying on damp skin after bath/shower and massaging it in to really get circulation going. You can apply a second coat if you need a more intensive level of hydration.

RRP £49 for 200ml.

Another thing I was relieved to notice was that like all her other products in this range, the treatment and butter still retains that intoxicating natural scent of citrus oils, rose, jasmine and cedar that I LOVE so much! 

Believe me, we all want a new body in the new year and these products will make the gruelling task of achieving it a lot easier and definitely more pleasurable!

Available from John Lewis, Urban retreat, QVC UK., World Duty Free, and Arnotts, Dublin.