Saturday, 21 April 2012

Before/After: Strong Sultry Looks: Makeup Faux Pas

I am sure by now everyone knows about YSL's new foundation coming out later this year. I have been trialling it on shoots and celebs and can now officially say I love it! Anyway I used it once again on a beauty shoot this week and wanted to share the 3 looks I created. The model was a very interesting young lady called Dommie who had the most arresting eyes! My brief was to create strong, sultry, sexy looks. So I thought I'd do something different by using all the mistakes one makes in makeup such as over-clumped up mascara, strong eyes and strong lips or overuse of similar shades, to create what I thought are 3 gorgeous results!

Anyway let me introduce Dommie!
Face Prep: Emma Hardie Moringa Balm, Une Radiance Refresh Micellar Cleansing Water, Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Rodial Glam Balm Lip.

Dommie has typical teenage skin problems such as spots, oiliness & dry patches so I started by doing a deep cleanse using a muslin and Emma Hardie Moringa Balm to remove dry skin and to give a thorough cleanse. The result was soft, clean and flake-free skin.

Have a look at the first look. I find that when you use the same shade of colour all over the face, it sometimes results in a rather dull look. Bearing that in mind, I did all that on Dommie but upped the amp on the colour! All the way to brows, eyes, cheeks and lips and even hair! I have to say with her incredible eyes, she looked amazing! Have a look.
Face: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, YSL Touche Éclat, Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer.
Eyes: YSL Ombres 5 Lumiéres Eye Shadow, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil, YSL Luxurious Mascara Shocking Volume in Deep Black.
Eyebrows: YSL Eyebrow Pencil, YSL Eyeshadow, MAC Brow Gel in Clear.
Cheeks: YSL Terre Saharienne Bronzing Powder.
Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Blond Ingénu, YSL Teint Touche Éclat,
Powder: YSL Semi Loose Powder in Sand.

For the second look I kept the same look but added on really black liner inside the waterline and added 2 dots of gold at the inner eye area and swapped for a deep raspberry lip. Who said that you couldn't do a strong eye with strong lip eh?
Eyes: YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black Ink and Luminescent Gold,  more mascara!
Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Fuchsia in 5 coats!

For the last look I wanted to do the usual makeup mistake of matching eye colour to shadow & liner but instead of same pale blue of Dommie's eyes, I went for electric blue pencil and clumpy inky mascara. As if that wasn't enough I also decided to throw in an intense red lip! What makes this work? I would say the dewy bare skin and brushed undone brows and a little bit of abandonment! 
Face: The same as before except I added a layer of Le Maquillage Make Up Mixer.
Eyes: YSL Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Azure Blue, YSL Pure Chromatics Eye Shadow, YSL False Lash Effect Mascara in Noir Radical (5 coats).
Eyebrows: MAC Brow Fix in Clear.
Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Rouge, YSL Glossy Stain in Rouge Laque.

So there you go, 3 interpretations of the sexy sultry look, taking inspiration from makeup faux pas and mistakes. What do you think? Something you would have a go at? As always comments are most welcome!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Brand Alert: Ila-Spa

I have been sitting on this post for ages and I apologise. It is by no means a reflection on the quality of this brand, on the contrary in fact! Over X'mas due to what can only be called boredom and having too much time, I over-cleansed and exfoliated my skin and it resulted in dryness, scaliness and sensitivity. So I stopped all active products and opened up the store room to look for remedies. I brought out the Ila products I was sent awhile ago.

For many who don't know, Ila-Spa is an English brand that goes beyond organic. By this maxim, they source ingerdients from local farmers who grow and harvest with respect to the balance of nature. The ingredients are then lovingly mixed in their converted barn in the Cotswolds. I'm not going to go too much into the realm of energies and vibrations, I thought I'd try the range I was sent to sort out my stressed skin. 

Rainforest Renew
This range consisting of Face Serum, Day Cream, Night Cream and Eye Serum, uses ingredients such as Barbassu Oil a light non-oily palm oil derived organically from the Amazon as a carrier oil for such fantastic ingredients like Acmella, Marapuama, Pfaffia and White Lily. These four ingerdients are expertly and lovingly blended to form the core ingerdient of this range: Amazonian Elixir, what Ila-Spa believes to be one of nature's purest blend of health-giving ingredients.

I am used to more active ingredients but was pleasantly surprised that my skin felt nourished and calmed after using the range. The roughness and scaliness went after a few days, redness & heat from over-exfoliating calmed down and as it was the winter, my otherwise dry skin felt plumped and refreshed. The textures of the products are somewhat richer and does leave a lovely dewiness to the skin and smell natural and slightly earthy. It reminded me of preserved plums I used to love in Asia!

I'm not saying this is the best range ever, I will let you decide on that. My skin did however enjoy the nourishing qualities of the ingredients and knowing that there wasn't anything to aggravate my skin but yet still having quite powerful ingredients was definitely a strong point of the range. So if anyone who is partial to an organic range, I would defintely encourage trying this range. I have since used this on a few clients with sensitive and distressed skin and they all love how calm their skin feels after. It's definitely a winner for me.

Face Serum RRP £56.00
Day Cream RRP £46.00
Night Cream RRP £68.00
Eye Serum RRP £43.00

You can purchase this range directly from Ila-Spa's online shop.

Has anyone tried this range or this brand yet? I'd love to hear more about it if you have!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Product Alert: YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat

Stop the press! Serious I would. Quick post to let everyone know about the latest offering from YSL. Upping it's game, YSL is launching a new foundation! I apologise but I am crazy about foundations, especially when it's a good one! First of all, let me show you what it looks like.
Creative Director Lloyd Simmons and YSL have harnessed the properties of it's cult product Touche Éclat to create Le Teint Touche Éclat. With it's impressive 22 shade range, there will be a shade to suit every colour skin tone.

There's a detailed scientific bit to this new foundation. I will explain as briefly as I can. Traditional foundations use a combination of alcohol, opaque powders to create a diffused reflection and mother-of-pearl particles to create a mirror like reflection. Well not so in this new offering. Opaque powders are replaced with a soft focus gel to blur imperfections without creating the mask-like result. And instead of mother-of-pearl, YSL is using Fluid Light Concentrate obtained with golden pigments that form a reflective film to bring lightness and glow to the skin. And without alcohol, this foundation uses volatile oils and moisturising agents to diffuse the product whilst giving extreme comfort. 

I had a quick chat to Lloyd at the presentation and he explained that he wanted a product that as a MUA he'd be happy to use all the time on shoots to create beautiful effortless skin. I tried it on myself together with a few fellow male MUAs and the foundations are undetectable but skin looks refreshed, even-toned and glowy.
There's 22 shades split into Rosy Beige, Natural Beige and Golden to suit all skin tones. 

Le Teint Touche Éclat is pre-launching at Selfridges and Brown Thomas on the 28th June 2012 and going nationwide on 9th July 2012.

RRP £28.00

I can't wait to start using this on actual clients to really see if it works as well as I think it does. As it was a world premiere, pictures have yet to be released but I will do another post as soon as I get more info on it. Stay tuned guys, this seems like a winner if you like dewy-finished foundations!

Before/After: Sexy Put On/Wipe Off Look

It is common during a shoot to change my mind in regards to the look I have created. You never really know how the makeup you've done translates on photo so once in a rare while, I will say(scream) "Stop! It's not working! Give me a few minutes!" and I will retreat to the makeup room and rethink what I have done. As MUAs I think it is important to realise that as artists we should never be embarrassed when that happens. As much as I am experienced, sometimes it just doesn't work and this happened recently and to my delight, I discovered a new way of doing makeup!

The model we had was gorgeous but there just was something that just didn't work for me, be it the way the makeup was translating due to the lighting or whatever. So I expressed my concerns and took her back into makeup. Using my micellar water and fine Muji cotton buds, I carefully removed layer by layer of the eye makeup, all the while thinking in my head what to do and then it hit me! She looked perfect as she was! It's hard to explain but the easiest way of explaining it is I loved how worn & lived in her makeup looked after removing bits of it. So I went with it, added a few more elements and absolutely adored the results!

Meet Madalina prior to makeup.
Face Prep: Une Radiance Refresh Micellar Cleansing Water, Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Rodial Glam Balm Lip.

As you can see, Madalina is very pretty and her eyes are absolutely stunning. To put it briefly, I did a bit of a brown/black smudged under eye number and it looked great but on screen with the lighting it made her look really tired! So I took it off and instantly the face lit up and her eyes pierced through. So I accepted that maybe this was all she needed for this shoot! Here's the result after I cleaned it off.
Face: Le Maquillage Makeup Mixer, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, YSL Teint Resist Foundation, YSL Touche Eclat.
Eyes: (Under) MAC Taupe Pencil, YSL Waterproof Eye Pencil in Patent Leather and Black Ink, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil, Burberry Fresh Glow, Madina Shiny Stick in 001, YSL False Lash Effect Mascara in Noir Radical.
Eyebrows: MAC Brow Gel in Clear.
Cheeks: Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base, Bourjois Sweet Kiss Lipstick in Rouge Glamour.
Lips: Madina Shiny Stick in 001, Glam Balm Lip.
Powder: YSL Semi Loose Powder in Sand. 

So you can see the look is super dewy and unpowdered. I wanted her to look like she's been out dancing and glowing and the makeup under the eye has been wiped off and all you get is thickly applied mascara and a smidgen of liner left in the lower lash. 

Here's a close up of the eye.
What do you think? I'm in love with this look and have since used it a few times to to great effect. It's a bit of a topsy-turvy way of doing makeup but why not? Would you try it? I think you should, you never know, it might result in something unusual! As always I'd love to hear your comments so don't be shy.