Friday, 19 April 2013

Makeup Close Up: ES Magazine Beauty Shoot: Metallic Eyes

After posting my latest beauty shoot, I had some requests on a post of how I did the metallic eyes shot. Whilst researching what was hot off the runways, metallic eyes were all the rage again. There were the incredible gold leafed eyes of Fendi that first caught my eye a while ago. So when I got the chance to do a metallic eye that was wearable and pretty, I jumped at the chance to use gold leaf. I wanted the look to be three dimensional and incorporate gold leaf but then while doing the look, I decided to throw in some silver leaf, gold and silver tiny sequins as well! It was intricate work and yes my eyes did get a bit crossed after finishing each eye, I think the results were really worth it!

You've met Maria before so I won't include a before shot as the point in the detail on the eye makeup itself, not a Before/After. Here's a shot of Maria I took while she was lying down.
Eyes: Givenchy Magic Kajal, Givenchy Parad'Eyes Liner, Givenchy Noi Couture Mascara in Black Satin, DUO Lash Glue, Gold & Silver Leaf, Gold & Silver Seed Sequins.

To simplify the step, I did a rough liner shape with the Kajal, topped over it with the liquid liner. Then painstakingly applied dots of lash glue & delicately placed the metallic leaf and then sequins. Now I hear someone asking why I didn't just use a glitter eyeliner instead? I suppose you could if you wanted a quicker method. The funny about being a MUA is that we like making things awkward for ourselves! Also I was doing a close up beauty shoot, one meant to be creative and fun. I really wanted the metallic detailing to be intricate and creative. Another reason for mixing the medium was also the different intensity of 'metallic-ness'. I wanted light to glint off the sequins and gold and silver leaf differently so it created a more three dimensional effect. So much more fun than glitter non?

Here's a close up for all who are interested.
I hope you guys like this look, I do and it was fun to do. As always please ask questions or comment ok? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Editorial Update: ES Magazine

Hot off the press, I just had these sent to me. A beauty shoot that I had the privilege to work on with an incredible team. Beautiful model Maria Konieczna, unreal hair by Louis Bryne, intricate nails by Chisato Yamamoto, spot on styling by Nicky Yates, makeup by myself assisted most amazingly by Rebecca McMahon. All perfect  lit and captured by the talented Jon Gorrigan.

It really was an incredibly fun shoot as I got to research all the trends and design every single look! Hope you guys like it.
What do you think? I'm thrilled with the results!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Illamasqua: Brand Catch Up: Paranormal Collection

I'm sure by now anyone who's interested in makeup will know of cult, niche, slightly oddball brand Illamasqua. Famed for it's toxic colours and textures and it's penchant for the weird and wonderful. I will admit that if I'm after a colour cosmetic that is off a weird shade, I will go on their site to see if they have it. Saying that I have become rather fond of a few items of their range and they are far from weird. Examples would be their Matte Primer, Shading Pencils and Nail Varnishes (Speckled Egg was amazing!). All very user-friendly and gorgeously-textured.

When the lovely Nicola and Rose asked me to take tea and have a bit of a catch up, I couldn't wait as it's been awhile since I've seen anything new. So amongst towering racks of sweet delights and copious cups of tea, I got to see the new wares of Illamasqua's Paranormal Collection. Now before you go dear god, monsters and ghosts and all that, pray calm down. It's not that. It's more like the feeling that there's something odd out there brings that tingle at the back of your neck. And also that all initial effects and textures become something else under UV light for example for some of the products. Anyway it's cool and not as scary as it sounds.

I only have a few items that I can show you today so here goes.

Hydra Veil
Created because certain customers were commenting that the highly pigmented Skin Base Foundations were causing dry patches on their skin. This odd gelee drenches skin with hydration to provide a better base before makeup goes on. It comes with a little spoon and you chop up the gelee and scoop what you need. The most remarkable thing is that the chopped up gelee slowly reforms back into a smooth even state like the picture on the left. So that provided endless hours of fun! But seriously when I tested in on my hand, my skin was soft and smoothed and the gel absorbs quickly and leaves no residue. I'm very excited about trying this out on an actual work, I can predict this to be perfect for people after hydration without any grease. I will report on results soon.

Gel Liner

Illamasqua's first gel liner. This claims to be the blackest one available on the market. I have yet to test it but that's some claim. It is also supposed to give you more play time before setting to a waterproof smudge-proof finish. I love gel liners so will definitely give this a play.

Lipstick in Posture
A very pretty mauve with high pigment. I've always struggled with finding a good mauve/lilac lipstick and this might tick the boxes. I will have to use it soon and let you know. There was another shade that was more of a taupe which I loved but I don't have a sample. Now why would you want such shades? As a MUA, such shades are great for tempering and also for editorial fashion shoots, sometimes the unusual can be very very beautiful!

The Paranormal Collection will be available from 30th April 2012 on

That's all I have to share at the moment. At the meeting I was also showed a lovely bronze cream that was a lovely texture and great for warming or blending into cheeks and eyes. Also a mousse/cream/powder textured palette with some very interesting shades. Once I get those I will share with you guys. 

So what do you think? Too out there for you? I don't think so, sometimes it's good to shake things up a bit by using slightly edgier shades. Let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Before/After: Aviator Beauty: A Tribute to the Beauty of Katherine Hepburn

I recently did a shoot in the hangar at Goodwood Flight Academy. And amidst the beautiful old planes I was totally inspired by one of my favourite screen sirens of old Hollywood, Katherine Hepburn. So just as well that stylist David Hawkins and photographer Andy Barnham had similar ideas!

Katherine Houghton Hepburn, star, legend and strong woman, made so many films, more than I care to admit to knowing and watching. With her angular jaw, chiseled cheekbones and expressive features, I have always thought of her as an unconventional beauty. She challenged the stereotype of screen actresses by defying studio execs and carved out an epic career playing strong and independent women in film and TV. Taking this philosophy throughout her own personal life and her penchant for slacks, suits and shirts, I have always thought of her as remarkably handsome. So when I had the chance to channel a bit of her presence on this shoot, I jumped at the chance. I apologise, I could go on and on when it comes to the old screen sirens of Hollywood!

Our model the gorgeous Felicity reminded me so much of Hepburn. She too was vivacious, strong and such a trooper, not complaining once about the cold in the hangar! And it was bloody freezing! So it seemed the perfect culmination of factors! Let me introduce the stunning Felicity.
Face Prep: Lancome Galatéis Douceur Facial Cleanser, Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, Emma Hardie Moringa & Rose Treatment Lip Balm.

Let me explain why I chose the above products. The environment I work in, the condition of the model's skin and also the products I choose to use after prep always affects what I use. So we were in a freezing hangar in the winter with no heating, Felicity had recently suffered a breakout due to a reaction to some products used on her at another job, and I wanted to keep the look quite soft, glowy and dewy.

Let me also touch briefly on the subject of hair. Yeah I had to do hair on this shoot as well. It was fairly simple and I prepped the hair with Bumble & Bumble Prep Spray, dried it with a hairdryer then tonged sections using my favourite big barrelled Babyliss Pro Ceramic Tongs and clipped the sections up whilst I carried on with makeup.

The look is very simple, glowy skin, softly defined eyes using very soft brown/tan shades and a light coat of mascara to frame the eyes. Felicity has lush brows so I kept it softly defined and brushed up to maximise the fullness of it. The focal point would be the lips. I wanted a red but not just any red. I wanted a Brick, Terracotta kind of red. A perfect combination of red, brown and orange. And here's how the look turned out.
Foundation: DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing Foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Givenchy Mister Bright, DiorSkin Sculpt Concealer.
Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork, MAC Cream Colour Base in Mid-Tone Sepia, Pixi silky Eye Pencil in Black Cocoa, Paris-Berlin Beige Pencil, Clarins Wonder Length Mascara in Black, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara.
Eyebrows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blonde, MAC Brow Fix in Clear.
Cheeks: Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel, MAC Blush in Taupe, Burberry Fresh Glow.
Lips: MAC Lip Mix in Red, Orange and Brown, OCC Lip Tar in Traffic, YSL Lip Liner in Cognac.
Powder: SUQQU Nuancing Loose Powder in Natural (kept to a minimum).

Here's a shot of Felicity in natural daylight.
I finished the hair by unpinning the curls, brushing out and applying Structure Dust and hairspray and then pinning into a bun and finger finishing the front. I wanted it to be soft, wispy and textured so the light would catch it and create a soft halo-like quality. Have a look at Felicity doing her thing on the wing of one of the planes wearing the most handsome orange jacket and white palazzo trousers, looking every bit the part of a screen siren!
What do you think guys? Did we capture Katherine Hepburn's fire and beauty? Her perfect blend of masculine beauty and astounding presence? I love this look, it's so simple but yet modern and classic. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Before/After: Dark Circles and Bright Lips

When you get a model with dark circles, sometimes there really isn't anything you can do but make the best of situations. And such was the case with our Russian beauty today. A mere teenager with bad eating habits but blessed with beauty of face. To be honest weren't we all grumpy teens once? As a MUA sometimes there's not a lot you can but use concealer to the best of your ability and then focus on other features. Our model was absolutely stunning and her lips just screamed for bright lips and that was what I did.

First let us meet our model. For the life of god I cannot remember her name, partly because she had a most peculiar way of treating people and questionable social skills! 
Face Prep: Bioderma Crealine H2O, Emma Hardie Lighter Hydrating Lotion, Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, Emma Hardie Moringa & Rose Treatment Lip Balm.

So beautiful face but teenage spots and dark circles. Not a bad canvas to work with to be honest. So my aim was to get skin looking gorgeous and try to take away some of the darkness under the eyes. I had a chat with the photographer and mentioned my concerns and together we decided that a lot of help could be achieved with the right lighting (MUAs it is not a bad thing to be able to chat to the photographer you work with when it comes to certain concerns). So here's the after shot with some flash from my Iphone.
Foundation: Giorgio Armani Silk Luminous Foundation, DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup, Givenchy Mister Bright, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork, MAC Blush in Taupe, Clarins Wonder Length Mascara in Black, Burberry Fresh Glow.
Eyebrows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash, MAC Browfix in Clear.
Cheeks: Chanel Bronze Universal, MAC Blush in Taupe, Burberry Fresh Glow.
Lips: MAC Lip Tint in Orange, MAC Morange, OCC Lip Tar in Traffic.
Powder: Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder.

The trick was to keep the face makeup simple, especially round the eyes. So I used the slight darker tones of her eyes as a natural shadow and brightened just under the eyes with a light reflecting brightener and concealer. The main focus I wanted to be the lips as she had gorgeous ones. So after the orange I patted in and buffed in the cult favourite MAC Ruby Woo.
Thoughts? Not too bad right? I'd love to hear from you guys so send me some comments and questions.