Just when you thought you couldn’t POSSIBLY need another black eyeliner product in your handbag, along comes Burberry’s new eyeliner pens to change your mind. Burberry have to have one of the best marketing strategies I’ve ever seen – their ads and campaigns are always beautiful, always on brand and feature gorgeous English models, like this one with Suki Waterhouse who is the perfect modern 60’s muse.
Just when you thought there couldn’t POSSIBLY be anymore room in the world for another beauty brand, along comes the new Gucci Beauty range. And I have to say, it’s got me intrigued.
Part of the Procter and Gamble stable, it is thus under the aegis of mega makeup artist Pat McGrath who is the Creative Director (and also helped create the Dolce and Gabbana range, which is another P&G brand). And you know if it’s got Pat McGrath’s input, it’s probably gonna be pretty damn good.
This is the beautiful new Gucci campaign video starring Charlotte Casiraghi (of Monaco, don’t you know – and Grace Kelly’s grand-daughter. Apart from being supermodel gorgeous, she’s a champion horse rider. And a royal. AS YOU DO).
Gucci get extra points for using my favourite Sia track of all time ‘Breathe Me’ in their first ad. And I for one can’t wait to get my sticky paws on that red lipstick. High-octane glamour – what else would you expect from Gucci?
You know, I actually should call this post ‘The Concealer Files’ since it’s about a foundation stick, but I’m crazy about it as a concealer. Some things I recommend to you guys because it’s in my kit, and some I recommend that seem to have taken up permanent residence in my personal makeup bag, and this product is one of those.
Again, it’s Tom Ford (I know, I know with Tom Ford – you guys are going to start thinking I have shares in the company, but I don’t. I just really, REALLY love everything in his line that I’ve tried. I have yet to find a dud product in this range.)
This is a beautiful, thick creamy foundation which I love for concealing as it has the perfect texture as it melts into the skin, even in the delicate under eye area. I still love the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (that’s been a kit staple of mine for years), but it can be a bit dry to use as a spot concealer and I prefer Bobbi’s undereye concealers for covering those dark circles that let’s face it, we all have to one degree or another (models, super or otherwise, included).
The Tom Ford Traceless Stick is also brilliant for concealing around the nose which often gets quite red, especially in winter when the skin can get chapped and raw. Because it has more of a greasy texture, it just glides on and stays on the red bits that you want it to, without looking like a big ole’ patchy, cakey mess.
I have tried the Tom Ford foundation as a foundation on the whole face and to be honest I didn’t love it on me, as it felt a bit heavy when applied with a brush. However more testing in the lab might be in order as it could be perfection when applied wet with a damp sponge.
I like to just grab a nice concealer brush and whack it on where needed – two seconds later and you’re ready to roll. So quick and easy. Tom Ford has just come out with a whole new range called the Flawless Complexion collection which I’ll be very curious to try. Foundations are a notoriously tricky part of a makeup range to get right, so if they can nail the foundations there’s a pretty good chance the rest of the range will be incroyable as well.
The shows are in full-swing at present, and so far it’s been a great season, both makeup and fashion-wise. New York has done nude and amped up natural in a zillion different ways but still managed to keep it interesting, and London has provided the colour and excitement as always. Nu-rave girls, neo-punk, and some blown out gothic glamour have all strutted down the catwalks, and this week it’s onto Milan.
One of my favourite makeup artists Pat McGrath has already done quite a few shows and as always has provided some beautiful looks. Here’s a BTS video of the amazing rock-star glitter eyes at Anna Sui in New York last week. So simple, so clean and yet so beautiful. This is runway makeup at its best.
It couldn’t really be more Burberry if it tried – Kate and Cara sitting on a giant perfume bottle, in classic Burberry trench coats. Despite not being able to appreciate the perfume one iota (due to scrambled olfactory senses after the birth of my son – my sense of smell has never gone back to normal, such a bummer), I can still appreciate two British supermodels being gorgeous as it rains perfume. Sigh. If only life were like that.
In fact stuff the supermodels and the perfumed rain, I’d settle for one of those Burberry trench coats.
This has gone from being a really great mascara to a Secret Weapon in one fell swoop. Last week I was shooting a beauty story and for the second look we went for a clumpy lash, which is always a winner. So I reached for my now trusty companion, Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara, and started to pile it on. Coat after coat after coat – it definitely added bulk, and the lashes were looking nice and big, but it was pretty much a clump-free zone. Incredible when it was only after about five coats on each eye that it started to really get cloggy. I had to go in with my CoverGirl Lash Blast to get the lashes nice and really mascara-saturated for that spiky 70’s feel. What that means for ordinary people who DON’T want to look like Liza Minelli on a daily basis, is that it’s pretty much lash perfection in a tube.
I started to use it on the recommendation from another makeup artist friend of mine, the fabulous Nicola Burford (who has done Cate Blanchett’s makeup as well as worked on Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Pecheux’s team at London Fashion Week, so she knows her stuff.) We met many years ago assisting Aussie makeup artist Kellie Stratton on an 80’s nightclub shoot. It was a bit of a baptism by fire for me as it was the first shoot I had ever done makeup on, and it was a riot of pseudo Adam Ants, 80’s Pierrots, black geisha brows, fuchsia contour and lacquer red mouths (and sometimes all at the same time). Let’s just say we got through a lot of white pancake makeup that day.
So when I was in the market for a new mascara, I asked Nicola and she said she swears by Max Factor 2000 Calorie – an oldie but a goodie. You can always rely on it – it doesn’t clump (until you seriously lay it on with a trowel – I can attest to that now) or smear or flake and just gives you lovely lashes quickly. You can dial it down for natural or up for a sexy lash so it’s a great one to have in your kit.
A quick note though – I didn’t love the waterproof version. The formula is a bit grabby and crunchy, and it just doesn’t go on smoothly like other waterproof classics like L’Oreal Voluminous or Full n’ Soft.
The gorgeous pictures above are by photographer Nicholas Moore for Chinese Vogue, on a day I was assisting Kay Montano in London a few years ago. That was such a fun day – piles of fake lashes and the fabulous Neil Moodie on hair who (as usual) had me in stitches laughing. Neil also has a fabulous blog that you should check out http://www.neilmoodie.com/category/blog/ – it’s got hair! It’s got dogs wearing wigs! It’s got French and Saunders! It’s my kind of website!
* NB I checked that Nicola didn’t mind me putting her beauty secrets on the internet first. Mine I’m happy to throw out there on a regular basis, but other peoples are their own to keep unless they say I can do the big reveal.
I LOVE this video that came out a little while ago, featuring a galaxy of the current crop of top models and makeup by i-D’s new Creative Director, Isamaya Ffrench. It’s pretty much a makeup artist’s dream featuring a riot of glitter, face painting and everything from baby oil to metallic body paint. The things that make us salivate like a kid in a candy shop.
Isamaya is quite an amazing young English makeup artist (she called herself a “painter and decorator” on Instagram, which is pretty damn cute). Originally a dancer with the super-creative Theo Adams Dance Company in London, she became a face and body painter, and has since moved into high fashion where her creativity is put to good use with the likes of photographers like Nick Knight and Rankin, as well as Vogue and Dior.
And PS I’m just a little obsessed with her eyebrows.
So I’ve been prepping for not one but three big beauty stories lately which has been a good chance to give my kit a clear out to get some new season colour in there.
I have to confess that I love having a good re-organise as nothing feels better than a fresh, clean kit, and you can always find a way to tighten up and improve your general organization. A kit tune-up is my idea of a good time!
I’m rotating out of my winter products and putting in spring/summer ones – shooting spring stories for Australia means more colour and beautiful lighter textures are going in.
This season I’m getting back into gloss after quite the hiatus from it – probably a legacy of a complete overdose on the stuff a few years ago. As in, I was buried in it. In my defence, at the time we were all channeling goopy-lipped vixens so I got a lot of use out of them – then not so much the past couple of years. But now I’m feeling it again.
Since I’m still loving bold strong lip colours at the moment, I’m reaching for Illamasqua’s Intense Lip Glosses to add an element of shine to a statement lip. I’ll be carrying Mistress (bright coral orange) and Indulge, a ridiculously bright fuchsia, and since wine lips are no longer just for winter, I’m carrying the sinfully rich Hermetic. I love Illamasqua’s lip glosses because they are pigment rich, high-shine and really do what you want – which is take a bold lip over the top, somewhere over the rainbow.