Photographer: Camilla Akrans- Model: The incomparable Edita
Happy Holidays to all my Wonderful MM Readers!
I can’t believe it’s that time of year again, when work stops, wine glasses come out (and don’t get put away again for at least a week), waistbands expand and calories don’t count – that’s right, it’s Christmas again.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making Makeup Mole such a success this year, and such a joy to work on. Blogs really are a labour of love, and sometimes it feels like you’re flying high as it all rolls blissfully easily along, other times it really is like dragging an albatross around your neck (even if the albatross is wearing Chanel).
This year has been fantastic and I have you all to thank for your comments, your Tweets and questions, to all the wonderful bloggers I have met in person or online, and indeed many of you who I now count as friends. To all the makeup artists and other creatives that I’ve met and some who I’ve admired from afar who continually inspire me, to all the PRs who help with questions and images and to the brands who keep up a constant stream of product wonder and delight – you are all the people who keep me and Makeup Mole going. I look forward to a bigger, brighter, better 2011 filled with more makeup than ever before!
Thank you all and have a fantastic Christmas, a fun and prosperous New Year and see you all back in early Jan for more Makeup Mole.
Celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano has new video tutorials! Fresh from making up Anne Hathaway in Oslo (for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, as you do), she has a slew of wonderful makeup tutorials out on the uber-trendy London site, www.becausemagazine.com. Here’s a gorgeous red lippie one, perfect for those holiday parties – if you’re not all partied out yet!
My favourite purveyor of fine skincare products is opening a new store in Tokyo. In line with their ethical stance all the wood in the store was reclaimed from an old house in Tokyo, so the whole store smells faintly of Japanese cedar. So if you’re in Aoyama Tokyo, why not swing by!
Also on the subject of Aesop, I need to tell you about sunscreen. For a lot of you guys, freezing your butts off in sub-zero Northern Hemisphere temperatures you’ll be thinking “is she crazy? I need a radioactive heated slankie, not a lesson on sunscreen!”
But for my friends in the Southern hemisphere, this is the first of many, MANY lectures on the Evils of Going Out Without High Protection Sunscreen Every Day Because You Will End Up Either Dead From Skin Cancer And/Or Very Very Wrinkled. I can’t believe I haven’t trotted out this particular little soapbox yet as it’s a personal mission to make people wear sunscreen every day of their lives (alright, maybe not you lot with 10 inches of snow outside your window, but when the weather warrants it.)
And aiding me in this personal quest? Aesop Sage and Zinc sunscreen. This is my go-to every day sunscreen as it’s non-comodegenic so it doesn’t make you break out like a lot of cheaper supermarket products, and it has plant derived vitamins, including Vitamin E, and sage leaf and sandalwood extracts. Aesop are justly proud of their first moisturiser with sun protection, and it’s been many years in the making.
But the real winner for me? It’s matte, so it can go under makeup and not make you start your hot day looking like a greasy chip, requiring a truckload of powder to absorb all the oil. It is only a factor 15 but as you need to reapply at lunchtime anyway I’m quite happy with a factor of 15.
And for the rest of you, shivering under those slankies? I have a cold weather post for Winter Radiant skin coming up (and yes, definitely no sunscreen in sight).
Because this is the site with no shame, and because I haven’t had any cheesily fabulous 80’s music on here for awhile, here’s some Spandau Ballet to ease you into this season’s hottest trend for holiday parties – Gold.
Now that I’ve blown your mind with some feathered hair and ostentatious guitar chord playing (check around the 1.23 mark if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s time to get down to business, how to shimmer like a star this Christmas.
The best way to wear golds is generally on the eyes – although this season there are some ace gold nailpolishes around too (but more on them later).
Gold suits every eye colour and in fact every skintone, and metallics in general are huge this season.
My fave way to wear gold on the eyes is to layer a cream with a powder, and for full-on Midas eyes you can’t really go past Illamasqua’s Solstice Liquid Metal with Pure Pigment in Marvel. This is what Alex Box used to create the Golden Goddess look for the Myer show in Sydney this year, and I can attest to its – well, golden-ness. I love these because the gold isn’t too yellow and fake looking, and they have a burnished quality when they catch the light (golds that are too fake and yellow looking make me feel, quite frankly, ill. So cheap and nasty!)
If you fancy something a little less full-on, Laura Mercier does a lovely gold metallic crème eyeshadow in, aptly enough, Gold, and Chanel do a beautiful gold powder eyeshadow. It’s also, funnily enough, called Gold.
There are a few tricks to making metallics work. Firstly you need to apply your shadow, then line your eyes right at the base of the top lashes with a black liquid liner or gel eyeliner. This defines the eye and makes it much more party-worthy. Black or brown pencil liner on the inner rims is optional, depending on whether you really want to get your sexy on. I like MAC’s Boot Black liquid and Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink gel liner for this purpose. You can either just do a wash of gold on the lids, or you can use a nice matte brown shadow to wash into the crease to give some good depth and definition (I’m currently loving NARS Bengali as a great all round chocolate brown eyeshadow). Two coats of your favourite mascara (my current fave mazzie is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes mascara for a party lash), and false lashes are optional but always a winner for parties. MAC and Shu Uemura are great for expensive ones, Ardell if you’re saving your pennies.
You can keep the rest of the face simple by using the minimum of foundation and powder, some bronzer and keep the lip a delicious nude. I love YSL Rouge Pur in 132 a gorgeous golden pinky beige. Golden-beige gloss on top, something like Chanel’s Beige Guitare.
Nails are also a key place to go for gold. Myface L’il Bling is an amazing new range of metallic polish, and their gold polish is particularly lovely (it’s called Gilt-y). For the ultimate gold nail though you should check out Nail Rock. Nail Rock are individual nail wraps in different patterns, including metallics, that you heat up with a hair dryer onto the nail. They do take a bit of getting used to, but for a true Midas touch, you can’t go past these. They are the creation of London manicurist Zoe Pocock and they last up to 7 days on nails and 8 weeks on the toes, plus they are inexpensive (£6.50 per set), so there’s no excuse for not going for gold. (Feathered hair and ostentatious guitar playing are optional).
Let’s talk about eyebrows for a moment. This is one of those products that is so mind-bogglingly simple and effective that you think everyone must know about it, but I’m always amazed when I do private clients and they have never even heard of it.
Brow Gel is a tube like a mascara wand and tube that has a clear gel inside it, and when you run it through your brows it invisibly grooms them, gives them an oh so subtle sheen, and most importantly, holds them in place. Why is that so exciting I hear you ask? Well if you have to ask that, you apparently don’t need it. Some brows need it more than others. For those with sweet, tame little arches that look the same year in and year out and never need plucking, tending, pencilling or re-arranging, you can just stop reading now. I know there are a few of you lucky people out there. I am however, not one of them.
From having gigantor brows in the 80’s that needed a hedge trimmer to tame them, through to the 90’s when my brows all but disappeared when I plucked them all away (curse your elfin beauty in those CK Calvin Klein ads Kate Moss, it’s all your fault!), and now to the noughties when my brows have valiantly struggled to grow back but in sexy patches, I am one of those people who need brow help. Lots of it. Of the grooming and pencilling kind, every day, or else I look like a mad woman.
So brow gel is always in my kit, both personally, and professionally – and the one I love the most? MAC. They also do fancy coloured ones which I have, but to be brutally honest I don’t really use. Clear looks good on every brow colour, holds it in place and a tube will last you forever. So no more mad woman brows. The hedge trimmer is optional.
Who doesn’t love a YouTube beauty video? I mean really, what more do you need on a Saturday night than you, a glowing computer screen and a beauty nerd somewhere in the world showing you a trick you’ve never heard of? What’s that you say? A cocktail, a hot guy and some sexy tunes is your preferred way of spending a Saturday night? Ah well, to each their own.
But seriously, I do love a good YouTube tutorial (and so would you if you’d just stop going out at the weekends. I mean really, you could be learning a LOT about beauty.)
The words “YouTube Guru” get bandied around an awful lot, and to my mind almost none of them are worth the title. Two (or rather three) people do spring to mind however, and that’s English makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, and the sister duo, Pixiwoos. All three of them are actual working makeup artists in one of the world’s most fashion-forward cities – they do shows, shoots, press junkets and everything in-between, so they actually know what they’re talking about. They use great products and all the backstage techniques that I picked up in London – and if you’re going to learn makeup, it may as well be from a master!
Lisa has been working as a makeup artist in London for over 20 years and has a genuine A-list clientele, from Cameron Diaz to Demi Moore and more Vogue tutorials than you can poke the proverbial stick at. She has a lovely blog as well and her tutorials are clear and easy to understand.
Pixiwoos are two sisters (Samantha and Nicola Chapman), and between the two of them they have now produced hundreds of videos. Want to learn how to do a 1920’s makeup? They’ve got it. Catwalk contouting? It’s there. And also simple every day makeup. They have had the distinction of being the inspiration for Sophia Loren’s makeup artist who did THEIR Sophia Loren – on Sophia Loren!
I know where I’ll be on Saturday night…(but maybe I could squeeze in a cocktail whilst I’m at it). See you on YouTube…
I had my whole Christmas post based on a clip of Will Ferrell in Elf, but unfortunately Warner Brothers in their absolute wisdom have decided you can’t embed the clip in a post. So if you feel so inclined, please check it out on YouTube here.
Just because it’s probably the best Christmas movie of all time, and possibly also the best Will Ferrell moment ever committed to celluloid (with perhaps, the exception of his Jazz Flute solo in Anchorman, but that’s for anther post), I couldn’t resist adding this video of Buddy the Elf showing how he feels about Santa. And it’s how I feel about Santa too if he’s going to bring me the following:
NARS D. Lovely Lipgloss Coffret – Eight of these sweet little nothings (most of which I don’t already have). Yes please. There’s something about mini Christmas makeup that brings out my worst makeup acquisitiveness.
Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipsticks – Five beautiful lipsticks in shades of berry and wine, which is my pick for the upcoming season. Nobody does lippie like Estee Lauder.
Chanel Holiday – Everything. That is all.
Illamasqua Blades – ‘cause they’re amazing. And if you can’t get your freak on at Christmas, when can you?
Laura Mercier mini brushes – I’ve said it before, but Christmas is a great time to get your sticky paws on lovely brushes. These are my pick for 2010.
Ellis Faas – Winter Glow Gift Set – I love Ellis’ products, and these are three of her bestsellers together – Creamy Lips in Ellis Red (a seriously decadent and perfect red lipstick), Ellis Eyes Light in holographic Bordeaux green, and black mascara. Perfect.
Mini Bobbi Brights palette – Because it’s just so dang cute! Like candy for your face. Yum.
Urban Decay 24/7 Jackpot pencils – I bought last year’s version of this set and they sold me on these pencils. They don’t move and the colours are gorgeous. Plus they’re shiny. And Christmas is shiny!
SKII – It’s £130 a jar but it’s a solid weight of SKII moisture for seriously parched skin. I have no idea what’s in it but it makes your skin looks like a baby’s. Sold.
Becca Beach Tint Trio set – These are an MM fave from way back. They could make even a corpse look gorgeous.
Benefit Bad Gal regular and Plum – This new mascara in my arsenal does give serious volume. One in Black and one in Plum (which looks great on every eye colour). No one will be safe at your office Christmas party with lashes like these.