All posts by The Makeup Mole

Illamasqua Liquid Metals Eyeshadows

In my kit: Illamasqua Liquid Metals

 

Take it from me, every makeup artist needs a good range of basic metallics in their kit. If you don’t have it, there’s nothing you can do to substitute or fudge it, and you never know when you’re going to get asked to bust out a quick metallic eye or need a good silver or gold accent on something. Just last week I was on a job where we needed silver eyes, so I was very grateful I had my favourite metals palette handy – Illamasqua Liquid Metals.

These are so, so good. It’s a palette of 4 dense, creamy high-payoff pigments that have a great gold, a silver, a copper and a greeny-silver. I can’t tell you how many times I have used this guy. You can use them on lips or eyes or as a highlight. You can use them as a base and set them with a matching powder metallic, or blend them into a sci-fi, space age molten smoky eye. They also can be layered under a gloss if you’re really going for the shine.

And frankly, why did we become makeup artists if you never get to paint someone gold or silver or copper?

Makeup nerd alert – they also decant beautifully. I’m at a stage now where anything that is not nailed down gets downsized, so I have scraped out the Illamasqua Liquid Metals into a Muji container with a bunch of other creams I use occasionally. Although Illamasqua packaging is mercifully light, every bit of weight in your kit adds up, and I am not built like a WWF wrestler, able to drag infinite amounts of makeup around town (although Lord knows, I did try for many years).

Don’t get caught without your Liquid Metals!

Liquid-Metal-Palette

vitalumiere-aqua-ultra-light-skin-perfecting-makeup-spf-15-30-beige-30ml

In My Makeup Kit: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

I think you all know by now how much I love Chanel Vitalumiere foundation – it’s been one of my kit staples for years as it just melts into the skin, covers what you want it to cover and leaves a dewy, hydrated finish. It’s perfect for shoots and shows as it has a buildable coverage so you can manipulate it as you want, but for everyday life, I personally prefer something lighter for myself.

Enter Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua which came out ages ago and I’ve been using it on myself every day for at least a year. So I know it’s good. It has all the delicious skin-enhancing properties of Chanel Vitalumiere, but dials down the coverage so it’s perfect for daytime.

It’s oil-free, and nice in the warmer summer months when one is producing enough sweat and oil on one’s own, thank you very much. It’s one of those shakeable bi-phase foundations, so you shake it to mix it.  I like to apply with fingers. It leaves the same gorgeous finish of Vitalumiere but is quicker and easier to apply – since you don’t need brushes or sponges, it’s also great for holidays (something very much on my mind at present as the weather warms up!)

Vitalumiere Aqua has more coverage than a tinted moisturizer but not as much as the traditional VL formula. It comes in 10 shades, but do check at the counter before you buy as I do find that the Chanel range of foundations is not a perfect match for everyone. I so wish it was as I wouldn’t need any other foundations in my kit, but more yellow and golden toned people are not always covered in the Chanel shades.

Also it comes in a teeny little lightweight plastic bottle (which weirdly is like the Tardis of foundations as that bottle seems to last FOREVER) thus making it a front runner for the next new foundation range for my kit – makeup artists love things that don’t come in glass!

chanel-vitalumiere-aqua

supermodels

Video: Peter Lindbergh – The Reunion

I think we all know I’m quite partial to a good supermodel at MM HQ, especially the real 90’s originals like Cindy, Tatjana, Eva, Karen Alexander, Nadja and Helena. I love this BTS video of master photographer Peter Lindbergh’s new shoot for Vogue Italia with them, simply titled “The Reunion”.

These are women now turning 50 who are still extraordinarily beautiful physically, and have a light in their eyes and a presence that only a life well lived can give you. I love that you can still see the texture of their skin and they haven’t had their character and every wrinkle retouched away. They’re supposed to look like women, not girls. More supermodels please.

Amazing nails

Right Now: Mastered – Nails with Marian Newman


Last week I had the pleasure of being on a job with one of my favourite nail artists, Marian Newman (it’s been a long time in between jobs with Marian so it was such a treat to see her name on the call sheet!).

Marian has had more Vogue covers than any other nail artist in the world (over 50 so far) and regularly does shows for Givenchy, McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, amongst many, many others. She’s also worked with lots of celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman, so there’s a reason why she’s known as “the Supermanicurist” and has been asked to create the latest Mastered course.

Mastered.com is kind of genius actually. It’s a series of online courses with the top fashion creatives in the world. It started with Val Garland’s makeup course, then Nick Knight did one for photographers, and hair maestro Sam McKnight did a hair one. Now it’s Marian Newman’s turn for nails.

I’ve worked on some shoots for the photography course both in London and Sydney, and know many, many people who’ve done the makeup, hair and photography courses. Most people say it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done as it teaches you to deal with briefs and pushes your creativity beyond your normal boundaries, taking your work to levels it’s never been before.

It’s about being taught how to get to the top of session work, by someone who has actually done it. Only 400 people globally will be accepted into Marian’s nail course, and Marian told me so far she has been blown away by the incredible talent that has been coming through from the applications.

The program is entirely online and there are online video tutorials filmed by Marian and also other top nail techs to give you all the inside info that it takes years of assisting and working in the fashion trenches to figure out. Then after the 12 week course, there are lots of other opportunities to reach out to others in your industry to get your own ball rolling.  There’s community forums and feedback, and every week there is a new challenge, where winners of the challenges get their work seen by people actually working in fashion.

I warn you though, it’s NOT for you if you want to learn how to do nails. There is a basic requirement that you already know that, that you’re already working as a manicurist but you want to get to the next level in your career. It will help explain the nuts and bolts of actually getting your dream career working in fashion and with celebrities, which I can tell you right now is not something you can easily find out on your own. You could even up working backstage at the shows on Marian’s team!

The course starts on the 12th of April and I know there aren’t many places left, so if you want to apply, you’d better get registered.

www.mastered.com/programs/nails-industry-mastered

Marian Newman's Nail Course

model with strong blush makeup

In My Makeup Kit: Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

 

So there’s a new blush in town and it’s gorgeous, bright and perfectly pigmented. It’s the new Clinique Cheek Pop blushes, and I discovered them on a job recently with makeup artist Florrie White, who is the Clinique UK Colour Artist.

Clinique has always been dear to my heart as it was the first brand that I really fell in love with, and even had a slight obsession with (obsessive about makeup, me? Never!) I loved their mint green packaging, their hypo-allergenic ethos (in a time before every second person had an allergy to something, so they were well ahead of their time) and their iconic 3 Step skincare system.

Florrie kindly showed me all the new Clinique products that have just launched, and are just about to launch, and let me tell you, there are some crackers that I am very keen to get in my kit. But the one I loved the most is the Clinique Cheek Pop Blush. It’s a powder blush that comes in great, super flattering colours, but it has a finish almost like a cream as it’s so finely milled.

I’ve been finding I’ve been using a lot of cream blushes recently as I don’t like it when it looks like blush and sits on the skin. Clinique Cheek Pop solves this as you need hardly any on your brush to get the right, natural looking density of colour. It’s almost fool-proof.  And because it’s a powder, not a cream, you get a lot more longevity from it. It also has great shades for dark skin tones. I have (and love) the pink one, Pink Pop, and I’m planning on getting more.

Since blush is coming back in a big way (once we can all be done with this ridiculous contouring trend), I feel my blush bag might be needing some love in the near future. Stay tuned for more adventures in Blush Land.*

*not a real place

Clinique Cheek Pop blush

kiehls Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm

In My Makeup Kit: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Balm

 

So there are changes you need to make to your kit and your makeup when you go from shooting beauty stories in the bush (hello 35 degree heat, and ants trying to crawl into your makeup, PISS OFF) to shooting outdoor in winter in London (I’d forgotten about having freezing hands and trying to apply red lipstick – not my most favourite thing ever, I have to say). Needless to say I am no longer carrying around piles of sunscreen and body shimmer, and I am all about heavy duty moisturisers and body creams.

Now is the time to tell you about my new favourite super heavy duty moisturizer, which is the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Balm. It’s like butter for your skin. Kiehl’s have long been a staple in my kit as their products simply work. No fancy packaging, no heavy fragrances. Their new cream is a super dense balm that you rub into the skin, and it gets absorbed after about a minute, leaving the skin supple and hydrated, so perfect as a base for makeup. It’s like the hefty, harder working sister to their eponymous Ultra Facial Moisturiser (which is forever in my kit).

What I like best about it is the skin STAYS supple and hydrated. It contains Edelweiss flower which was chosen due to its ability to thrive in harsh environmental conditions – which certainly applies to the Tube at rush hour.

It doesn’t absorb in after half an hour, disappearing and leaving your skin feeling worse than when you started and as dry and flakey as an old croissant.

I now have Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Balm in my own beauty stash, and in my makeup kit. Now if only I could pack a bit more sunshine in there too…

kiehls.com

picture of woman with moisturiser

Credit – Toni Garrn for Paris Vogue, shot by Katja Rawhles. Makeup by Janeen Witherspoon. Hair by Neil Moodie.

andreea diaconu

Video: Pat’s Diner

With the NY shows about to kick off today it seemed fitting to post this great video of the Queen of All Things Catwalk, Pat McGrath, and the launch of her new 8 piece makeup collection (which came out in December, but I had other fish to fry then). Called Pat’s Diner, the launch was held at a Brooklyn Diner and then jammed full of models, celebs, all round club kids and Insta-girls and boys, and Pat and her team let the makeup fly.

I’m loving the trend for fuller makeup at the moment (although no, this does NOT include extra contouring), but bright lips, bright eyes, all at once and at any time has made makeup more fun than it’s been in years. Pat’s latest makeup offering, Phantom 002 (following on from Gold 001) are deeply pigmented eyeshadows in fuchsia, cobalt, gold, cranberry and black, plus 3 brushes.

Now I just can’t wait to see what she has in store for us on this season’s shows…

www.patmcgrath.com

New Year, New City, New Kit!

 

I know I’m late getting back into it, but I do have a great excuse as I moved back to London over the Christmas break. After spending most of December packing many, MANY boxes of magazines and selling various vehicles and generally getting organized, and then the last few weeks in London buying furniture (and a LOT more warm clothes), I finally feel like work is calling again.

So I’ve not been that focused on beauty or writing or makeup or anything very gorgeous at all (packing boxes and trips to IKEA really don’t count in that category.)

Until I went to sort my kit out to get back to work, only to discover that I feel like it needs a revamp. I have everything I need but I do have that new beginnings feel to the year, craving change and improvement. I’m even bored with my bags and my palettes, which really do need a periodic refresh to keep you on your makeup toes.

Enter My Kit Co from James Molloy, which I found out about over the Christmas break. James is a wonderful makeup artist who I met years ago on the shows when he was a MAC International Artist, and over the last few years he’s gone from strength to strength. He’s a really lovely person as well, and I was excited to see he’s launched his own makeup bags and palettes for when you have a makeup kit crise like I have been going through.

My Kit Co has a full range of brushes which I’m keen to try (because as all makeup heads know, you can never have enough brushes, amiright?) AND magnetized palettes with a clear lid so you can see what’s in there and have room for many, many shadow or blush options. Then the piece de resistance and where James has been particularly smart, is the range of clear bags that you can fit the palettes into. Possibly only makeup artists will understand how exciting and groundbreaking that is, but after years of stuffing makeup palettes into toiletry bags, wash bags, stationery bags, padded post Paks, makeup bags of all shapes and sizes that don’t hold things properly so they all jumble around and break, James had me at hello when I saw his kit bag collection.

There are lots of other bag options in his range, and the ones I particularly like are clear and flat and stackable to conserve space in your suitcase. They also have lovely thick durable wipe clean plastic, which is ideal for those inevitable makeup spillages (since James has spent literally years of his life travelling the world doing the shows, this is a man who knows how to pack a kit. LIKE A BOSS.)

How to pack a kit

So this January it’s not about getting fit, or losing weight or paying off your credit card or detoxing from sugar. It’s about having a kit that would make Pat McGrath and her army of Japanese assistants weep with envy. (That bit is probably pretty strictly for Makeup Artist Goals For 2016 – most of the general population would probably be better off detoxing from sugar/quitting alcohol/taking up running than buying palettes and makeup bags).

*Full disclosure – I’m also obsessed with James’s dog, which is the cutest teacup Yorkie called Dillon. You can follow James (and Dillon! Now you know why they call me a dog stalker) on Instagram here @jamesmolloymakeupartist and @mykitco

Or shop on line for a pristine new kit here www.mykitco.uk

Dillon-the-teacup-yorkie

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Secret Weapon: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Did I ever tell you that one of the great quests of my life has been for the best black eyeliner? Sad I know, but it’s true. I thought I had tried them all, finding some I liked more than others – from Stila to MAC, Bobbi Brown to Maybelline, NARS to Laura Mercier. I’m an equal opportunity black liner lover but it does need to deliver. Because none of them had quite the inky darkness that I craved, I kept testing out new ones, looking for a black that could audition for a Tim Burton film.

Until I tried the new Kat Von D liner. It is, quite simply, and hands down, the best black liner I have ever tried. Kat von D is pretty new to the makeup game, coming from a background as a tattoo artist and a reality TV star (not the way to my hear generally, but she has won me over after testing out her liner and some of her lipsticks, which are also fab).

Stocked in mega makeup store Sephora, I’m starting to see what the fuss is about with her line. Pigment rich, subversive packaging (reminiscent of another of my favourite brands, Illamasqua), it’s all a bit goth but also surprisingly wearable and has a great range of colours. A committed vegan it’s also cruelty-free, which also ticks my makeup boxes.

Sephora gave me a lovely bag of goodies to test out the other day which I’ve been doing religiously, and this liner is the standout. It’s just so damn BLACK. As dark as the Adams family hall closet, it also is a genius felt tip pen that has a nib that’s hard enough to draw great lines, but soft enough to manipulate around the delicate eye area. So whether you’re a liner novice or Lana del Rey, this one is for you!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner