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).
Lately I seem to be have been shooting a lot of metallic beauty stories, which is known as General Good Times for makeup artists. My glitter bag has seen more action than it has done in years, and apart from the usual toxic waste glitter explosions (par for the course when dealing with that hazardous substance) it’s been all systems go on high-octane disco makeup.
Secretly I’ve always had a love for metallics – they’re so brazenly glamorous! So having the chance to shoot lots of reflective beauty has been fabulous. In doing so, I’ve discovered a not-new but very amazing range of eyeshadows by Stila called Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadows.
These are incredible – super high-shine, reflective eyeshadows that take a smoky eye to the next level. They have a very fine glitter through them but they have very little fall out, so you don’t end up with all the pixie dust magic under your eyes instead of on top of them (because really, glittery eye bags – who needs those?)
They are reminiscent of the Tom Ford quad eyeshadow glitter shades, but more reflective, and they come in a good range of colours – from Jade and Cobalt to a range of traditional metallic colours. Handy when the looks go from silver to copper to gold and then onto full-on Studio 54 incarnations (as has been the case for me lately).
These might be the greatest thing since sliced bread – actually way better than sliced bread since they are perfect, shimmery molten eyeshadow sticks of exactly the colours that you want, and best of all, they’re gluten-free!
I’ve become obsessed with these of late. They are a lightweight cream eyeshadow that just has the most perfect texture. They’re in a thin stick form, so not only are they extremely lightweight (which you are SO GRATEFUL for when you have 40 kilograms of makeup to lug to work each day), but the shape of the tip is absolutely perfect for creating dreamy highlights around the eyes. There is a reason that all the top red carpet makeup artists are using them on their celeb clients you know! Mai Quynh used them on Chloe Moretz at Cannes, as well as Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes.
They also come in a great range of colours and are a lovely base for a smoky eye or perfect as a shimmering accent. You can use them as a shadow or as a liner as well, so they’re just right for everyday life as they do double-duty and are even small enough to fit in an evening bag, if you need a quick retouch.
There are now 23 shades available, and since Laura Mercier is, well Laura Mercier, they really are gorgeous, flattering colours for every skintone. These suckers are fast, also. For when you have literally two seconds to do your makeup (and a toddler may or may not be dragging themselves up your legs trying to get to your makeup because the best thing EVER is a toddlerin your makeup) they are literally just swipe, smoosh with brush or finger and go.
Although right, I admit it – it’s not in there yet. BUT IT WILL BE. I have been waiting for this gorgeous soft coppery shade to hit counters ever since it started turning up on the red carpet (like on the likes of Keira Knightley – see above for some soft buttery eyeshadow deliciousness!)
Chanel’s New Moon is the latest addition to their Ombre d’Illusion line, which I would have to say is probably my favourite line of eyeshadows ever (oh be quiet Tom Ford – it’s a close call but Chanel win this round.) I hestitae to call them creams since they’re a new technology which is really a mousse more than a cream, and most makeup lines now do them, from Maybelline to Armani. But it’s the colours of the Chanel Ombres that make this line so special, and the new Summer offerings, on counter in Oz this weekend, are no exception.
New Moon is the one that I have to have, but I may also pick up Mirage, which is a golden bronze (so perfect for the big beach beauty shoot I have coming up), and Utopia is a soft lavender. And I’m a sucker for a soft lavender since it looks good on every eye colour.
And now for what else New Moon has inspired, which is not very Chanel(but I can’t help it) – it’s the end of the kids’ movie Babe, when the three mice sing “Blue Moon”. Every time I think “New Moon” this is what pops in my head:
It’s not that chic, but it’s definitely sweet. As long as I don’t start singing it at the Chanel counter, I should be fine.
Of late I’ve been cruising on YouTube for obscure 80’s hits – one hit wonders and bad Australian songs have been featuring prominently. So today when I came across a CLASSIC Australian pop song (prompted by hearing a delivery man playing it in his truck yesterday – you know it’s fabulous music when that’s where you hear it!) the epic “Electric Blue” by Icehouse, I just knew I had to introduce it to all my MM readers. Or re-introduce it for those lucky enough to remember it first time around (c 1987).
Obviously the first thing you notice about the video is the lead singer’s hair, or mullet. I can tell you right now from all the YouTube-ing I’ve been doing that mullets were a key part of 80’s Aussie music. Uncanny X Men, Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo Echo – all the (supposedly) hot boys at the time had a delicious, bouffant and flowing back section and preferably a neat groomed (and highlighted, if you really wanted to impress the ladies) fore section. Forget business at the front, party at the back – it was party at the front, a nightclub at the back and a full on rave all over. Looking at the men in these videos it’s a wonder Aussies managed to reproduce at all and all the women didn’t run away screaming overseas. ANYWAY…
I digress. The reason I’m introducing you to this classic piece of vintage Australiana is the return of 80’s blue shadow and liner, except it’s being worn with a 90’s grunge sensibility. Since the whole natural grunge makeup seam has been pretty much mined to exhaustion over the last few seasons, during this season’s shows makeup artists are bringing back flashes of block colour and liner that were also a mainstay of 90’s makeup.
Pat McGrath put a sky blue on a few of the girls at Prada this week in Milan and Lucia Pieroni did a gorgeous electric blue liner at Giles in London. Which harked back to the 80’s. So it’s a post-modern, modern look if you will, that looks totally fresh. Here’s my picks for the best blue liners and shadows to give you a bit of colour-blocked 80’s/90’s/now goodness. Mullet optional, but not recommended.
Best Blue Eyeliners
NARS Kitty pencil – a gorgeous electric blue
MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil – used on the Giles show by Lucia Pieroni last week, this is pretty much the perfect blue
Bourjois Regard Paillete in Bleu Etincelant – Sparkling eyeliner basically, but it sounds so much nicer in French! This is a gorgeous metallic bright blue liner. New to my kit this week. I love this and can’t wait to give it a workout.
Essence 2 in 1 Kajal pencil in Destination Sunshine – the colour is a slightly off electric blue. It’s a bit of a weird colour which is why I like it. Essence are a German brand and Europe’s biggest selling range apparently, but new to me. At a bargain price point, I have to say I’m impressed with the colour pay off.
Barry M SuperSoft Eye Crayon in Matte Blue – Barry M. Always. Another bargain too.
Illamasqua Eye Pencil in Debonair – delicious bright blue with great pigmentation
TopShop Makeup – If liquid liner is more your thing, TopShop do a deep blue liner called Yonder which looks quite delish.
Best Blue Shadows
NARS Outremer– amazing cobalt blue. Incredible
Illamasqua Victim – is a full-pigment intense azure blue, and one of my favourites
Illamasqua Sadist– matte cobalt (cause you can never have too much colour blocked cobalt)
MAC Electric Eel– a total classic
MAC Freshwater – if you don’t want your electric blue without a bit of sheen. I’ve had it in my kit forever, but right now I’m channeling a matte finish.
MAC Deep Truth – a beautiful dark navy. Because sometimes you need to take the electric down a level, to well, normal.
PS: What’s with the clothes in 80’s videos? Sweatshirts, singlets, a jumper that their nan knitted them – really it’s like most of them rolled out of bed that day and just pulled on whatever was in their washing pile. In the dark. The 80’s, truly the decade that style forgot.
So today is a red letter day for me – or rather yesterday was. I wore eye makeup. Um, what the what? I hear you ask? That’s not exciting, that’s just normal. Well maybe for all you lucky people out there with well behaved eyeballs, but for me over the last two years due to an auto immune disease I haven’t been able to wear it. As in, at all. As in one swipe of mascara, or eyeliner, and my eye feels like someone is scratching it with ground glass, and I want to rip it out. So for the last two years I have patiently sucked it up, put on more blush, made my skin as radiant as possible (thank you, Bobbi Brown BB Cream), and ensured that my eyebrows were groomed to within an inch of their lives. Apart from the odd foray into red lipstick, that’s been it. And just FYI, I look like an egg without eye makeup (pale and blonde, even my eyelashes are fair).
Until yesterday! That’s right, I have finally found an eye makeup I can wear. So all you sensitive souls who struggle with chemical additives in makeup and skincare need to listen closely. Neal’s Yard. It’s an English organic line that started with skincare (all the way back in 1981 when anyone who was into natural products was considered to be a total beardy weirdy), and they now have a makeup line. All of their makeup has been created using the finest natural ingredients, and most of it is so pure you could quite literally, eat it without having ill effects. Kay Montano sent me some of their eye makeup to try when I explained my egg-faced predicament, and hallelujah! It works. I used their Cocoa and Wild Plum eyeshadows mixed together, smudged along my lashlines and applied it wet at the roots of my lashes to make a non-irritating eyeliner. No mascara (we’re not there yet baby), but let me tell you, that little bit of eyeshadow made me feel transformed. I had eyes! That you could see! That are actually quite blue when I put eyeliner on! And it felt life changing.
So thank you Neal’s Yard for your lovely, edible (OK not really but it’s very reassuring to know you almost could), wonderful makeup that even the most sensitive of eyes can wear. And thank you Sisley, for your gorgeous Eau Micellaire liquid which has currently booted my Bioderma Crealine off my bathroom shelf (never thought that would happen, EVER), and took off every skerrick of eye makeup, without any eye irritation whatsoever.
Thank you Kay, for thinking of me and, as always, being the ultimate beauty resource.
And thank you to makeup in general for reminding me of the power that a lick of colour, a few strokes of powder can wield. That eyeshadow did a lot more than just bring out my eyes – it raised my spirits and gave me hope there is life after autoimmune.
Can we just talk for a minute about how FREAKING amazing these eyeshadows are? Let’s. (This is a makeup blog after all).
I can’t fault these, I love everything about them. There are four generous eyeshadows in each compact, and each colour is gorgeous in it’s own right, as well as a beautiful mix together. The other thing I love is that they have a mix of shimmer and matte in each compact which is perfect as when building a beautiful eye, that’s exactly what you want – matte to create the architecture and the shape, and shimmer to make it all sizzle and pop.
The texture of the shimmer shadows is exceptional as well – they are very similar to the MyFace Blingtones (another MM fave, as long-time readers will know). The line was actually created in consultation with über-makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury who also consulted on the development of the MyFace line, so you can see her influence in the Tom Ford shadows.
On a side note, Charlotte is working on her own line at present which will be released in September. She has also got a fabulous new website with lots of videos and Tips and Tricks which you should definitely have a look at, www.charlottetilbury.com.
Here’s Charlotte using the Tom Ford Eyeshadow quads on lovely Laura Bailey.
And back to Tom Ford! The Silvered Topaz quad has been in heavy rotation in my kit for a smoky eye as it’s just gorgeous – subtle and dreamy and oh so flattering. Even though I have hundreds of shadows in my kit and in my Vault, I still feel that I need more of these delicious goodies. They are very soft, buttery smooth, with an impeccable colour selection – although be warned – the shimmery ones can create fallout, probably my only gripe.
The quads come in about 10 different and lovely combos, ranging from blues to purples to gorgeous burgundies and an amazing collection of browns and coppers. The hardest bit is choosing which one to buy next.
I also love the Tom Ford packaging as it’s super lightweight which is perfect for makeup artists. It’s all about what’s inside, not the packaging that counts!
Another winner from Mr Ford’s makeup line. You’ve got yourself a fan-girl, sir.
Tom Ford is available from David Jones in Australia, Neiman Marcus in the US and Selfridges in the UK.
OK it’s official. Burberry can do no wrong in my eyes. They have new eye quads that are, in a word, divine. Buttery soft, smooth and the colour combinations are just perfection.
It comes housed in a sleek gunmetal case which I am THRILLED to say, is lighter than the single eyeshadows I own. Because if I had one gripe with Burberry Beauty, it was the weight of their beautiful products. For the lady at home carrying a lippy and a blush they would be OK (still heavy, but just about manageable). But if you’re a makeup artist and you have a stack of those bad boys you want to carry, it’s just death. And then you have to choose which ones to take on a job. And then it’s MORE death because they’re all so lovely, and you can’t choose. And then you have to hack them up with a pallet knife which makes you want to stick the palette knife in your eye because it’s so sacrilegious to hack up those gorgeous Burberry eyeshadows to put in teeny plastic cases so you can carry them all. Can you tell I’ve been there? More than once?
So now the packaging feels lighter, and Burberry have given you not one, but FOUR lovely shades to choose from. I have Mocha, which is rich, yummy golden browns (you know, the browns that are surprising hard to find in other ranges? Yeah, those). There is a cream, a golden brown, a nutmeg/caramel colour and a rich brown that’s perfect for lining eyes. These babies can go natural and nothing, or very, very glamorous. What I love about the Burberry shadows is they are matte but they still have a sheen to them, so they don’t look flat on the eye.
The eye quads are called the Compete Eye Palette and come in 6 different shade variations, ranging from Plum Pink to Smokey Grey. I for one will be needing more of these new lightweight! Burberry goodies.
And here’s a video which has very little to do with Burberry, except it’s the Burberry model, Cara Delevigne, rollerskating in an elf hat. Shot by Angelo Pennetta for Love magazine, I thought it was super cute. And it’s Christmas, and who doesn’t love rollerskating elves at Christmas? Especially ones as pretty as Cara Delevigne.
“She wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were her eyes…”
I couldn’t tell you why but for the last couple of months I have had two obsessions – deep blue eyeshadows, and David Lynch. Maybe it’s from being hypnotized by Isabella Rosellini’s performance in his extraordinary film Blue Velvet at an impressionable age (not to mention her blue eyeshadow in the movie!) or maybe it was my recent purchase of NARS Outremer cobalt eyeshadow that sparked my latest obsession. Whatever it is, it’s got me channeling Blue Velvet. Unfortunately the scene where Isabella Rossellini sings Blue Velvet has been deleted on YouTube for copyright reasons (SO annoying when that happens!), but this video gives you an idea of why I’m so inspired:
And these are the shadows I’ve found to give me the velvety blue goodness I’ve been after. Just to be clear, it’s not a baby blue, or a pastel blue (although Lord knows I dug up enough of them when I was rummaging in the makeup Vault for this story), it’s rich, decadent otherworldly blue eyeshadows, from inky navies to brighter sapphire shades. Here are my picks:
Tom Ford Cobalt Rush– Tom Ford shadows (here I’m going to wax lyrical again) are absolutely beautiful. Soft, buttery-smooth, pigmented and come in quads of four colours that are gorgeous individually or used together. Cobalt Rush is his quartet of blues with a navy, a teal, a shimmering white and a beautiful grey-blue. Like all Tom Ford products it’s sophisticated and luxe. Do be careful when applying though as I find there’s quite a bit of shimmer fall-out, but the finish is so beautiful it’s well worth it. Pop a tissue under the eye whilst you’re doing your eye makeup to catch any fall-out.
Revlon 16 Hour Shadow quad in Serenity – Sky blue, glittery black navy, pale blue and a surprise pale gold for a highlight (which is what I love about it) make up this quartet of lagoon lovelies. Revlon’s new shadow quads come in all the colours of the rainbow and give long-lasting, crease-proof wear.
NARS Outremer – This is the shadow that got me on the Blue Velvet tip. It’s a bright, beautiful deep blue that has to be seen to be believed. It’s not like any other colour I’ve seen and makes other blues look flat and – just not blue enough. NARS China Blue is another of my favourite ways to sing the blues.
MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow Trio in BellBottom Blues and Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadow in Pop Culture – I’ve been a fan of the MyFace Trio eyeshadows since they were released, and I love this new addition to my collection. A beautiful shimmering cobalt, a pale white-blue and a navy Blingtone make this indispensable in my kit.
MyFace also have new Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadows in gorgeous colour combos dreamed up by celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano. Pop Culture is a bright vivid blue and a chartreuse green, and these are great eyeshadows for makeup artists to have in their kit as the colours are lovely but ones that are quite hard to find. Plus there is the ever-attractive MyFace price point – they aren’t expensive compared to a lot of other similar products.
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Deep Night – I think this was my original navy shadow in my kit and one I still use to today. Just a beautiful, deep matte blue with a hint of black, so perfect for a smoky eye or for lining (if you’re so inclined). Her cake eyeliner in Bleu Marine is also gorgeous.
Chanel Eyeshadow Quad in Bleu Celestes – Ah Chanel I can’t do a job without you so it’s only fair I talk about my first blue eyeshadow quad that despite my plethora of other options, I can’t bear to part with. Bleu Celestes has a deep navy, grey-blue, a brighter blue and a shimmering white with that perfect Chanel finish that I can’t go past.
“You wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were your eyes…”