Category Archives: In my makeup kit

Only for your eyes: find out what I use in my makeup kit !

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

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.

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

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow

In My Makeup Kit: Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow

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).

If you want to go metal, go Stila.

Jerry Hall

Kate Moss Castaway

In My Makeup Kit: St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

I’m a little bit obsessed with fake tan lately. I realized recently that I never cover bronzers or tanners on MM. Not because I don’t like them (I love a gorgeous Capri glow as much as the next girl) and sorry to be rude, but it’s kind of boring to write about, don’t you think? Other people might disagree but until now there’s been nothing about bronzers that have inspired me to write a word. I couldn’t even rustle up a haiku on the subject. I have my old favourites and they come out when I need them and that’s it. Case closed.

Until I finally tried St Tropez tan, and now that my legs look –well a little bit more Gisele like than they did a few hours ago, I’ve got to tell you, St Tropez is kind of amazing.

It’s super easy to use, for a start. They even have YouTube videos to help you if you’re not sure about applying it. And I used the also bloody amazing Le Tan application mitt (I think St Trop have one of those too, but mine is Le Tan). It immediately solves the horrible streaky orange tell–tale palms problem which is what I remember usually puts me off self-tanning. So armed with my glove, it’s just a couple of pumps of mousse onto it, and you rub it in. Evenly. And that’s it. Wait a couple of minutes – so none of that needing half an hour to walk around stark naked to let it dry business. Hello 1985 called, thank God those days are over! – and you’re ready to roll. Bronzed goddess indeed.

And best of all, no funky monkey smell. It has a light, pleasant scent that doesn’t waft around screaming look at my newly fake tanned legs! On shoots it’s a godsend as I can do a super fast tan on a model before we start shooting, and then I don’t have to spend my day marinating her in MAC Face and Body Foundation, which is a great, great product and my go-to for body makeup but if you don’t have to spend your day in the sand slathering that on, it’s better, no?

So if you want to tan like Gisele, St Tropez is your best bet. To get her body you’re on your own though.

sttropeztan.com

Gisele Bundchen Paris Vogue

liquid-gold

In My Makeup Kit: Liquid Gold

So these days I’m a little bit married to my skincare favourites – it takes quite a bit for a new entrant to muscle its way into my makeup kit. You have to test it, first on yourself, then on a few shoots, then on a few more and most of the time they don’t make the final cut.

Not so Alpha H’s Liquid Gold, which I’ve been using more and more lately. It’s a liquid glycolic acid skin polisher, which I’m starting to swear by as part of my skin prep on jobs. I first came across it some time ago through the UK makeup artist Kenneth Soh

Models always look like they have amazing skin, don’t they? Well I’ll tell you a secret – they often don’t. That’s what makeup is for! Quite often models have the same skin concerns that the rest of us do – spots, hormonal breakouts, hyper pigmentation, excessive oiliness, excessive dryness, rosacea – you name it, makeup artists have to deal with it. One of the trickiest things is when a model doesn’t take good care of her skin and it’s all weirdly dry yet congested, and a big part of the problem is that just don’t exfoliate enough.

Before Liquid Gold I’d use a YSL or a Dermalogica scrub – I’m talking a full facial with hot water, applying the product, buffing it off and then clearing all the product off to leave baby soft skin beneath. This works really well but does take quite awhile, which so often you don’t have on a hectic day’s shoot. Now I keep a bottle of Liquid Gold in my skincare bag, and actually pretty much everyone who sits in my chair these days is getting a quick buff over with it on a cotton pad. It takes off the dead skin cells, leaving the nice juicy new skin cells ready for makeup. And yes, it gives you THAT glow.

So skincare bags get ready, there’s a new product in town.

 www.alpha-h.com

alpha-h-liquid-gold

Reese Witherspoon

In My Makeup Kit: Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

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.

And did I mention they’re gluten-free?

 lauramercier.com

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks