Category Archives: In my makeup kit

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

Sigma Brush

In My Kit: Sigma Foundation Brush

Sorry for the quiet time y’all – I’ve been sunning myself on holidays! Now I’m back and have spent the last few days sorting out my kit and the makeup Vault (which was an out of control mess) and ready to get back into it.

Onto the Big News: I have a new brush. There, I said it. She’s a beauty as well and is already proving a winner (and a life-saver) on shoots. It’s the Sigma Flat Kabuki –F80 brush.

Let me preface this by saying I haven’t had a new brush in a few years now. I have plenty of backups at home if I lose one on a shoot (which does sometimes happen, and the worst are the shows. I want my brushes strapped to me with individual alarms during the shows since in all the chaos it’s easy for ‘things to happen’ to them. Including light-fingered individuals, but let’s not talk about them shall we?) and I thought my brush-acquiring days were pretty much over. But I got a chance recently to try some Sigma brushes as they are now available in Australia online, through the Aussie beauty site www.redefiningbeauty.com.au

I’d heard a lot about Sigma brushes before – makeup artist friends raving, etc, but I had yet to try them. First off, they are super, super soft (which we love), and the range is very extensive. I was really happy to have the Flat Kabuki the other day on a shoot as the brief was very pale, 80’s foundation. This is not a look I bust out every day and strong foundation has to be handled carefully so it still looks real, and not like you’ve put pancake batter on the face. The Kabuki brush was absolutely perfect for buffing the foundation once it was applied, and gave a lovely, even finish.

It’s not like any other brush I own as it’s a very densely packed brush with a flat head, that allows you to swirl and buff the base into the skin without leaving streaks, even when you’re piling that foundation on like you’re doing a Kardashian wedding.  And it’s synthetic, an extra bonus for those who like their brushes cruelty-free.

PS  – Please don’t buy brushes off eBay. I know it can seem like a great way to get a bunch of brushes SO MUCH CHEAPER, but you have no idea where those brushes have come from. And I can tell you right now that the cheap fur trade around the world relies heavily on cat and dog fur. So if you don’t want to apply your blusher with Fido or Fluffy, buy your brushes through the reputable brands and sites.

Sigma brushes are now available locally in Australia through www.redefiningbeauty.com.au

 

 

Keira Knightley wearing Chanel

In My Kit – Chanel New Moon

In My Head – The Soundtrack to ‘Babe’

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.

Emma Stone Revlon

In My Kit – Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm and Lacquer Balm

OMG OMG OMG, yum yum yum. That’s what I have to say about Revlon’s two newest lip offerings, Color Burst Matte Balm and ColorBurst Lacquer Balm.

These are delicious jumbo lip crayons that are so quick and simple and come in a great range of colours, and you can so easily toss them in your handbag (like I have – I currently have about 4 of them in mine). Plus the Matte Balms in particular will be going in my kit as they provide a phenomenal base for a statement lip.

Let’s talk about the Matte Balms first. I have to confess that these are my favourite. They have great pigmentation yet feel very light on the lips, and they’re creamy and a cinch to apply. They have a wind-up bottom for when you need more of that good stuff, and they’re also fantastic just as stain. I would recommend putting a lip balm underneath as they are matte, so if you have dry lips you might find them a bit drying. I also love that they contain natural emollients such as Shea butter, Mango and Coconut butter, (much nicer than putting petroleum on your lips – isn’t that a gross thought?)

There are ten shades to choose from with lots of yummy brights which a) makes me happy and b) is perfect for my kit as I’ve been getting bored with some of my old bright lip colours lately. I have discovered that if you were that way inclined, you could even layer the Matte Balm with the Lacquer on top for a real full-finish lipstick. Be warned though, they do have a minty smell and taste. I prefer my lip products unscented and taste-free, but even I can handle it, and I’m quite picky on such things.  They’re so great they’re worth it. (Ooops, I think I stole someone’s slogan!)

I’m particularly enamoured of the Matte Balm in Mischevious which is a lovely coral colour, Standout which is a deep raisin-berry and (let me dig in my handbag for the ones I’m carting around) and Unapologetic which is a bright raspberry. The nude in Complex looks quite interesting as well, so that needs to go in my kit too. For deeper skin tones there’s an incredible grape colour called Shameless, which will also be fabulous for editorial shoots. I’m kind of obsessed with this one. In. It. Goes.

Then the ColorBurst Lacquer Balms are also gorgeous with more of a sheer glossy finish. The Lacquer Balms have some beautiful pink colours with the bright fuchsia tones of Vivacious and Flirtatious (these really made me think of Revlon’s spokesmodel Emma Stone who stars in the ad campaign), and Coquette, a sweet blue-based baby pink, which is one of the personal ones I have kicking around in my handbag.

Both the Matte and the Lacquer Balms have buildable colour so you can go quite sheer or build it up and layer it with other products (I’m a natural born layer-er-er – yes I know that’s not a word, but it should be!) so if you’re looking for me, I’ll be busy in my lip kit.

 www.revlon.com

Tom Ford Color Quad

In My Kit – Tom Ford Eye Colour Quads

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.

Miranda Kerr

In My Kit: RMS Un Cover-up Concealer

I’ve blogged recently about how sensitive my eyes are now. As in, a great day is when I can wear hypo-allergenic eyeshadow as a liner! Wooh! Party patrol – push that makeup boat out.

So as seeing as my eyes are now special needs, I’m trying to reduce the chemical exposure on everything that goes near my eyes – including my personal concealer.

Which has led me to RMS Un Cover-up concealer. RMS is the brain-child of celebrity makeup artist, Rose-Marie Swift. After having some personal health issues a few years ago, she discovered that her blood contained high level of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, many of which can be found in cosmetics. She realized she could use her in-depth makeup knowledge to create a better, non-toxic version. And thus, a brand was born.

I’d heard great things about her products before and I know Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr is a big fan of her whole range (Rose-Marie is her go-to makeup artist in NY.)

The concealer which you can get from Cult Beauty (WARNING! This is a very dangerous site. May lead to losing hours off your life browsing and significant amounts off your credit card. You will emerge prettier though).

The concealer is lovely and dense, so It covers well, definitely better than other organic and natural concealers I have tried. Even though its texture is dense it still melts into the skin so it doesn’t look cakey or masky – even in the delicate under eye area. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt your eyes, which some of my other non-natural concealers do when my eyes are bad. And let’s face it, when your eyes already look like you could be auditioning as an extra in Watershoip Down, they don’t need to feel like you’re surrounding them with toxic waste, let me tell you.

It comes in a beautiful glass pot which is great for real life when it lives on your dressing table, not so great for makeup artists who have to carry a chunk of glass around (although I have the solution to that one – Decant, baby, decant. Or you will look like the HunchBack of Notre Dame by the time you’re 30 lugging all that makeup around).

Its moisturizing (but not nastily shiny) texture comes from its natural ingredients including raw coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil and jojoba oil.

There are lots of other products from the RMS line that I’m now keen to try – love the look of the luminzers, and the eyeshadows look like a good option for my poor makeup-resistant peepers. Maybe I am allowed to visit Cult beauty again – just this once?

www.cultbeauty.co.uk

Chanel Les Beiges

In My Kit: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Powder

When you’re a makeup artist, every now and then it’s time to give your kit a good clear-out and find room for some of the beautiful new products (and colours, and textures) that have been released recently. I say “clear-out” because if you just keep adding new collections to your standard “can’t do without it” kit, pretty soon you’re overloaded like a pack horse on a trip across the Andes – and that way lies certain injury and then many, many Pilates classes and physio to correct it.

So I’ve just been stockpiling my new goodies for the season until I had a day off and could sort everything out, weeding out the colours from last season and stuff I haven’t been using, and making room for some new lip palettes, some re-organised cream blush palettes, NEW eye colours (Tom Ford anyone?), and le piece de resistance, my new set of Chanel Les Beiges powder.

Let’s just preface that by saying I haven’t carried pressed powder since about 2007. I found it was extra weight in my kit when translucent loose powder would do just as well, and in addition I find most coloured pressed powders tend to cling to the skin and provide an extra layer of coverage that you don’t want. At worst the finish can look heavy and granny, at best they were extra pieces of glass and plastic and powder that I was carrying around in an overloaded kit. So when I got the chance to try the new Chanel Les Beiges Healthy powder, I was a bit dubious since every coloured pressed powder I had so far tried, I hadn’t much liked as they added colour throughout the day when you re-apply on set (there are probably others that don’t but I haven’t tried them).

Les Beiges is bloody fantastique – I like to call it ‘Complexion Perfection’. I have been using it on myself religiously for the last couple of months and it’s bumped every powder I own off the charts. I now have a full set to put in my kit so I will be able to powder, contour and provide VERY soft bronzing to pretty much any client I come across.

It’s hard to describe, as it’s just not like anything else I have ever tried. It provides a very soft focus finish to the skin yet eliminates any greasy finish or oily look to the skin with a very minimal application. Even if you grab the first brush you can find and really swipe it on, it doesn’t seem to overload and get powdery. You can EVEN (gasp) use the brush that Chanel have provided with it, and swipe it on with that and you get a perfect finish, every time. Also it seems to last hours and just make your skin look exactly the right level of radiance – not dewy or shiny, but perfectly healthy. You can re-apply during the day without the colour building and making you look like something out of Miami Vice, but most days I don’t find it necessary to re-apply.

You can use the deeper colours as a contour. It’s PERFECT as a soft and very natural bronzer for the very fair complected as it’s sort of peachy and not terracotta or orangey-bronze, and it’s not shimmery. I’ve been testing this for ages and ages (easily two months) as I just wanted to make sure that I was right, and it is actually that amazing. I’ve been telling all my clients about it and all I can say is it’s pretty much changed my powder life.

Now I just need to get it in my kit…

Australian readers will be happy to know that Chanel Les Beiges will be on-counter at David Jones, Myer and Chanel boutiques from today.

Revlon super lustrous

In My Kit: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks

Revlon you naughty minx you – you just keep on bringing out new and lovely products I have to find room for in my kit.

I’ve only recently had a kit clean out and made space for your Just Bitten lip stains and the Lip Butters (pretty much all of them), and now you have revamped your Super Lustrous lipsticks, and I’ll be needing space for those as well!

These are gorgeous. They are moisturizing, go on like a dream and are nice and pigmented. For those of you who think you need to buy NARS or Chanel or Dior to get a great lipstick, think again. These are right up there with the more expensive ones. I also like the comprehensive shade selection, which runs the gamut from bright fuchsia to amazing reds to early 60’s pinks (that will be coming out to play in an upcoming beauty shoot) and rich wines and berries, perfect for the cooler weather.

The lipsticks come in 48 colours,in Australia and with lovely actress Emma Stone (my new girl crush) as the spokesmodel, I’m totally sold. Although I am cross that they have just bought out ANOTHER range of fab lipsticks called Colorstay Ultimate Suede that I have yet to try but word from the blogosphere is they are ace. At this rate I’m going to need a Segway just to carry my lipsticks!

www.revlon.com

 

Angelica Huston

In My Kit: Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara OR No More Trash Lash

Let’s talk about lashes shall we? Or more specifically, how to get gorgeous lashes. I haven’t tried an amazing new mascara for awhile. I’ve tested out a few, but they’ve all been
Meh
Next
Gloop city
Nothing to write home about
And I’m certainly not going to waste valuable blog time on those.

What I can tell you is the only one I have tried of late that I actually like, is Clinique’s new High Impact Extreme Volume mascara (or HIEV for short). It does not disappoint. Clinique are justly famed for their mascaras, and this new one is no exception.

It has a lovely big brush to allow you to coat the lashes quickly and easily. It’s got quite a thin formula which I like as you can do multiple coats and build it, and it doesn’t get crunchy. Thus you can go from au naturel in the day to va va voom in the evening with the same product. It won’t give what I call Trash Lash, where your lashes all start to stick together in unattractive, cheap and nasty looking clumps.

Sometimes when shooting beauty or editorial I do love a big, beautiful clumpy Trash Lash, as modeled by the inimitable Anjelica Huston here. However for real life, this is a lash that looks like you had too many drinks the night before and just couldn’t get it together at the bathroom mirror the next day. Sometimes this is so, in which case I hope you had fun, but sometimes it’s your mascara making life harder than it is. Clinique’s HIEV quite simply won’t let this happen. Unless you want to channel Angelica in all her 70’s Trash Lash fabulousness.

www.clinique.com.au