Category Archives: Right Now

Thandie Newton and Kay Montano

Right Now: Thandie and Kay’s ‘Honest Beauty’ series

I’m loving this exclusive new beauty series on Net-a-Porter’s The Edit from celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano and gorgeous actress Thandie Newton. Since Sunday was International Women’s Day, what better way to celebrate it than with a couple of the coolest feminists I know?

Net-a-Porter is obviously the most gorgeous fashion site on the internet, and The Edit is their online weekly fashion magazine. (Can we also please talk about the ridiculously amazing Porter magazine for a moment? It’s currently the most beautiful fashion magazine in the world, to my mind. It’s the only magazine I buy in hard physical form anymore, as all my regular subscriptions I now buy on the iPad. My bookshelves are positively groaning under the weight of ancient Numeros and Paris Vogues, and there came a time when I had to go digital. Possibly the time when my husband said he would divorce me if he had to move five massive bookshelves full of magazines again? It might have been around then.) There’s just something about Porter magazine – every shoot and every page is consistently so beautiful that I just can’t resist it. But I digress!

Kay Montano and Thandie Newton are not only close friends, they have worked together for many years and Kay has been responsible for many of Thandie’s greatest makeup hits on the red carpet over the years. Thandie is no slouch in the makeup department when left Kay-less however, busting out a gorgeous prune smoky eye on her own for the Oscars a couple of weeks ago. So between them, what they don’t know about makeup basically isn’t worth knowing. They have made a new series of films for Net-a Porter’s The Edit to demystify and reveal the truth about creating beauty perfection.

From assisting Kay I know both of them well enough to say that I can’t think of two better women to empower you through makeup – brilliantly intelligent, erudite, funny, and they really do believe in female empowerment, whether it’s through makeup or loftier ways.

Since they know as much about concealer as Stephen Hawking knows about particle acceleration (although not sure how they’d feel about being called ‘The Stephen Hawkings of makeup’?) they can seriously teach you a thing or two. Plus it’s a great excuse to log onto Net-a-Porter’s beauty section and see what’s new. You know you’re always going to find some tasty beauty treats when they have brands like Hourglass, Chantecaille, RMS Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Ellis Faas and now Illamasqua on their beauty roster.


You must also check out Thandie and Kay’s brilliant blog, Thandiekay.com. This week’s post is a look at the current increase in diversity on the catwalk and the best beauty read I’ve had in awhile.

Right Now: Changing of the Guard

It’s the beginning of a new year, which can only mean one thing – you thought I was going to say “Detox Time” or “New Year New You” or some such, didn’t you? No – it means new cosmetics contracts for some of my favourite makeup artists! It’s always good to see some new blood coming into the brands – different artists bring different perspectives and create more products for us to love in the coming year. I don’t know about you but my kit could do with a few new colours and formulas.

Andrew Gallimore is the new UK Brand Ambassador for NARS

Andrew Gallimore

I was thrilled to see that London makeup artist, Andrew Gallimore, has just signed a contract with NARS and will be their UK Makeup Artist Ambassador. Andrew is an extraordinary makeup artist (his new makeup book with Rankin came out a month or so ago, and it really is incredible).

I was lucky enough to assist him in London for awhile and he’s not only a fabulous artist, he’s just an all round bloody lovely guy. Funny, charming, very calm and one of the most creative makeup artists I know, so I was always thrilled to assist him – you never knew what the day would bring!

And I think we all know by now how I feel about NARS – always a staple in my kit it has consistently amazing colours and is constantly innovating new concepts and formulas. Whether you want to do a totally tonal nude-on-nude makeup or a full-on Studio 54 extravaganza, NARS can take you there.

 

Lisa Eldridge is the Creative Director at Lancôme

Lisa Eldridge

Starting the new year off with a bang, lovely London makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has been signed by Lancôme as the their new Creative Director. With previous contracts at No 7 and Chanel under her belt and a global audience of fans who adore her weekly YouTube tutorials, Lisa is a great choice for Lancôme.

Lancôme first started their “celebrity’ makeup artist Creative Directors with Gucci Westman a few years ago, (she’s now at Revlon), followed by the wonderful Aaron de Mey (now Creative Director at Sephora). Given I’ve been loving some of the new Lancôme products I’ve been using recently (Flash Bronzer and the Rouge in Love lipsticks, anyone?), I can’t wait to see what Lisa and Lancôme come up with.

Florrie White – UK Colour Artist for Clinique

Florrie-white-1-Vogue-27aug14-PR_b_426x639

This happened late last year but with all the kerfuffle with my house move I didn’t get time to tell you. Florrie is another fantastic artist I used to assist in London and her polished, perfect editorial has to be seen to be believed.

As well as being a Vogue regular she’s been working more and more of late with celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alexa Chung and on the global press film circuit with Rosamund Pike and Emily Blunt. (In fact, she just did Rosamund Pike’s makeup at this week’s BAFTA Awards in London). She’ll be a wonderful brand ambassador for Clinique as Florrie has an instinctive understanding of what makes a woman look beautiful, and a cool London sensibility honed by many years in the fashion trenches.

Clinique is probably the first brand I got massively into as a teenager – that 3-step system! – and I almost overdosed on their mint green and silver packaging back in the day. I’m still a regular user of their Airbrush Concealer, the Glossy mascara, and I love their lipsticks and blushes. The colours are flattering and wearable and their new Chubby Stick range is amazing.

So keep an eye on these brands – they’ll probably be the next ones with things you covet for your kit.

Anja Rubik

Right Now: Postcards from Paradise

Happy New Year, y’all! I’m so pleased it’s 2015 – I love a bright, shiny new year full of exciting possibilities. I’m writing this from the beach. You might think I’m lucky enough to have scored a Caribbean vacation for my Christmas present, but no! My Christmas present was I moved across from the beach. Although at the time moving before Christmas seemed like really bad timing, now we’re here and it’s summer in Sydney and it really is like Paradise.

So apologies for the lack of posts towards the end of last year – a perfect storm of work, packing, moving and Christmas plus the end of the school year for my son meant that MM HQ (and my brain) was shut down early.

However! I’m now beauty blogging literally from the sand, so I thought I would give you a round-up of my favourite new beach products I’ve been testing over the holidays. So with sandy toes and a happy heart, I give you my picks from Paradise:

Lancome Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Face Gel - This is sunshine in a bottle. It gives a perfect, subtle facial tan that is ideal to boost your face colour to match it to your body when you’ve been on the Tan Train every day like me at present. It smells divine and gives you just the right shade of bronze to make you feel like a Victoria’s Secret Swim girl, without veering into Oompa Looma territory. And for those readers who are currently swaddled in jumpers in the Northern hemisphere, it will give you the kiss of life your skin (I’m sorry to say) probably urgently needs right now.

EVOHE Repair Intensive Cream – this 100% natural moisturizer has been soothing my sun-parched skin after a long day at the beach. I know as a makeup artist I’m supposed to say to avoid the sun like the plague, but I have to tell you I’ve been a real sun bunny since the move. I even confess I’ve had a touch of sunburn some afternoons after an extended play in the waves, so this soothing Australian-made cream has anti-inflammatory properties and a big moisture boost for when I’ve just had too much sun exposure (ahem).

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Sparkle in Smoky Topaz – I love this cream shadow/liner for a hazy wash of taupe that’s like your lids, but better. You can use it as a liner or a shadow and it really is budge-proof. Perfect for when you want a little something a la plage without looking like you’re trying too hard. (Because if you can’t relax at the beach, when can you?)

YSL Babydoll Kiss and Blush in #7 Corail Affranch is the perfect toss in your beach bag blush. First off, it has a tiny hint of shimmer to make you look magically alive, the coral works perfectly with your new tan (thanks to your new Lancome Flash Bronzer), and it doubles as a sheer lip stain as well.

Revlon ColorStay Waterproof Eyebrow Liner in BlondeThis season, it’s still all about the brows, and being at the beach is no excuse for scrubby, scrappy eyebrows. I’ve been using the Blonde version of this all through summer to shape my brows. I love it because it’s waterproof so it holds up in the heat and humidity and even through the odd swim, and it has a little spooly brush at one end so it’s perfect to throw in your makeup bag if you need on the go touch ups. The colour is good (although I would like it even more if it was half a shade more to the grey side, as I do prefer ashy colours in brows. It can all get a bit Bozo the Clown if the shades are too warm). However the formula is SO GOOD that I can forgive the slightly russet tone.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray – ah Bumble and Bumble, where would my hair be with you? Stuck in an 80’s metal band, that’s where. This is pretty much the only range I use in my kit and on myself as their products are good enough for amazing hairdressers (like Neil Moodie and James Pecis, who use them on the shows every season), and simple enough for non-hairdressers like myself to get great results from. This spray mimics the feel of your hair when it’s just out of the surf, without the sand, crunchy bits, stringy sections or nasty flat centre part you get when you actually do emerge out of the surf. Spray it in to wet or dry hair and you have instant, beach textured amazing hair.

It’s the right version of natural – the beach Paradise version.

Isabeli Fontana showing us her Copcabana-girl glow.

Sephora Sydney

Right Now: Sephora Opens its First Australian Store in Sydney – TODAY!

Sephora is here! I never thought I would live to see that day that the beauty giant Sephora (owned by the luxury fashion and beauty juggernaut, LVMH), arrived in Australia. Its doors opened this morning and it’s pretty safe to say it will be packed with beauty-hungry shoppers up until Christmas, (and after, if I know my fellow citizens well).

It carries many brands we haven’t had in Australia before, and in fact many amazing brands I used to stock up on when overseas, like Tarte, and Make Up For Ever. I’m also eager to try out Marc Jacobs new line (overseen by the watchful creative eyes of MM fave, global makeup artist Diane Kendal), and the new organic range, Bite Beauty. They also have Sephora’s own range of brushes and makeup, and I can tell you right now it’s the perfect way to re-stock your brushes and bits and pieces like sponges, tweezers and nail things.

Check out Diane Kendal in this video showing you the Marc Jacobs Smoky Vamp look (as featured on the extraordinary first Marc Jacobs Beauty campaign image with the lovely Edie Campbell). I know where my Christmas present money is going…

 

MAC Nail Transformations

Right Now: Marian Newman and MAC Nail Transformations

I’m loving these new nail topcoats from MAC, in collaboration with mega manicurist Marian Newman. Marian is arguably one of the world’s top nail technicians with over 50 British Vogue covers under her belt, and given that her career before becoming a top manicurist was as a forensic scientist, the precision and perfection of her work has to be seen to be believed.

Marian would quite often be booked on the same shoots as Kay Montano when I was assisting Kay, and I used to love chatting to her as she was so lovely and fun to be around. She gets booked for countless celebs (from Keira Knightley to Lady Gaga) and runway shows in the dozens from Valentino to Givenchy. I remember one Vanity Fair shoot with Miles Aldridge shooting English actress Gemma Arterton, she very kindly chatted to me for ages about the best nude nails – and I still have the polishes she gave me from her kit. How lovely is that?

When MAC asked her to create a collection, Marian wanted to make it something exciting, that could expand on your existing nail wardrobe and create a myriad of looks. Check out the video below for all the different finishes:

www.mariannewmannails.com
www.maccosmetics.com

Glitter eye makeup

Right Now: Glitter. Ball.

And so it transpires that I have a few beauty shoots coming up that involve the use of glitter. I hope lots of it, as I’ve always loved it – it’s the ultimate in trashy, disco, crazy makeup.  To get ready, I’ve been diving into my glitter bag which has been quite neglected for a few seasons. I have glitters I have collected over the years from all around the world – from little makeup shops in Paris and Ricky’s in New York, through to some lovely Fardels and Kryolans  and StarGazer glitter from Screenface and Charles Fox in London. MAC also do a very delicious glitter selection, including some incredible neons that I’m just itching to use in the near future.

I like to have glitter of different gauges so you can play around with the different sizes, and mixing colours in one look is beautiful as well. Also I have to say that whilst I do love the glitter from makeup brands, it’s bloody expensive for what it is. Don’t forget your local craft shop or even newsagent (I’ve found awesome glitters in the kids’ craft sections of the dodgiest local joints you can imagine. You never know where you’re going to find a great glitter!)

Gold and silver are of course essentials in your glitter kit, but don’t forget bright colours that can be a beautiful addition to a smoky eye, or punctuate a lashline to make every blink a party.

I recommend doing the glitter first before diving into the rest of the makeup as clean up with glitter is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a bitch. I keep makeup or baby wipes, cotton buds, a clean makeup brush to brush off any excess and a clean eyebrow spooly brush at the ready. The spooly brush is amazing for lifting up tiny, stubborn individual glitter specks from the skin. Once you’ve done your eyes, you can clean up with ease and then do your foundation. Also keep in mind, you need to use a cream texture on the eyelid to give the glitter a surface to adhere to. This could be a cream shadow, MAC Mixing Medium or good old Vaseline. You can even use water in a pinch.

And storage of glitter in your kit is easy – it needs to be treated (in the wise words of Kay Montano) as “toxic waste”.  Don’t EVER keep your glitter pots rattling around with the rest of your makeup, as the lid will work itself loose and you will find yourself pulling glitter chunks out of your kit for the next ten years.

True story – I was doing some glitter experiments a few years ago and fiddling with some blue glitter, and the doorbell rang. Oh, the postman. And I’m signing for a letter only to see A BLUE PIECE OF THE GLITTER I WAS USING ON HIS FACE. God knows how it got there – it’s like asbestos, radium and nuclear waste all rolled into one and should be treated accordingly.

I decant my glitters but I then double bag them in small plastic sandwich bags (these are one of the greatest secrets of the Universe for makeup transportation), and then seal them all in a separate plastic makeup bag. I don’t take them on every job either, just when I think they might come out to play. One, it saves you weight and space in your kit, and two it saves the lids working themselves off en-route and ending up on everything, only for you to be picking glitter off every model you work on for the next decade. No thanks.

Glitter is like a little piece of heaven and pixie dust and magic, and like magic it wants to be free. So use it with abandon, use it with joy, but then seal that sucker up and for the love of God don’t let it escape.

blue and pink glitter