Now that summer is drawing to a close (and I spent an indecently decadent summer holiday lounging pool-side in the South of France), it’s time to start thinking about la rentrée (which is what the French call the return to school and work in September).
I’m thinking of clothes for the cooler months and also makeup looks that can work from Fall to winter and into the Christmas season which will be on us before you know it. So this season Burberry’s makeup look went off-piste – over to the glitter side, to be exact. With glam-rock influences, Burberry Beauty Creative Consultant (and mega makeup artist) Wendy Rowe added some sparkle and shine to a traditional smoky eye.
Long time MM readers will know that I love Burberry makeup, AND I love glitter so this particular new iteration of the Burberry Beauty brand was always going to be right up my alley.
I’m ALWAYS testing out new mascaras, constantly searching for that new favourite that outperforms all the rest. After a few duds (namely Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Lash – not a fan, and Lancôme’s Grandiôse, which quickly became Lancôme Crunchy Lash, although I did love it to start off with) I have finally hit the jackpot with MAC’s Haute and Naughty mascara.
This one has been around for awhile, and I’d heard around the makeup traps that it was great. I just hadn’t got around to trying it (so many mascaras, so little time!) but now that I have, I’m hooked.
Why is it so amazing? It has not one but two fabulous brushes, so you have a brush for the upper AND lower lashes. It also dispenses just the right amount of product so you get full lashes very rapidly without a complete overload of mascara. When you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for blotches or fiddling around combing out the lashes, this is the one to reach for.
The large main brush gives you fluttery, full volumised lashes in a couple of strokes, but the piece de resistance is the small brush, hidden in the cap. This allows you to coat all the lower lashes from root to tip with the utmost precision. Years ago I used to have a Maybelline one called Lash Discovery for the lower lashes but I’ve not seen that anywhere for ages, so I’m pretty happy to have MAC Haute and Naughty as a replacement. So if you like lashes that can go from basic to bombshell in two seconds, this is the mascara for you!
We had such a lovely team to shoot main fashion for the South China Morning Post’s magazine, Destination Macau. It was all floaty, dreamy dresses and sheeny skin with a glossy eye. Our gorgeous German model Isabelle Sauer made for a very easy day at work for me as she had heavenly skin and moved like a dream. This was the shoot I fell back in love with Gucci as their collection was just so beautiful – dresses with swans, yes please!
I know beauty blogs don’t generally have extracts from kid’s TV shows (but if you wanted a regular beauty blog you wouldn’t be reading MakeupMole!)
I absolutely love this super-cute video of Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o speaking to Sesame Street’s Elmo about skin. What skin’s purpose is, and how important it is to love the skin you’re in. Such an important message and one I have been thinking about often since arriving back in London. In London the model scene has expanded exponentially in the time I was away – so many new agencies and exciting new faces, and I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few in my chair recently.
From the palest Irish boys with milky skin and wind-chapped cheeks, to the delightfully freckled and naturally red-afro’d model Coral Kwayie at Nevs Models – she is half Ghanian and half Scottish, hence that amazing colouring – there are so many incredible faces here from all around the world.
Recently I’ve loved doing beauty shoots with girls with skin like honeyed amber, and fashion shoots with boys with the darkest, most beautiful skin. We all don’t look the same, thank God, and now fashion seems to be finally embracing this. The makeup companies are also following suit, introducing deeper and more inclusive shade ranges of their foundations and concealers for all skin tones. From Clinique and Lancôme to L’Oréal and Sleek at the drugstore, darker skin and mixed race skin tones are finally getting a lot more choices at the makeup counter. My favourite go-to brands that cover all skin tones (and have done for years), are Bobbi Brown, Illamasqua, Becca and NARS.
Lupita and Elmo – what a combo, and what a message. Beauty via Sesame Street. Who knew?
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.*