I’ve been very naughty – I’ve been using this for nearly a YEAR without telling you about it. In fact, I’ve nearly finished the tube and I haven’t said a word. Let’s just say it’s a very rare thing for me to finish a foundation – I always switch them out for whatever new one I happen to be testing. But this one – I just keep going back to it.
The finish is perfect – it’s like a souped up tinted moisturizer. It melts into the skin, eradicating any redness or discoloration that you might have. It never looks masky and it has just the right amount of glow to look like – well, like nothing at all. Like Mother Nature really, really likes you.
I love the practical black tube which you can toss in your handbag or kit, and for a BB cream it comes in a decent range of shades – 9 in total. Like all BB foundations it covers the skin spectrum from alabaster to mahogany. (One of the many reasons I do love her range of makeup so).
I was super skeptical of BB creams when they first came out, which is why I was so late to that party – they seemed to me like a cynical rebranding of tinted moisturisers. I’m always a bit wary of new products that get released as there is a fair amount of Emperor’s New Clothes that goes into makeup. New! Shiny! Fantastic! Exactly like something that came out four years ago that we’re hoping you’ve forgotten about! Plus the first BB creams that I tried only came in about two colours – fantastic for the two people who happen to come in those shades! The rest of us? In the too hard basket.
That is, until I tried the Bobbi Brown BB Cream for a foundation article I was writing, and I was sold, hook line and sinker. These *MAY* even make it into my kit when I do a foundation reorganize. You never know your luck in the big city.
When the weather in the Northern hemisphere starts warming up, and the beach (or at least a patch of green grass in the park) starts beckoning, I know it’s time to start switching up my makeup routine. It’s almost instinctive – powders start feeling goopy and heavy, your skin wants lighter products (with sunscreen!) and you don’t feel like spending lots of time getting ready. In summer let’s face it, everyone generally looks better with a flush of healthy colour.
With that in mind, I love cream products as they are fast, portable, can be dabbed on with a finger and let your natural glow come through. For me in summer, it’s all about cream blushes and bronzers. Here are my picks of the season:
Stila Convertible Colour – these are the prettiest flush you will find in a compact. I carry about 8 in my kit on every makeup job, and pat them on to the apple of the cheek either with my fingers, or with a sponge. You can also blend in with a brush, and my favourite for this is the MAC 187 large duofibre blending brush.
Paul & Joe Creamy Cheek in 03 – this is it, this is the one that I’m personally wearing all summer long. Deceptively pale in its sweet Art-deco inspired pink packaging, it can be built to a gorgeous flush of colour with a subtle shimmer that makes you look uber-healthy.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge – These come in a gorgeous chunky pot and really can be used on lips and cheeks. I love Calypso Coral for a punchy flush of colour and Summer Tan for a monochromatic bronze effect.
NARS Multiples– yes, every one raves about these because they are amazing. The shimmery bronze-y shades are my favourite, and I mix and match St Barts, South Beach and Palm Beach depending on the models’ skin tone. You can also add Malibu or Riviera on the apples of the cheek (if you felt like taking a walk on the wild side.)
Chanel Bronze Universel – a big, chunky beautiful pot of caramel bronze goodness with a hint of shimmer – just enough to look like skin, that you buff in with a big brush. Such a perfect start to the day as well – dipping into a big pot with the double C’s on top.
Becca – juicy, sweet little pans of blush in punchy, unusual colours like Hyacinth, Turkish Rose and Amaryllis. I keep a good selection on hand at all times, and it is equally sweet on lips. This is a lovely range for the summer months as no-one does flattering, natural, juicy summer colours like an Aussie brand, and this one definitely fits the bill.
These are just a few of my favourite cream blushes – The other lovely thing about cream blushes is you can layer them under your powder blush or bronzer to create a new, more longer lasting blush colour. Because cream blush, like summer, will fade. But the memory of it lingers on.
I absolutely love this lip colour at the moment – it’s the perfect ‘Your Lips But Better’ colour that I’m always obsessed with finding at MM HQ. You would think it would be an easy thing to find, lipstick that is just the shade you want your lips to be, but it’s harder than it would seem. This is a gorgeous wine colour that apparently was inspired by Bobbi Brown’s ski trip to Telluride, and the colour that the skiiers’ lips would be after swishing down a mountain. It’s neither warm nor cool so it suits every complexion I’ve tried it on at work, and it doesn’t go brown or muddy as some wine or natural lip colours do (hello 90’s dead person brown, no thank you).
You can start with a gorgeous stain, or you can also build it up to a more easy take on the vampy lips that always come out for winter. With my makeup, I tend to do either lips or eyes and not generally both (unless it’s a full on editorial makeup, which is a different thing entirely). Thus if I’m doing a strong eye I need a lip colour that balances the face, beautifying and enhancing what’s already there. And you don’t always want to do a beige lip with a smoky eye – although this little beauty is also great for mixing in with beiges you might own that are too pale, and giving them some life. Versatile and gorgeous – kind of perfect, right?
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely and relaxing festive season and start to 2012. It has been harder than anticipated to prise myself away from the pool (or the beach, just to mix it up a bit). The lure of sunshine, sand, swimming and that feeling at the end of the day when you know you’ve had just enough sun has proven too difficult to resist. However the beauty of relaxing is it makes the mind unwind, and of late my thoughts have been turning to getting back to work. Yesterday my kit got a total overhaul and I was able to think about upcoming jobs. There’s also some new products that I am itching to get a lot more use out of in the next couple of months – Here’s a rundown of the products I can’t wait to get back into:
Bobbi Brown Beach Bronze Cream Eyeshadow
I do love Bobbi’s cream eyeshadows, they are some of the best on the market. This has to be my Numero Uno favourite one. It’s a gorgeous gilded bronze-y colour which is magnifique on its own, or thrown into the mix with other browns and coppers for the ultimate, summer-y smoky eye.
Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
I have had this in my kit FOREVER, and it used to be one of my favourite lipsticks back in the day (let’s just say that TLC’s Creep was featuring heavily on my mixed tapes when I used to use this particular number). But it is the strangest thing – it’s a deep wine colour that really does look good on every skin tone! Now due to its iconic status, Clinique have expanded the Black Honey range to include a new Black Honey powder blush. And I think it’s time for Black Honey to come out and play again. (Maybe not the mid-90’s RnB, but you never know).
Tom Ford Illuminating Face Powder
This is a fantastic pressed face powder for those with oilier skin (such as my good self). It is heavy enough to blot down what it needs to take down but without dulling the skin. I’m actually using it in place of foundation most days, as without powder my forehead looks like it’s been laminated (such a good look!) It also has a yellow tone to it, which I”ve always liked to carry in my kit, and I’ve found it’s like a better version of T Le Clerc’s powder in Banane. T Le Clerc might be needing to find a new place to live this month.
Blistex Lip Balm Ultra Protection SPF 30+
This high protection sunscreen lip balm really comes into its own on beach shoots when it’s 30 degrees and keeping the model from frying like a lobster (and her makeup looking pristine) is of paramount importance. This is my favourite lip balm with sunscreen that I’ve found recently, and I’m hoping I’ll get to use it on a few more beach shoots before the end of the season.
Estee Lauder Verite Calming Fluid
This is my current go-to moisturiser as it’s a very light fluid that hydrates the skin beautifully, leaves a gorgeous sheen on the skin and is the perfect base for sunscreen – which is just mandatory at this time of the year. This is from Estee Lauder’s fantastic Verite range for skins with rosacea and a tendency to redness (such as mine), so it helps subtly correct your skintone at a skin care level before you even get to foundation.
Chanel Blazing Gold Single Eyeshadow and Liquid Liner in Or
I’m totally keeping these for a beauty story as I’m really feeling gold at the moment (and shimmery stuff in general). The liner is an opulent liquid gold liner which is perfect for adding a festive sparkle to the inner eye corners or for a more dramatic statement liner, and the gold shadow is a pressed powder eyeshadow and just right for layering over cream gold eyeshadow for statement eyes. Apres-beach or après-ski, tres sexy!
NARS Joyous Red lipstick
This colour didn’t actually grab me when I first tried it, but it’s been growing on me over the holidays. It’s a bright red with an amber tone to it – normally a colour that I don’t gravitate towards (depending on your skin tone) as it can be difficult to wear. But there’s an oddness to this colour that has been haunting me, and I’m desperate to do some editorial that I can bust it out on. One of the things that I love about NARS colours is they do all the standard “beauty” colours – great reds, beiges, peaches etc – but also incredible shades that are outside the mainstream and just not like anything else. Bravo NARS for consistently pushing the beauty boundaries and including so many lovely different types of colours in your range.
Ooooh now I’m all excited and raring to get back to work and get deep back into the makeup mines. There’s more than just gold to discover!
PS I’m on holidays again next week, but just for a week (such a lady of leisure!) So MM will be back on the 24th of January.
I am so into pink at the moment. Pink eyeshadow, cheeks, and definitely lips. Don’t ask me why – I didn’t get it from the recent show season but perhaps a spot of pink is in the air, as October’s Paris Vogue features this divine pic of Arizona Muse looking, well, Pretty in Pink to say the least.
Maybe because it makes you fresh and amazing, even when you roll out of bed looking half-dead. Maybe because it suits everybody and we associate it with the bloom of youth, and flowers. Or maybe because it’s an excuse to post this video of a film I watched MANY times back in the 80’s, when we all wanted red hair and a pink wardrobe like Molly Ringwald:
So my picks for Best in Show. First let’s be clear, in all my years of makeup I’ve not had a pink moment before. So my pink stocks are low. Dangerously low. Worryingly low. Which I’m in the process of rectifying at the moment, but it’s taking a while. For some reason I’ve always got by without an extensive collection of pink lipsticks – I have a few and I just kind of cook stuff up out of my cream makeup or my pencils. But now I want flirty pinks, 60’s pinks, lady like pinks – hell, even scary nanna pinks can be great if you rock them with the right attitude (and wardrobe). So without further ado, here’s what I have been experimenting with in the pink department:
Chanel Rouge Coco Lipshine in Boy – Boy oh boy is all I can say. This one is going in my kit AND in my handbag as it’s the perfect little nothing mouth – insouciante but done at the same time. That ladylike polish you want from a lipstick when you don’t want to commit to full on colour. Now I know what the fuss about the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines is about. Sheeny, moisturizing, not pearly but gives your mouth a lift. It’s a grey-ish pink as opposed to a full on one, but I happen to love that (so there).
Chantecaille Powder Blush in Laughter. Chantecaille blushes are awesome and I’ve been meaning to blog about them for ages. This one is gorgeous as it has a gold shimmer in it, so the cheek area gets a very subtle iridescence (indisputably flattering). This has been in my personal makeup bag for awhile.
NARS Baby Doll Lip Lacquer – No one understands baby doll pink like NARS – this gloss in a pot has been around for over a decade yet it’s still as fresh and fabulous as when it was launched. Do use if you want your lips to look like sweet, shiny petals.
Chanel Blush in Rose Ecrin – the latest addition to my Chanel wardrobe arsenal, and these make my job hard – as in hard to choose which ones to use. This is the perfect mauvey pink which is surprisingly flattering – and gorgeous for those with blue eyes. It’s quite a sophisticated pink so I think this might be my blush colour for Christmas parties (although I haven’t quite decided yet. I’ve penciled in some time to think about it over the weekend).
Chanel Poudre Tisee in Brompton Road, from the current Knightsbridge collection. Strawberry pink and shimmering pearl powder luminser, mm-hmm, oh no you DIDN’T. Oh yes Chanel did. Kay Montano sent me one from London but it’s too gorgeous to use. I can’t bear to ruin the sweet texture of it and those interlocking C’s. I may have to get drunk to do so. I don’t have to use it to know it’s divine. (Plus now with the magic of the internet I can see swatches from other bloggers and it is heaven in a compact).
Illamasqua Collide Nailpolish – One of the things I love most about Illamasqua is their hot nail colours, and a hot nail is a great look for the summer party season, which is just around the corner. This is an amazing shocking pink.
Bobbi Brown Creamy Lipcolour in Dry Rose – This is one of my favourite lip colours of all time for your lips but better – it looks like nothing special in the tube but when it’s on, well you know about it. I’m a huge fan of Your Lips But Better (wow, I may trademark that) lip colours. Laura Mercier’s Baby Lips is another nice one.
Revlon Mock Snob Top Speed nail colour – my favourite colour of the season! Speaking of crazy nanna colours, this is just the one. It looks like a polish colour from 1963, a shrimp cocktail peachy pink that would look perfect poolside in a Frank Lloyd Wright home overlooking LA. Imagine Betty Draper in Season 4 of Mad Men (her nails, not the brittle vindictive crazy).
NARS Schiap lipstick – the best fuchsia around. Exactly the colour of Schiaparelli’s Shocking Pink – she invented it, don’t you know. I love this lipstick quite matte without gloss and a simple, elegant eye for tout le soirees de Noel.
But I’m still on the look out for more pink divinity – if you guys have any pink favourites, please comment below!
Wow, how can it be twenty years since Bobbi Brown first hit the makeup scene with her revolutionary take on neutrals and her fresh approach to beauty? I remember stalking her counter in London (she was only in the big cities in those days), in the early 1990’s, and the idea of foundation for not only yellow skin tones but ALL skin tones from the palest through to the deepest, was seriously revolutionary. Her ethos of enhancing what one naturally has is something that’s important in my own makeup work, embracing one’s own beauty instead of masking it.
To mark her 20th anniversary, Bobbi has released a new scent, aptly called Party Fragrance, and it’s part of her Party collection due out in November. Regular readers will know that I can’t wear perfume due to olfactory changes and pregnancy (which was quite a while ago now). I do keep trying to wear perfume and I guess it’s better than it was, but there are far better judges of perfume than me out there.
What I CAN show you is this absolutely beautiful film, shot by Bruce Weber to commemorate Bobbi Brown’s twentieth year in the business of making people beautiful. Bruce is my all-time favourite photographer, and I was fortunate enough to work with him in London whilst assisting Kay Montano, one of his long-time collaborators. This video has all the hallmarks that I love about Bruce’s work – gorgeous people, lovely music and lots of divine dogs. Enjoy!
Amazing news – a little birdy told me that the incredible Bobbi Brown Universal palette of concealers and foundations (yes, THAT one, that I take with me on every single job, and that if I didn’t have with me would cause me to completely hyperventilate. It’s like a small square palette sized security blanket, only made of plastic so it’s very handy but not that cuddly) is in stock in Australia!
I honestly couldn’t be without this palette as it ensures I am covered for every makeup eventuality, from tawny skinned beauties with shocking under eye circles, and through to Snow White types with pigmentation problems. It’s amazing, and it’s now available on-counter in Australia. It’s not cheap (at $350), but it has every single one of Bobbi’s award-winning concealers, foundations and under-eye correctors in it, and for makeup artists it’s a necessity. Get it while you can.
This review has been a long-time coming since I don’t think I have ever found a long-lasting, oil-free foundation I like so much. This is for all those ladies out there who really need a foundation with some muscle to it, that can handle their oily or combination skin, whatever it throws at them. Because really, who wants to look like a disco ball two hours after they’ve left the house? Not me, that’s for sure. Usually I’m a fan of lightweight foundations (I mean, you’ve seen my reviews of Chantecaille, Vitalumiere and Myface, which is what I keep in high rotation in my kit), but they aren’t right for every skin type. What to do if you have oily skin, or just like more coverage?
This is when I send in my Bobbi Brown big guns, her Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation. This foundation contains sponge like powders so it will absorb oil on the skin, yet emollients lock in moisture so skin stays balanced. It’s also transfer resistant, so it’s great for hot or humid climates. Like all Bobbi’s foundations (which are legion, and all the ones I have tried are amazing), they come in a great range of tones, but they are definitely more on the yellow side. Bobbi’s foundations are more comprehensive in colour tones than most brands on the market, from Alabaster through to Walnut. However as always, do check the colour is thoroughly right for you (on your FACE please miss, not the back of your hand or your elbow or on your best friend – it’s supposed to be going on YOUR FACE).
Simply apply with a foundation brush as you would any other foundation, and all those lovely little spheres go to work, mopping up facial oll and generally keeping your complexion looking gorgeous. What I love about this foundation over other oil-free foundations is that it adheres to Bobbi’s philosophy that skin should still look like skin, even if it does have a medium to heavy weight foundation on it. So it won’t look like a scary mask, but like a prettier, fresher (matte-r!) version of yourself. It also has an SPF of 15 so it’s great to know that you have that box ticked at the start of each day.
This lasts all day, and provides flawless coverage. It definitely deals with the oil on skin better than most foundations, meaning much less powdering time. And it’s still comfortable on areas that are dry (something I know about since my skin is that lovely combo of oil and dehydration which can be so hard to deal with).
It doesn’t mean you won’t have to powder at all as you probably will at some point during the day, but you won’t be shiny after 35 seconds. I just top up with either a Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown powder and a brush, through the T-zone.
If you struggle to find a good foundation in general I do heartily recommend you check out Bobbi’s foundations as she has most of bases covered (please excuse the shocking pun) – the most minimal coverage you can get away with, and a fantastic selection of foundations formulated for all types of skin problems. Viva Bobbi Brown!
I’ve posted this breakdown before but I couldn’t resist posting it again, as it was on the cover of the Observer magazine in the UK this weekend. It’s such an extraordinary photo, and an extraordinary makeup – done by none other than Kay Montano! Here’s what she used on the world’s biggest pop star.
Kay Montano on the Hello Kitty Shoot: “Gaga art directs everything! She is a stream of ideas and suggested I paint Japanese cartoon style eyes on her eyelids which added a surreal edge to what would otherwise have been a cutesie look.”
Base: Chanel Vitalumiere in No. 20 Clair
Powder: Chanel Traslucent powder to create the perfect base
Eyes: Make Up For Ever Flash Colors 12 color box of crème makeup to paint exaggerated green Japanese eyes on her eyelids, with MAC Prep+Prime to set
Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
Mascara: Chanel Exceptionnel mascara in black
Lashes: 2 sets of MAC eyelashes, one on the browbone to create false top lash
Lips: Chanel Coco Pink lipstick (US exclusive), then silver (Fardel silver powder mixed with water).
I have another Beauty Breakdown treat for all you little makeup munchkins today! For the first time, one of my favourite actresses, Thandie Newton, has allowed a film crew in to catch her preparing for an event. And not only do I have the fabulous footage (seen here exclusively for Beauty and the Dirt), but I have a breakdown as well, courtesy of her long-time makeup artist, Kay Montano.
Thandie looks phenom, as always – seriously I have never, EVER seen her look anything than unbelievable. Here’s what Kay used:
Olay Touch of Foundation
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Powder in Golden Orange
Blush – Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pink Truffle
Chanel Eyeshadow duo in Taupe Gris
Myface Eye pencil in Black
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Black Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink