Tag Archives: Eyes

Mac Brow Gel

Secret Weapon: MAC Brow Gel

Mac Brow GelLet’s talk about eyebrows for a moment. This is one of those products that is so mind-bogglingly simple and effective that you think everyone must know about it, but I’m always amazed when I do private clients and they have never even heard of it.

Brow Gel is a tube like a mascara wand and tube that has a clear gel inside it, and when you run it through your brows it invisibly grooms them, gives them an oh so subtle sheen, and most importantly, holds them in place. Why is that so exciting I hear you ask? Well if you have to ask that, you apparently don’t need it. Some brows need it more than others. For those with sweet, tame little arches that look the same year in and year out and never need plucking, tending, pencilling or re-arranging, you can just stop reading now. I know there are a few of you lucky people out there. I am however, not one of them.

From having gigantor brows in the 80’s that needed a hedge trimmer to tame them, through to the 90’s when my brows all but disappeared when I plucked them all away (curse your elfin beauty in those CK Calvin Klein ads Kate Moss, it’s all your fault!), and now to the noughties when my brows have valiantly struggled to grow back but in sexy patches, I am one of those people who need brow help. Lots of it. Of the grooming and pencilling kind, every day, or else I look like a mad woman.

So brow gel is always in my kit, both personally, and professionally – and the one I love the most? MAC. They also do fancy coloured ones which I have, but to be brutally honest I don’t really use. Clear looks good on every brow colour, holds it in place and a tube will last you forever. So no more mad woman brows. The hedge trimmer is optional.

www.maccosmetics.com

Bag It: NARS Larger than Life Volumizing Mascara

NARS Larger than Life Volumizing MascaraWay back in the mists of time I wrote one of my first posts for MM, and it was telling the world how crap I thought NARS’ old mascara was. (There was also something about Huey Lewis and the News in there, but Lord knows what that has to do with mascara, crap or otherwise).

However I am thrilled to report that after extensive testing, NARS new Larger than Life Volumizing mascara is proving itself to be a winner. The brush is a bit bigger than normal but not jumbo oversized like Diorshow mascara or Benefit’s Bad Girl Lash, and the main thing I like about it is that it doesn’t get goopy or overload the lash. Thus you can build a few coats with it still looking lovely and fluffy, and it really is quite volumizing.

One thing I would say is that sucker is staying on once it’s on! Make sure you have a good remover because it has the staying properties of a waterproof mazzie, without the crunchiness – which if you live in a hot climate or like a badass, long last mascara, this is for you.

In the mascara stakes Monsieur NARS, you have well and truly redeemed yourself.

BAG IT!

Stop Press: Chanel Smoky Eyes!

Peter Phillips shows us how it’s done at Chanel – backstage footage of him creating the incredible deep green/black smoky eye at Paris Fashion Week last week. J’adore!

Top Shop – Ultimate Smoky Eye video

Just when I think I couldn’t be any more in love with Topshop, they go and produce these lovely videos for their new makeup collection, Heavy Duty. It’s a rockin’ London eye, fabulously cool makeup artist Hannah Murray (who is the Creative Director for Topshop makeup) is on beauty duty, and they have one of my favourite singers, Sia, providing the tunes. All r-i-i-i-ight.

Bag It: Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

Cameron Diaz makeup by Gucci WestmanThese are my new eyeliner discovery, and they are fab. Super-creamy, long-wearing and they come in a great range of shades (8 in total). I thought I had all the pencils I needed, but it turns out, I was wrong. It turns out, you can never have too many pencils! What a relief.

I only have two of them at the moment but it won’t be long before I add more – I find the way they smudge yet stay colour true is more like the performance of one of the high end brands. It’s not very often that I make the foray from the department store to the drugstore, but for Revlon I’m starting to make an exception.

I have to confess to being more and more impressed with Revlon. Last year they took on Gucci Westman (NY makeup artist extraordinaire who racks up Vogue and W covers just as easily as red carpet clients, including Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore), and ever since Gucci’s been on board – well their makeup looks fresh again. I’m impressed by the pigments and colours not just on the eyeliners but also the concealers, lipsticks, nail polishes, cream blushes and eyeshadows, and their brushes are fabulous, although they can be hard to find.

Last summer I worked on a Revlon commercial in London with Kay Montano who was making up the ever-amazing Elle McPherson, and I got the chance to try a lot of the products then. It’s an impressive drugstore offering, certainly my favourite across the board of the ranges in a lower price point. Their advertising campaigns have kicked up a notch as well with their recent signing of beautiful actresses Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba, and it feels like again you can say “The Most Unforgettable Women in the World Wear Revlon.”

Revlon Luxurious Colour Eyeliners

In My Makeup Kit: Estee Lauder Single Eyeshadows

Estee Lauder is one of those brands that have really re-invented themselves over the last few years. They used to be a bit granny – that’s where your mum and your grandma (and in some cases, great-grandma!) shopped for their rouge and lipstick, but no longer. The quality of the products is still there (because they have that in spades), but it’s now a nanna-free zone. The advertising is much more glamorous, with spokesmodels like the beautiful Hilary Rhoda and the unbelievable looking Constance Jablonski, and their first Asian model, Liu Wen. And this year they have a new International Makeup artist in the form of one Mr Tom Pecheux, he of the constant flow of Paris Vogue covers, years as Mario Testino’s favourite makeup artist, runway artist regular and makeup artist to Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss amongst others. The urbane Frenchman is a perfect addition to the brand, and I love the look of his first collection, Blue Dahlia. He says “Makeup is such a fashion accessory – I’d like to highlight that part of the brand, and also bring a playful touch to the franchise.”

However! I’ve been using Estee Lauder judiciously in my kit for quite awhile as I love the finish of their products – this is still makeup for grown ups, even if it is being ushered into the new millennium. I had my first proper taste of their range at the Swarowski Fashion Rocks show in London a couple of years ago (Estee Lauder sponsored it), and I was actually really blown away by the quality. It was a huge show with a zillion models and celebrities in very full makeup looks, and their products held up amazingly. Ever since then I’ve been a fan.

One of my favourites from Estee Lauder is their eyeshadows which are super finely milled, blend deliciously and used in conjunction with others in the range give a gorgeous finish and are just lovely, flattering colours. I definitely prefer them to their eyeshadow quads from the core range, which are not the same texture as the singles. The colour pay off in the singles seems to be much better, and less powdery – plus the mattes are really matte and the shimmers are just shimmery enough. Shimmer to make you pretty, not look like an escapee from Crazy Town. And the metallics? Well they’re off the charts – love, love love these particularly in the deeper colours like purple and charcoal.

Each shadow feels like pretty little Lucite seashells in your hand, so they definitely give you that feeling you’re using something luxe, although as a makeup artist I do find they get quite heavy when you’re stacking them up and carrying them around (as one does). Word on the street has it that Estee Lauder will be re-launching their single eyeshadows later this year in the form of 48 new Pure Colour eyeshadows with finishes ranging from matte, to satins, luminous and metallic. And if they’re anything as good as the ones I have in my kit I’ll be queuing up to get to them!







I couldn’t resist this 80’s awesomeness – this is a rare Estee Lauder promotional video of supermodel Paulina Porizkova. Quite the contrast to Hilary Rhoda!

Stop Press: Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brighteners in a WAND!

These came out a couple of months ago, but I’ve only just tested them now. I didn’t think it was possible to be any more in love with the Bobbi Brown Eye Brighteners (which really are the miracle cure to banishing dark under eye circles), and yet with the new packaging, clearly I am.Bobbi Brown Eye Brighteners

The product is so good that even with the old style pot I would lug all four of them on every job, swearing when the annoying lid would slip and half the goopy Eyebright would be brightening the ends of my fingers/back of my hand/the brush/my clothes instead of my client’s face, and then I’d smear it all over my towel trying to clean it up in order to get on with my job. Did I mention I hated those pots?

But their eye bag reducing capabilities were such I always used them, and then somewhere an angel on Bobbi Brown’s shoulder told her that the pot packaging was crap, and she should think of something else. And she did. A genius wand, like the Touche Eclat concealer pens, that looks chic, delivers just the right amount of product and can even be thrown in your handbag – thrown, I tell you! For on the go touchups. Because Bobbi is nice like that. She knows what women want. And it comes in more shades than before – eight instead of four, in fact. So all the ladies of the skintone spectrum are covered. Which makes me and my kit, very happy.

www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Trends: Lilac Eyes

Dior Spring 2010 Make up - Vlada RoslyakovaSpring isn’t quite officially here, but as far as I’m concerned, its time to look ahead and think about bare legs, short skirts (yessssss! say all the men in London), and most importantly, re-think your makeup bag for the coming season. I call it a bonafide trend as of today, because I saw three ladies on the Tube in one morning wearing varying shades of violet on their eyes. So my top trend? It’s Lilac Eyes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had (interesting, cough) true beauty trends – for a few seasons it’s been the same old stuff recycled again and again – natural makeup, perfect skin, smoky eyes, red lips – and much as I love those classics, aren’t we all just a little bit keen for something different?

I know I am, which is why I sat up just a little bit straighter when the genius makeup maestro Pat McGrath sent a bevy of beauties down the runway for Dior with gasp! lavender eyelids. Gorgeous, glowing, proper washes of Easter egg purple – it’s part of a bigger seasonal trend for pastels that I predict will be huge this season, as we all search for color to lift us out of (let’s be honest), 2009’s deep funk. The ubiquitous Ms McGrath even did pastel eyebrows yesterday for Balenciaga. Whilst I don’t see us necessarily sporting a pastel brow to herald in the warmer months, a pastel lid we can do. To the paintbox, ladies!

Lilacs I love

NARS Jolie Poupee duo – vibrant lavender and deep jewel toned purple. This is where NARS really comes into its own as a range – they have one of the most rockin’ colour selections anywhere. Colours you didn’t know existed let alone thought that you needed – that is until you headed down to your makeup counter.

NARS D. Gorgeous single eyeshadow  – a shimmery pale lilac. Worth wearing for the name alone!

Bobbi Brown Lavender and Lilac eyshadows, with Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Orchid. Yeeeeeeeaaaah. That’s what I’m talking about.

Becca Lapis Eyetint with Ametrine – this creates a more subtle, shiny wash of color that is so, so gorgeous on. Lapis is apparently a Limited Edition color so if you want it, you’ll have to be quick.

Estee Lauder single eyeshadow in Lilac – beautiful, does what it says in the box, shimmering lavender to make your eyes glow.

How to wear it

Although lavender looks gorgeous on every eye color, pastels can be a little hard to wear if not done correctly. The application part is easy – simply wash your chosen color from the lashline to the crease, with a brush or your finger in the case of a cream.

But in order to make it work, you need a very thin black liner along the lashes – like dental floss! Oh so thin. Liquid or gel eyeliner is more defined than a pencil. And lashes, lots and lots of lashes. You’re going to need a Bad Boy mascara, one that gives you lashes for days – not clumpy, not trampy, but ultra flirty and lots of ‘em. Go nuts. I am currently liking Lancome Hypnose mascara for this uber-sexy effect.

Without eyeliner and mascara you will look like an egg – but not of the Easter variety. Just an albino one. If you feel a bit naked under the eyes you can always softly smudge a nice chocolate pencil. MAC Coffee pencil is a good one.

Go easy on the foundation – heavy, mask-like base will quickly take this into Grannyland (and nobody really wants to go there). Myface foundation is lovely for light, everyday wear that still gives sufficient coverage. And no weird fake tans please – pastels and fake tan will make you look like the bonkers neighbour in There’s Something about Mary, and the Mole is never EVER going to tell you to look like that!

Blush is a must, a soft pink would be good, but nothing too cutesy. I like a pink with a little bit of gold shimmer in it – my latest fave for most skintones is Chantecaille powder blush in Laughter.

Although Ms McGrath went for the full magilla at Dior with a bright red lip, I would possibly choose something a little more understated if you’re just going out for groceries. I like a soft pink lip with a bit of brown (again to keep it out of the kindergarten, and make it pretty without looking like you should be sporting an Easter bonnet). Becca Sheer Tint lip colour in Gisella, Myface Vintage Pink lipstick, and the old classic Estee Lauder Crystal Baby lipstick are all good options. You may not have a Spring in your step yet, but at least it can be Spring on your eyes.