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).
Don’t get caught without your Liquid Metals!
Lately I seem to be have been shooting a lot of metallic beauty stories, which is known as General Good Times for makeup artists. My glitter bag has seen more action than it has done in years, and apart from the usual toxic waste glitter explosions (par for the course when dealing with that hazardous substance) it’s been all systems go on high-octane disco makeup.
Secretly I’ve always had a love for metallics – they’re so brazenly glamorous! So having the chance to shoot lots of reflective beauty has been fabulous. In doing so, I’ve discovered a not-new but very amazing range of eyeshadows by Stila called Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadows.
These are incredible – super high-shine, reflective eyeshadows that take a smoky eye to the next level. They have a very fine glitter through them but they have very little fall out, so you don’t end up with all the pixie dust magic under your eyes instead of on top of them (because really, glittery eye bags – who needs those?)
They are reminiscent of the Tom Ford quad eyeshadow glitter shades, but more reflective, and they come in a good range of colours – from Jade and Cobalt to a range of traditional metallic colours. Handy when the looks go from silver to copper to gold and then onto full-on Studio 54 incarnations (as has been the case for me lately).
If you want to go metal, go Stila.
These might be the greatest thing since sliced bread – actually way better than sliced bread since they are perfect, shimmery molten eyeshadow sticks of exactly the colours that you want, and best of all, they’re gluten-free!
I’ve become obsessed with these of late. They are a lightweight cream eyeshadow that just has the most perfect texture. They’re in a thin stick form, so not only are they extremely lightweight (which you are SO GRATEFUL for when you have 40 kilograms of makeup to lug to work each day), but the shape of the tip is absolutely perfect for creating dreamy highlights around the eyes. There is a reason that all the top red carpet makeup artists are using them on their celeb clients you know! Mai Quynh used them on Chloe Moretz at Cannes, as well as Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes.
They also come in a great range of colours and are a lovely base for a smoky eye or perfect as a shimmering accent. You can use them as a shadow or as a liner as well, so they’re just right for everyday life as they do double-duty and are even small enough to fit in an evening bag, if you need a quick retouch.
There are now 23 shades available, and since Laura Mercier is, well Laura Mercier, they really are gorgeous, flattering colours for every skintone. These suckers are fast, also. For when you have literally two seconds to do your makeup (and a toddler may or may not be dragging themselves up your legs trying to get to your makeup because the best thing EVER is a toddlerin your makeup) they are literally just swipe, smoosh with brush or finger and go.
And did I mention they’re gluten-free?
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.
Of late I’ve been cruising on YouTube for obscure 80’s hits – one hit wonders and bad Australian songs have been featuring prominently. So today when I came across a CLASSIC Australian pop song (prompted by hearing a delivery man playing it in his truck yesterday – you know it’s fabulous music when that’s where you hear it!) the epic “Electric Blue” by Icehouse, I just knew I had to introduce it to all my MM readers. Or re-introduce it for those lucky enough to remember it first time around (c 1987).
Obviously the first thing you notice about the video is the lead singer’s hair, or mullet. I can tell you right now from all the YouTube-ing I’ve been doing that mullets were a key part of 80’s Aussie music. Uncanny X Men, Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo Echo – all the (supposedly) hot boys at the time had a delicious, bouffant and flowing back section and preferably a neat groomed (and highlighted, if you really wanted to impress the ladies) fore section. Forget business at the front, party at the back – it was party at the front, a nightclub at the back and a full on rave all over. Looking at the men in these videos it’s a wonder Aussies managed to reproduce at all and all the women didn’t run away screaming overseas. ANYWAY…
I digress. The reason I’m introducing you to this classic piece of vintage Australiana is the return of 80’s blue shadow and liner, except it’s being worn with a 90’s grunge sensibility. Since the whole natural grunge makeup seam has been pretty much mined to exhaustion over the last few seasons, during this season’s shows makeup artists are bringing back flashes of block colour and liner that were also a mainstay of 90’s makeup.
Pat McGrath put a sky blue on a few of the girls at Prada this week in Milan and Lucia Pieroni did a gorgeous electric blue liner at Giles in London. Which harked back to the 80’s. So it’s a post-modern, modern look if you will, that looks totally fresh. Here’s my picks for the best blue liners and shadows to give you a bit of colour-blocked 80’s/90’s/now goodness. Mullet optional, but not recommended.
Best Blue Eyeliners
- NARS Kitty pencil – a gorgeous electric blue
- MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil – used on the Giles show by Lucia Pieroni last week, this is pretty much the perfect blue
- Bourjois Regard Paillete in Bleu Etincelant – Sparkling eyeliner basically, but it sounds so much nicer in French! This is a gorgeous metallic bright blue liner. New to my kit this week. I love this and can’t wait to give it a workout.
- Essence 2 in 1 Kajal pencil in Destination Sunshine – the colour is a slightly off electric blue. It’s a bit of a weird colour which is why I like it. Essence are a German brand and Europe’s biggest selling range apparently, but new to me. At a bargain price point, I have to say I’m impressed with the colour pay off.
- Barry M SuperSoft Eye Crayon in Matte Blue – Barry M. Always. Another bargain too.
- Illamasqua Eye Pencil in Debonair – delicious bright blue with great pigmentation
- TopShop Makeup – If liquid liner is more your thing, TopShop do a deep blue liner called Yonder which looks quite delish.
Best Blue Shadows
- NARS Outremer – amazing cobalt blue. Incredible
- Illamasqua Victim – is a full-pigment intense azure blue, and one of my favourites
- Illamasqua Sadist – matte cobalt (cause you can never have too much colour blocked cobalt)
- MAC Electric Eel – a total classic
- MAC Freshwater – if you don’t want your electric blue without a bit of sheen. I’ve had it in my kit forever, but right now I’m channeling a matte finish.
- MAC Deep Truth – a beautiful dark navy. Because sometimes you need to take the electric down a level, to well, normal.
PS: What’s with the clothes in 80’s videos? Sweatshirts, singlets, a jumper that their nan knitted them – really it’s like most of them rolled out of bed that day and just pulled on whatever was in their washing pile. In the dark. The 80’s, truly the decade that style forgot.