I know I’m late to the concealer party with this post as I can’t believe how long I managed without these creamy little sticks of goodness in my kit. I only discovered them a few months ago after a makeup friend kept raving about them, and then I tried one and now… well I’m hooked. I’m up to 6 shades so far and not looking back.
NARS has really upgraded all its formulas for foundation, concealers and powders in recent years and I find that the more I use them, the more I like the shade range and the coverage. So the Radiant Creamy Concealers are wands filled with high-coverage liquid – a product type that has been around for ages and I stopped using years ago because I got into stick formulas that I would sheer out (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, I’m talking to you). But I’d never tried the NARS wand version, and now I can’t believe I’ve done without it all this time.
Since I’ve been back working in London I’ve had to change my kit a bit to accommodate different skin tones, and different skin issues. One thing that is different to working in Australia is that people generally have darker circles under their eyes, probably due to less sunlight (I guess). So darker circles became my bête noire for awhile, until the Radiant Creamy Concealers came along. Because the product is a liquid it goes on really easily without getting cakey, and a little goes a long way but covers a multitude of sins. Also it’s colours for darker skin tones are really great, perfectly covering the deeper end of the skin shade spectrum with ease (which let’s be real, not all the brands manage to do). It’s also great for super fair, almost white skins if you are of the fairer persuasion. I also love it for any discolorations around the nose and chin, or even veins and broken capillaries.
One small word of warning though – it is a radiant concealer and this has some light reflection to it. So don’t go too crazy with it or you run the risk of looking like J Lo on the red carpet c. 2001, like a deer caught in the headlights. A dab will generally do you, and you can always layer it with another matte dense concealer if you want straight up extra coverage. Perfect skin can now be yours! (Well at least look like it is).
Charlotte Tilbury Rock n’ Kohl Eyeliner in Bedroom Black is hands down the best black eyeliner I have ever tried. It has an amazing formula that glides on, that locks on and doesn’t move. It’s great for lining the waterline (lots of eyeliners don’t love the waterline, which is pretty annoying since, let’s face it, that’s often what you want to line!) I don’t want to be in the model’s face every five minutes poking around touching up her eyes.
It’s a really black eyeliner – dense and inky and dark as the #creepyclown hashtag on Instagram (be warned, that hashtag may give you nightmares). It’s sharp, it’s precise, and because it’s so black and budge proof, it just makes life so easy. This is key when you have to do a lot of looks or models in a day, or have to get someone ready for the red carpet fast. Plus it lasts. We all love things that perform exactly as advertised, and this is one of them.
I’ve been super impressed with everything I’ve tried from the Charlotte Tilbury line so far – the eyeshadows, the lipsticks, and the lip liners are heaven! So anything that makes it into my kit and then into my regular rotation at work is a winner in my book. I’ve been raving about it to clients and friends alike, so if you haven’t already done so, you should treat yo’self.
This was such a fun story to shoot! It was all new Spring/Summer 2017 clothes, and we flew to Budapest (where I’d never been) for the shoot. Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in, so it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to on holiday when I can have more time to explore.
The clothes were incredible with stylist Steven Doan bringing out dream outfit after dream outfit – from Louis Vuitton to Chanel to Gucci, from slinky sheath dresses to tulle skirts paired with the softest leather bomber jackets and killer high heels. We were super lucky with the weather as it was unseasonably warm, about 6 degrees, rather than -2 as it had been the week before.
Lucky for our gorgeous model Dasha! She was not only very beautiful but a total trooper as well, out in light spring fabrics in the cold all day without one word of complaint. She was also having her hair slicked down with water by Kris the hairdresser all day, but you would never know she was cold as she would stride out, the picture of Spring beauty. That’s the mark of an amazing model!
For makeup I wanted it to look chic and sophisticated, yet still youthful, so I went with a natural glow and a soft blown out smoky eye. I prepped the skin with Embryolisse moisturizer (great for cold weather) and Chanel Vitalumiere foundation. For concealing I used the Bobbi Brown Universal palette and my new favourite under eye concealer, NARS Radiant concealer. Powder was minimal but I used a bit of MAC loose translucent when needed. For cheeks, Stila Convertible Colour in Poppy provided a spring flush.
For eyes I used the new Chanel eye palette in Les Quatre Ombres in Codes Subtils, along with their Ecriture de Chanel liquid liner in Noir. Mascara was a touch of MAC’s Haute and Naughty.
Lips were lined in Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk liner, and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy lips. Spring has most definitely sprung!
I’m trying to escape the Trump inauguration today, and as I have the day off I thought let’s dive into some NARS, shall we?
I have covered the NARS Velvet Matte Pencils on MM before, but I’m slightly obsessed with all the NARS lip products at the moment and have just got back into their lip range in a big way. The Audacious lipsticks are amazing, and I’ve added a few of the Satin Lip Pencils to my kit recently – because let’s face it, you can never have enough chubby lip crayons in your kit, can you?
I use one of these on nearly every job, whether it’s editorial or the red carpet. I used them as a base colour for one of my recent red carpet clients, and they’re so perfect because the pigment holds true and you know it’s going to last (so important for longevity on the red carpet). Plus they aren’t drying, which with the snap-frozen temperatures in London at present is really key. Strong colour on flaky dry lips is seriously the worst!
They give a great base for other lip colours or can be used on their own. I use the natural shades that look like ‘your lips but better’ on natural beauty shoots with a bit of lip balm for the perfect wisp of nothing colour. At the other end of the colour spectrum I recently used the amazing red Dragon Girl on a shoot and it was so good. I’d forgotten how easy the NARS pencils make a great red lip.
It’s just so bloody easy to draw a great lip with a fat crayon! Quick colour pay off that goes on fast. Top tip – if you want to neaten up the edges of your lip more precisely than the crayon will allow, use a lip brush and run over the tip of the pencil with it, allowing you to then go into the lip and make any small corrections needed.
My favourite colours that I think should be in everyone’s kit are:
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Dragon Girl (Vivid bright red)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama (a deeper version of your natural lip colour)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Belle du Jour (best nude ever and worth buying just for its name)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bolero (Pink grapefruit – lovely for sweet girly lips)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Damned (Rich wine – also lovely as a stain)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu – Bright vivid pink (because sometimes you want to go pink)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park – (lovely deep red, also looks great as a stain)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya – bright orange (this is a weird editorial orange colour, but I actually love weird editorial colours. So wrong it’s right!)
As an added bonus they are super lightweight for your kit, so you can carry lots of them. For every day life, just having one handy at the bottom of your handbag means you will never need to be caught bare-lipped again.
Happy New Year! Whilst I’m not a big believer in new year’s resolutions (I feel like if you can’t resolve to change on June the 11th, or October the 16th, why would January 1st be any different?), I do love the bright and shiny possibilities of a new year. Especially because in many ways 2016 was a tough year. Not for me personally but for the planet as a whole, so I think pretty much everyone was happy to say sayonara to 2016.
So now that it’s January, I decided to go and seek some fashion inspiration in the art galleries and museums which London has so many of. My favourite exhibition at the moment is hairdresser Sam McKnight’s gorgeous new exhibition, Hair, which I hadn’t had time to get to before Christmas when it opened. It’s at Somerset House until March 12th 2017.
Sam is a seriously amazing hairdresser – I would say one of my top 3 hairdressers of all time. His career spans 40 years and he’s done everyone from the Princess of Wales to Madonna and Lady Gaga. He was instrumental to the rise of the supermodels in the 90’s, working with them literally every day for years, and responsible for more Vogue covers than any other hairdresser, 190 (!) to date. Yes, he’s THAT good.
So to see a retrospective of his work was just a treat – all the way back from when he was doing Honey magazine and working at the Molton Brown salon, through his hair transformations of Linda Evangelista (yes, that was Sam), and on to today where he does all the Chanel shows and a constant flow of gorgeous editorial every month.
His work is so meticulous and so perfect, yet always looks effortless. His exhibition is also a wonderful retrospective of the last 40 years of fashion. Start your new year with some fashion inspiration and check out Hair.
Foundation 4 Change is an amazing new charity to help refugees, created by London makeup artists Verity Cumming and Oonagh Anderson. They were on their way to Paris Fashion Week when they became very distressed seeing the plight of the refugees in Calais, and decided they wanted to do something about it.
Knowing how much makeup and skin and hair products get given to makeup artists, hairdressers and beauty journalists all the time, and that we can’t use it all, they came up with the idea of having a massive sale of these unwanted beauty products.
They did a call-out to all their contacts in London and many people donated unused, new in boxes and very slightly tested products to last year’s sale, which raised over £8,500. This was all given to the charity Help Refugees UK http://www.helprefugees.org.uk
I was really touched when I first came across Foundation 4 Change through a makeup friend of mine, as especially this year I have really felt that so much of the world has turned its back on the refugees and what is a huge global humanitarian crisis. Knowing I had boxes of unused PR products from my time as a beauty editor, I was more than happy to finally send them to a good home where they will be used and enjoyed, and at the same time help with a cause that I feel is so important.
This year they’ve had an even bigger response than last year and are expecting many more people to come to the sale. So if you a) like makeup products b) like to do the right thing for refugees, come on down to:
Foundation for Change Beauty Sale
Date: 10th December
Address: Unit 6, 203-213 Mare Street London E8 3QE
£3 door charge – Cash Only.
There will also be raffle prizes on the night including a hair and make-up hamper worth￡500. All products sold will be half price or less.
This was the most heavenly of shoots, as the weather was one of those perfect high summer days where the light is divine and we were shooting in such a beautiful location. We spent the day in a gorgeous little seaside house, on the Isle of Sheppey. A tiny cabin full of sun-bleached wood with a view of nothing but sky and sea, it was a little bit like being marooned on the world’s most beautiful island.
The incredibly talented Chloe Mallett was shooting it, and my favourite model of the moment, Florence Kosky was our languid beauty for the day. Flo is not only insanely gorgeous, she’s absolutely lovely as well so it made it a very easy day.
I gave Flo a full body St Tropez tan as soon as we all arrived (luckily I’d worked with her a few weeks before, as it’s always a bit funny getting straight into a full body fake tan with someone you’ve just met!)
For makeup it was all about dreamy caramel tones with subtle highlights. I made sure I protected her beautiful English rose skin with plenty of sunscreen, and my favourite sunscreen du jour is La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios as it’s very light, non-greasy and has super high SPF.
I used NARS G-Spot blush for that rosy glow on her cheeks as well as Laura Mercier Bronzing Gel to amp up her tan. On her eyes I used a mix of brown shadows including NARS Bengali and the Dior Incognito palette, a touch of Bobbi Brown Gel eyeliner and Clinique High Impact mascara. Her lips needed nothing but a touch of Homeoplasmine lip balm and Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera.
Stylist Lorna McGee had outdone herself on clothes with beautiful jumpers and elegant lingerie, as well as the perfect trans-seasonal pieces and accessories. Ben Cooke did gorgeous undone beachy waves on Flo’s hair and and by the end of the day it felt far more like we’d all been hanging out having fun than working!
I’m slightly obsessed with the new liquid lipsticks by Topshop at the moment. My lips bag was feeling quite boring a couple of months ago – even my editorial colours just weren’t making me feel excited. All my old classic brights were in there (MAC, Illamasqua, NARS, you know who you are), but I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Let’s face it, your editorial lips bag should make your heart sing. Also I have a slew of new beauty shoots coming up and we all know you need fresh inspiration for those.
So I went shopping and I found some great new colours. Surprisingly although I love me some violet, black or even blue lipstick on occasion, my favourite was Rascal by Topshop which is a classic bright red. Liquid lipsticks are ace, there’s no other way too describe them. I’ve also loved the MAC Retro Matte ones since they came out, and I just find for that super high pigment and quick application of colour you can’t go past them. Also sometimes on a job you need to do a perfect lipstick application in no time flat, so there’s no chance to fiddle around with liners and lipstick bullets. Liquid lipsticks are your new best friend in those circumstances!
Also Topshop Beauty really get the trend colours of the season. They always have new colours that aren’t the norm and you didn’t know that you needed them in your life (or in your makeup bag) until they come out. So if you’re a lipstick fan or a makeup artist needing something new, and brightly lacquered and hell, like Jerry Hall would have pulled out if she was shooting with Guy Bourdin, get some Topshop Rascal in your life.
Over summer I had the pleasure of working with Arizona Muse who I would call a supermodel – not just due to her amazing career (which has spanned everything from Paris Vogue covers to being a face of Estee Lauder), but she’s one of the nicest models I’ve ever worked with, and that skin! Her skin alone warrants the supermodel tag.
We were shooting a story about Arizona for the Brazilian magazine, O Globo. Lorna McGee was styling, Ernesto Monteveno was on hair and lovely Brazilian photographer Ricardo Abraho was shooting. Since the weather was heaven that day it was all about shooting Arizona around the streets of West London (which on a sunny day has a charm all its own that can’t be denied).
Since she’s so gorgeous she needed hardly any enhancement, just a bit of eyeliner and mascara for definition, and a touch of cream blush for those famous cheekbones.