Tag Archives: featured

MAC Nail Transformations

Right Now: Marian Newman and MAC Nail Transformations

I’m loving these new nail topcoats from MAC, in collaboration with mega manicurist Marian Newman. Marian is arguably one of the world’s top nail technicians with over 50 British Vogue covers under her belt, and given that her career before becoming a top manicurist was as a forensic scientist, the precision and perfection of her work has to be seen to be believed.

Marian would quite often be booked on the same shoots as Kay Montano when I was assisting Kay, and I used to love chatting to her as she was so lovely and fun to be around. She gets booked for countless celebs (from Keira Knightley to Lady Gaga) and runway shows in the dozens from Valentino to Givenchy. I remember one Vanity Fair shoot with Miles Aldridge shooting English actress Gemma Arterton, she very kindly chatted to me for ages about the best nude nails – and I still have the polishes she gave me from her kit. How lovely is that?

When MAC asked her to create a collection, Marian wanted to make it something exciting, that could expand on your existing nail wardrobe and create a myriad of looks. Check out the video below for all the different finishes:

www.mariannewmannails.com
www.maccosmetics.com

Scarlett Johansson

Video: Scarlett Johansson BTS for Dolce and Gabbana’s Perfect Mono Eyecolour campaign

Oh ScarJo – she really must be the sexiest woman alive, no? I mean she looks like THAT, and her voice is enough to make you follow her anywhere, to the circus, to war… to the Dolce and Gabbana counter to look at their new creamy eye colours! I love all these creamy eye colours that are coming out from Chanel and Tom Ford and Armani, and now D&G – they’re such a quick, easy option for a smoky eye. I never leave home (well for work, anyway – I sometimes leave home without them) with my Chanel Ombre d’Illusions. So I’m curious to see what Dolce and Gabbana’s are like.

Anyway in the meantime feast yourself on Scarlett’s voluptuous take on Marilyn. (And Pat McGrath on makeup).

Sigma Brush

In My Kit: Sigma Foundation Brush

Sorry for the quiet time y’all – I’ve been sunning myself on holidays! Now I’m back and have spent the last few days sorting out my kit and the makeup Vault (which was an out of control mess) and ready to get back into it.

Onto the Big News: I have a new brush. There, I said it. She’s a beauty as well and is already proving a winner (and a life-saver) on shoots. It’s the Sigma Flat Kabuki –F80 brush.

Let me preface this by saying I haven’t had a new brush in a few years now. I have plenty of backups at home if I lose one on a shoot (which does sometimes happen, and the worst are the shows. I want my brushes strapped to me with individual alarms during the shows since in all the chaos it’s easy for ‘things to happen’ to them. Including light-fingered individuals, but let’s not talk about them shall we?) and I thought my brush-acquiring days were pretty much over. But I got a chance recently to try some Sigma brushes as they are now available in Australia online, through the Aussie beauty site www.redefiningbeauty.com.au

I’d heard a lot about Sigma brushes before – makeup artist friends raving, etc, but I had yet to try them. First off, they are super, super soft (which we love), and the range is very extensive. I was really happy to have the Flat Kabuki the other day on a shoot as the brief was very pale, 80’s foundation. This is not a look I bust out every day and strong foundation has to be handled carefully so it still looks real, and not like you’ve put pancake batter on the face. The Kabuki brush was absolutely perfect for buffing the foundation once it was applied, and gave a lovely, even finish.

It’s not like any other brush I own as it’s a very densely packed brush with a flat head, that allows you to swirl and buff the base into the skin without leaving streaks, even when you’re piling that foundation on like you’re doing a Kardashian wedding.  And it’s synthetic, an extra bonus for those who like their brushes cruelty-free.

PS  – Please don’t buy brushes off eBay. I know it can seem like a great way to get a bunch of brushes SO MUCH CHEAPER, but you have no idea where those brushes have come from. And I can tell you right now that the cheap fur trade around the world relies heavily on cat and dog fur. So if you don’t want to apply your blusher with Fido or Fluffy, buy your brushes through the reputable brands and sites.

Sigma brushes are now available locally in Australia through www.redefiningbeauty.com.au

 

 

Glitter eye makeup

Right Now: Glitter. Ball.

And so it transpires that I have a few beauty shoots coming up that involve the use of glitter. I hope lots of it, as I’ve always loved it – it’s the ultimate in trashy, disco, crazy makeup.  To get ready, I’ve been diving into my glitter bag which has been quite neglected for a few seasons. I have glitters I have collected over the years from all around the world – from little makeup shops in Paris and Ricky’s in New York, through to some lovely Fardels and Kryolans  and StarGazer glitter from Screenface and Charles Fox in London. MAC also do a very delicious glitter selection, including some incredible neons that I’m just itching to use in the near future.

I like to have glitter of different gauges so you can play around with the different sizes, and mixing colours in one look is beautiful as well. Also I have to say that whilst I do love the glitter from makeup brands, it’s bloody expensive for what it is. Don’t forget your local craft shop or even newsagent (I’ve found awesome glitters in the kids’ craft sections of the dodgiest local joints you can imagine. You never know where you’re going to find a great glitter!)

Gold and silver are of course essentials in your glitter kit, but don’t forget bright colours that can be a beautiful addition to a smoky eye, or punctuate a lashline to make every blink a party.

I recommend doing the glitter first before diving into the rest of the makeup as clean up with glitter is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a bitch. I keep makeup or baby wipes, cotton buds, a clean makeup brush to brush off any excess and a clean eyebrow spooly brush at the ready. The spooly brush is amazing for lifting up tiny, stubborn individual glitter specks from the skin. Once you’ve done your eyes, you can clean up with ease and then do your foundation. Also keep in mind, you need to use a cream texture on the eyelid to give the glitter a surface to adhere to. This could be a cream shadow, MAC Mixing Medium or good old Vaseline. You can even use water in a pinch.

And storage of glitter in your kit is easy – it needs to be treated (in the wise words of Kay Montano) as “toxic waste”.  Don’t EVER keep your glitter pots rattling around with the rest of your makeup, as the lid will work itself loose and you will find yourself pulling glitter chunks out of your kit for the next ten years.

True story – I was doing some glitter experiments a few years ago and fiddling with some blue glitter, and the doorbell rang. Oh, the postman. And I’m signing for a letter only to see A BLUE PIECE OF THE GLITTER I WAS USING ON HIS FACE. God knows how it got there – it’s like asbestos, radium and nuclear waste all rolled into one and should be treated accordingly.

I decant my glitters but I then double bag them in small plastic sandwich bags (these are one of the greatest secrets of the Universe for makeup transportation), and then seal them all in a separate plastic makeup bag. I don’t take them on every job either, just when I think they might come out to play. One, it saves you weight and space in your kit, and two it saves the lids working themselves off en-route and ending up on everything, only for you to be picking glitter off every model you work on for the next decade. No thanks.

Glitter is like a little piece of heaven and pixie dust and magic, and like magic it wants to be free. So use it with abandon, use it with joy, but then seal that sucker up and for the love of God don’t let it escape.

blue and pink glitter

Camilla Akrans

Video – Camilla Akrans 60’s Beauty Shoot

Sorry everyone – I’ve been meaning to write a post the last couple of days but I’ve been distracted prepping for a big beauty shoot I’ve got on next week. So to keep you occupied, I thought I’d post this video of a beauty shoot in action – the amazing photographer Camilla Akrans (one of my favourites) shooting 60’s beauty with Wendy Rowe (yes, Burberry’s Beauty Director and an MM fave) on makeup.

I promise I’ll be back next week – and a warning: There will be glitter!

Keira Knightley wearing Chanel

In My Kit – Chanel New Moon

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.

Andrew Gallimore

Video – Andrew Gallimore for Hunger TV – She’s Like a Rainbow

Andrew is a super-talented makeup artist who I was fortunate enough to assist in London, and it was always a fun day together. Teddy boys and Keith Haring, Edwardian beauty, 90’s fashion and Japanese samurai shoots (in an abandoned pub in the East End!) were some of the memorable jobs I helped him on (and let me tell you, what Andrew doesn’t know about creative, amazing makeup isn’t worth knowing.) Plus he’s just a lovely, lovely guy.

I have loved seeing Andrew go from strength to strength each season as he has signed on as Dior’s first UK ambassador and is now Beauty Editor at Rankin’s Hunger magazine. Plus he creates stuff like this:

NARS Summer Campaign 2014

Video – BTS for NARS Summer Campaign 2014

NARS have really been nailing their campaign images lately – gorgeous, colour saturated images with beautiful model Toni Garn (who is also, FYI, Leonardo di Caprio’s current squeeze) fronting the images. This girl can take some serious makeup, and the images for Summer 2014 don’t disappoint with pumped up pastels and the sickest chartreuse eyeshadow I’ve seen in years. Oh, and that incredible fuchsia lip!

Garren on hair, Diane Kendal on makeup, Francois Nars behind the camera. All glamour, all the time. And I need some more summer-y makeup colours for my kit (my brights selection has me totally bored at present.)

And on a side note I’m thrilled that NARS has finally shifted their packaging away from it’s long-time black rubberised matte coating which looks super cool but goes crunchy in a hot climate. As in, the rubber seems to get melty. So yours truly has been investigating on the internet if it’s cleanable as I got sick of hacking up and decanting perfectly good NARS. I’ll be testing out some Dettol wipes which apparently work to get them clean. I’ll report back on the success of my clean-up operation – I know you makeup heads out there love that stuff.