First off, apologies for not posting last week. Suffice it to say I’m having some house dramas at present, involving lots of tradesmen clumping around in fluorescent vests and work boots. It’s not exactly conducive to beauty writing, or even beauty thinking!
However, there is something I HAVE to tell you about (tradies notwithstanding). Illamasqua, the maverick British beauty company, has started a petition to ask Australian consumers whether they want to pay a fair price for beauty. Founder of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston, explains the initiative here
Basically Australian consumers are getting royally ripped off when it comes to makeup and skincare. I found this out the hard way when I lost my work blush bag during the move from London to Sydney. I strutted up to the makeup counters to replace at least my favourites, pointing with gay abandon to different colours, “Oooh, that one… and that one… and that one over there – and how about that new blush? How much are they by the way?”
Put all those back. I’ll take one pink, and one peach.”
And that, my makeup-loving friends, was the end of my aimless wandering in cosmetic halls, dropping my credit card whenever I fancied.
So now Illamasqua are helping to us, by joining the fight against these criminally high prices in Australia. I’ve signed the petition – will you?
Illamasqua are a makeup company dear to my heart – not just because I assisted their Creative Director, Alex Box, for many years, or because I was there back even before the launch and Alex would give me their first prototype products to try (I still have these, don’t you know). But I absolutely love what Illamasqua stand for which is true originality, and expression of the self through makeup, no matter how daring, bold or wild that self might be. The more daring the better! They see beauty in everything and everywhere, as I do, and constantly push the boundaries in their campaign images and product development, and for that I will always love them.
I can really get behind their latest campaign as well, which is Beauty Before Age. They are looking for people of any vintage who don’t let this define them, and also pairs – so nieces and aunties, mothers and daughters, grandmothers and grandsons, or any combination you can think of, to shoot in their upcoming Autumn/Winter campaign. It’s so wonderful they have planned a whole campaign around beauty being ageless. Age is literally just a number and it’s time we started to appreciate a more diverse range of beauty, instead of whippet thin teenage girls and the army of Kim Kardashian clones coming out of Hollywood. In your 50’s, 60’s 70’s 80’s and beyond you can still look and feel beautiful – and Illamasqua’s new campaign is about celebrating that.
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!
This is, quite literally, a hot polish. It’s a fluoro orange colour that’s so bright that it hurts your eyes, and it’s exactly what I need at the moment. I’m in desperate need of a holiday and I’ve been quitting caffeine, so when you’re tired and the only vices you have left, are well, nailpolish and other assorted beauty items, you want them to be retina searingly fun. And Gamma is that. It’s the type of polish that looks like Gidget in Hawaii on acid, and I for one am currently in need of both (well, Gidget in Hawaii yes– less so the acid part.)
For ages I’ve been wanting to write a post about wine coloured lipsticks as they’ve been having a moment in my kit the last few months, but recently I’ve been crushing on other colours too – pinks and raspberries and fuchsias.
So I thought – let’s cover them all off in one big sangria drenched lip festival!
From deep claret to almost black bordeauxs, and into chocolates and blackberries, I love a deep, opulent rich lip.
Favourite lipsticks for this are:
MAC Lipmixes – to mix up your favourite shade
Illamasqua Growl and Poison
NARS Velvet Matte Pencils in Damned and Cruella
NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress
YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 8
Estee Lauder Pure Colour in Plum Couture
Pinks and Sangrias
A deep, bold claret lip is not always appropriate, let’s be real. Sometimes one wants a stain, or more of a juicier version. Lighter-bodied lipsticks include:
MyFace Strawberry Fields and Cherry Bomb
Chanel Ballet Russes
Clinique Black Honey (this has iconic status in Lip Lovers’ World)
This is my current hot colour preference for a statement lip – nothing says you got it goin’ on like a hot fuchsia. My current go-tos are:
Tom Ford Perfect Pink
If you want to go for a glossy version of the above, a clear gloss would suffice (I’m a MAC lipglass in Clear fan myself) or you could punch up a wine lip with the following glosses:
MyFace Lip Pop Gloss in Crazy in Love
Bobbi Brown Rich Colour Lip Gloss in Pink Raspberry
NARS Hot Wired or Easy Lover for pinks
NARS Rose Birman for Wine
When wearing a strong lip, you can either dab the lipstick on with your fingers for a casual take on the look, or layer on at least two coats using a good lipbrush (I like the Shu Uemura Lip Brush). If you find you have an unsteady hand, a matching lipliner can be useful for giving a super precise, finished look.
Today we have a special treat as I have an interview with the Founder and Joint MD of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston. Recently named as the fastest growing makeup company EVER, he has good reason to be proud of the cult UK makeup brand that he started a little over two years ago and has taken the world, quite literally, by storm. It has heralded in a new era of pride in the art of wearing makeup – not just through the arresting visuals (part of the genius of their Creative Director, Alex Box), but in the incredible pigment pay off of the products that allows you to play and experiment in completely unique way. Other makeup companies have had this ethos in the past, but now most counters on the makeup floor play it pretty safe – but never Illamasqua! Here’s what Julian had to say when I spoke to him:
1. What prompted you to create Illamasqua?
People told me that the only way to make an impact in the global make up market was to have in excess of 25 million pounds or take 25 years. We had neither but love a challenge. We believe in out-thinking and not outspending competition
2. Why did you get involved with the Sophie Lancaster foundation?
We were setting out to build a brand which would empower women to wear make up louder and bolder than ever before and for men to wear make up way beyond the cliche of eyeliner and concealer. Somewhere else Sophie Lancaster was killed for being a Goth – murdered for the way she chose to look and live her life. It felt natural to work with Sophie’s mum Sylvia to help build the charity and spread the message to Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere ( S.O.P.H.I.E)
3. How did Joe Corre come to be involved with Illamasqua?
When Joe sold Agent Provocateur he wanted to launch a make up brand. Joe was introduced to Illamasqua and thought ‘wow’. He decided to play with us as our ideas were exactly the same as his ambitions for doing something very different in a very safe sector.
4. What’s coming up next for Illamasqua?
More own stores, fragrance (Joe Correis leading this, having already achieved rare commercial success with the first fragrance at Agent Provocateur) and as with Illamasqua… more and more inspiration for those who crave it.
5. What do you like doing in your spare time?
Thinking up ideas for Illamasqua, walking, shopping, Tweeting.
Thandie Newton (this month’s UK Instyle cover girl) looked even more breathtaking than usual at last week’s Met Ball. Seriously, does the woman ever age? Wearing a black lace bespoke Stella Macartney gown she had her makeup done by her long-time makeup artist, Kay Montano. Here’s what Kay used:
Foundation: Olay Touch of Foundation
Powder: Illamasqua Loose Powder in LP235
Blush: MyFace Cosmetics blush in A Her Name is Rio
By now you’d have to have been living in a yurt in Outer Mongolia to have missed seeing the incredible campaign images from Illamasqua’s newest collection, Toxic Nature (Creative Director Alex Box in Uber box Mode on this one!)
I have to confess to not being a fan of Valentine’s Day generally – well not the sickly sweet chocolates and teddy bears version (unless you’re five, when it’s therefore age-appropriate and OK). Otherwise, really the flying cupids draped in red velvet and the love hearts on everything are just twee and make me feel vaguely ill.
Come on, we’re all grown ups, right? So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day in the raciest sense of the word, I bring you an Agent Provocateur video I worked on a couple of years ago, with the unbelievable Rosie Huntington-Whiteley playing the woman scorned. Fabulous director Greg Williams wrote and directed it, Kay Montano was on makeup, and Johnnie Sapong (one of my favourite hairdressers) was on hair. The set was closed (you’ll see why when you watch it!) and the AP underwear – well it speaks for itself.
Here’s my beauty recipe for a dangerous Valentine’s day – the kind you’re really looking forward to…
For a touchable body I’m loving Liz Earle’s delicious new Energising Body Lotion with Damask Rose Flower Water and Sweet Orange Oil (this is as sweet as this recipe gets).
For a sultry gaze, mix up MAC Smolder and Coffee eye khols and add a little bit of grease like Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. Not loads but enough to give it that just-been rumpled look. Add lots of Lancome Hypnose mascara for some serious bedroom eyes.
Cheeks should be softly blushed – I like a good cream blush. Becca make a fab selection of cream blushes that look amazing on – particular faves are Geranium, Turkish Rose, Wild Orchid and Amaryllis.
To gild your body I like Illamasqua’s Ether Powdered Metal, which provides a golden glow for fair skins whilst Powdered Metal in Thalia is beautiful on darker skins.
Nails also must be Illamasqua this Valentine’s as they have the best polishes around – I’ll be using Throb, a deep blood red, or Load, which is well, a gorgeous creamy, milky colour.
No Valentine’s day would be complete without a kiss! Dab on Myface Gigabyte Lipstick in Strawberry Fields or Cherry Bomb, and add a touch of their Lip Pop gloss in 136 for lips that would give Rosie a run for her money.
Because this is the site with no shame, and because I haven’t had any cheesily fabulous 80’s music on here for awhile, here’s some Spandau Ballet to ease you into this season’s hottest trend for holiday parties – Gold.
Now that I’ve blown your mind with some feathered hair and ostentatious guitar chord playing (check around the 1.23 mark if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s time to get down to business, how to shimmer like a star this Christmas.
The best way to wear golds is generally on the eyes – although this season there are some ace gold nailpolishes around too (but more on them later).
Gold suits every eye colour and in fact every skintone, and metallics in general are huge this season.
My fave way to wear gold on the eyes is to layer a cream with a powder, and for full-on Midas eyes you can’t really go past Illamasqua’s Solstice Liquid Metal with Pure Pigment in Marvel. This is what Alex Box used to create the Golden Goddess look for the Myer show in Sydney this year, and I can attest to its – well, golden-ness. I love these because the gold isn’t too yellow and fake looking, and they have a burnished quality when they catch the light (golds that are too fake and yellow looking make me feel, quite frankly, ill. So cheap and nasty!)
If you fancy something a little less full-on, Laura Mercier does a lovely gold metallic crème eyeshadow in, aptly enough, Gold, and Chanel do a beautiful gold powder eyeshadow. It’s also, funnily enough, called Gold.
There are a few tricks to making metallics work. Firstly you need to apply your shadow, then line your eyes right at the base of the top lashes with a black liquid liner or gel eyeliner. This defines the eye and makes it much more party-worthy. Black or brown pencil liner on the inner rims is optional, depending on whether you really want to get your sexy on. I like MAC’s Boot Black liquid and Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink gel liner for this purpose. You can either just do a wash of gold on the lids, or you can use a nice matte brown shadow to wash into the crease to give some good depth and definition (I’m currently loving NARS Bengali as a great all round chocolate brown eyeshadow). Two coats of your favourite mascara (my current fave mazzie is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes mascara for a party lash), and false lashes are optional but always a winner for parties. MAC and Shu Uemura are great for expensive ones, Ardell if you’re saving your pennies.
You can keep the rest of the face simple by using the minimum of foundation and powder, some bronzer and keep the lip a delicious nude. I love YSL Rouge Pur in 132 a gorgeous golden pinky beige. Golden-beige gloss on top, something like Chanel’s Beige Guitare.
Nails are also a key place to go for gold. Myface L’il Bling is an amazing new range of metallic polish, and their gold polish is particularly lovely (it’s called Gilt-y). For the ultimate gold nail though you should check out Nail Rock. Nail Rock are individual nail wraps in different patterns, including metallics, that you heat up with a hair dryer onto the nail. They do take a bit of getting used to, but for a true Midas touch, you can’t go past these. They are the creation of London manicurist Zoe Pocock and they last up to 7 days on nails and 8 weeks on the toes, plus they are inexpensive (£6.50 per set), so there’s no excuse for not going for gold. (Feathered hair and ostentatious guitar playing are optional).