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).
So I’ve been prepping for not one but three big beauty stories lately which has been a good chance to give my kit a clear out to get some new season colour in there.
I have to confess that I love having a good re-organise as nothing feels better than a fresh, clean kit, and you can always find a way to tighten up and improve your general organization. A kit tune-up is my idea of a good time!
I’m rotating out of my winter products and putting in spring/summer ones – shooting spring stories for Australia means more colour and beautiful lighter textures are going in.
This season I’m getting back into gloss after quite the hiatus from it – probably a legacy of a complete overdose on the stuff a few years ago. As in, I was buried in it. In my defence, at the time we were all channeling goopy-lipped vixens so I got a lot of use out of them – then not so much the past couple of years. But now I’m feeling it again.
Since I’m still loving bold strong lip colours at the moment, I’m reaching for Illamasqua’s Intense Lip Glosses to add an element of shine to a statement lip. I’ll be carrying Mistress (bright coral orange) and Indulge, a ridiculously bright fuchsia, and since wine lips are no longer just for winter, I’m carrying the sinfully rich Hermetic. I love Illamasqua’s lip glosses because they are pigment rich, high-shine and really do what you want – which is take a bold lip over the top, somewhere over the rainbow.
So this week is the 10th anniversary of the final episode of Friends. I’ll say that again – a decade since that TV show that epitomized the 90’s FINISHED. Basically what this means is that if you were there to watch the show when it aired on terrestrial TV (I’m talking pre-cable, pre DVD, pre-TIVO, practically pre-clunky video tapes AKA pre-historic) then you are officially old. Old I tell you.
And if you don’t remember it first time around well consider yourselves lucky as this makes you young. But you should still be catching up on it as you will urgently be wanting to reference the style of Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox – the crop top and washboard stomach plus floral shorts trend, the double denim, the fabulous 90’s brown lipcolour that was a staple on everyone’s lips and that is now having a comeback, despite not suiting anyone apart from models. (Seriously you have to be insanely gorgeous to pull that colour off – if you can, more power to you and make sure you’re generous with the concealer as it will show up every tiny bit of redness in your skin).
The shock of discovering that the Friends finale was ten years ago and I remember it – well not quite like it was yesterday, but certainly not as if it was ten years ago, making ME officially old – has made me want to write a post about my favourite products that bring out the Joey Tribiani in me. As in I want to say “How YOU doin?” to each and every one of them every time I use them.
These guys make my heart sing every time I get the chance to pull them out. They are creamy, matte sticks (literally paint sticks) of opaque, shimmer-free colour and they are gorgeous as eyeshadows, blush, lipstick, or you can even use them all over the face as a foundation if it was that kind of shoot/day/party. They are fantastic to have in your kit for any type of avant garde look and play equally nicely when you have to tone it down for more natural looks. The colours are what have my heart – sky blues, cerulean and emerald green, vivid red, an amazing orange. The beauty of these is you can mix them together and create whatever colour you like (similar to the Make Up Forever Flash Case which I also love and has also been a kit staple for many years.) They are eminently decantable and can be used as a cream base for powder eyeshadows or blush as well. LOVE.
Chantecaille blushers in Laughter and Emotion
How gorgeous are Chantecaille blushers? They are super finely pigmented and with just a touch of sheen to them, they give a vibrance to the face that subtly makes you glow. I first used Chantecaille on a show in London and it was a wonderful introduction to the brand as I got to use their Future Skin foundation (still an MM fave) and most of their colour products. I’ve had these blushes in and out of my kit for many seasons as they’re classic and beautiful and just very flattering. Laughter is a gorgeous candy-rose pink (very hard to describe! Let’s just say it’s lovely) and Emotion is a peachy-pinky gold. Apparently they have anti-aging vitamins A, C and E and I guess that’s good, right?
I’m currently really into nail colours that aren’t quite neons, but definitely pack a punch. Illamasqua consistently make some of the best polishes and colours in the world, so this season I’ve put Collide, (hot pink), Obsess, (vivid Fuchsia), Cameo (bright sky blue), and Lament (bright coral pink) in my kit. It might be winter Down Under but a girl needs to have some colour to cheer her up! I’m also into glittered purple Perseid as a sophisticated evening look which helps work this season’s metallic trend. Gorgeous. For a chic alternative to brights for daytime I love a grey, particularly Essie’s Playa del Platinum.
NARS Corfu Cream eyeshadow
Where to start? This is such a beautiful, bronze-y cream eyeshadow which is lovely on its own or layered under another powder bronze shadow (Lancome, MAC and Illamasqua all have great bronze shadows – forgive me but I feel too lazy to unpack my kit to check the names). On its own it’s a shimmery, twinkl-y wisp of nothing of a shadow which actually ends up being really something. Perfect for an “your eyelids but better” type scenario. NARS do some of the best cream eyeshadows out there as the texture is sheer yet you can build them, and the colours are amazing. Be warned though – it is a cream and it will move so be prepared to be on shadow patrol throughout the day.
All old favourites, that I use all the time. And not a smelly cat in sight.
Loving the look of the new Illamasqua campaign, and the saturated colours in the new collection! That new glittery Shattered Star nail polish looks right up my alley as well.
It’s a very feminine, quite girly campaign for Illamasqua and it’s nice to see them going in a softer direction for a change. Plus the lipsticks will still have their insane pigmentation that they’re renowned for, so I can see more additions to my lipstick kit in the future.
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.