When the weather in the Northern hemisphere starts warming up, and the beach (or at least a patch of green grass in the park) starts beckoning, I know it’s time to start switching up my makeup routine. It’s almost instinctive – powders start feeling goopy and heavy, your skin wants lighter products (with sunscreen!) and you don’t feel like spending lots of time getting ready. In summer let’s face it, everyone generally looks better with a flush of healthy colour.
With that in mind, I love cream products as they are fast, portable, can be dabbed on with a finger and let your natural glow come through. For me in summer, it’s all about cream blushes and bronzers. Here are my picks of the season:
Stila Convertible Colour – these are the prettiest flush you will find in a compact. I carry about 8 in my kit on every makeup job, and pat them on to the apple of the cheek either with my fingers, or with a sponge. You can also blend in with a brush, and my favourite for this is the MAC 187 large duofibre blending brush.
Paul & Joe Creamy Cheek in 03 – this is it, this is the one that I’m personally wearing all summer long. Deceptively pale in its sweet Art-deco inspired pink packaging, it can be built to a gorgeous flush of colour with a subtle shimmer that makes you look uber-healthy.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge – These come in a gorgeous chunky pot and really can be used on lips and cheeks. I love Calypso Coral for a punchy flush of colour and Summer Tan for a monochromatic bronze effect.
NARS Multiples – yes, every one raves about these because they are amazing. The shimmery bronze-y shades are my favourite, and I mix and match St Barts, South Beach and Palm Beach depending on the models’ skin tone. You can also add Malibu or Riviera on the apples of the cheek (if you felt like taking a walk on the wild side.)
Chanel Bronze Universel – a big, chunky beautiful pot of caramel bronze goodness with a hint of shimmer – just enough to look like skin, that you buff in with a big brush. Such a perfect start to the day as well – dipping into a big pot with the double C’s on top.
Becca – juicy, sweet little pans of blush in punchy, unusual colours like Hyacinth, Turkish Rose and Amaryllis. I keep a good selection on hand at all times, and it is equally sweet on lips. This is a lovely range for the summer months as no-one does flattering, natural, juicy summer colours like an Aussie brand, and this one definitely fits the bill.
These are just a few of my favourite cream blushes – The other lovely thing about cream blushes is you can layer them under your powder blush or bronzer to create a new, more longer lasting blush colour. Because cream blush, like summer, will fade. But the memory of it lingers on.
I just love NARS’ new take on a screen test at Andy Warhol’s iconic Factory in New York. The whole collection is a perfect collaboration between art and beauty – NARS has done it again! The gift coffrets are beautifully packaged and are great selections of products (the Debbie Harry palette and Edie set are high on my wish list). This is cosmetics collaboration at its finest.
Love this gorgeous makeup by Diane Kendal for the NARS Summer 2012 campaign. It doesn’t hurt that the model is beautiful Ginta Lapina, and the new NARS collection? Well, as always it’s high on my wish list. The Marie-Galante eyeshadow trio, Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil and Vendanges lipstick might just be heading to my makeup bag soon.
NARS is available in Australia at Mecca Cosmetica
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely and relaxing festive season and start to 2012. It has been harder than anticipated to prise myself away from the pool (or the beach, just to mix it up a bit). The lure of sunshine, sand, swimming and that feeling at the end of the day when you know you’ve had just enough sun has proven too difficult to resist. However the beauty of relaxing is it makes the mind unwind, and of late my thoughts have been turning to getting back to work. Yesterday my kit got a total overhaul and I was able to think about upcoming jobs. There’s also some new products that I am itching to get a lot more use out of in the next couple of months – Here’s a rundown of the products I can’t wait to get back into:
I do love Bobbi’s cream eyeshadows, they are some of the best on the market. This has to be my Numero Uno favourite one. It’s a gorgeous gilded bronze-y colour which is magnifique on its own, or thrown into the mix with other browns and coppers for the ultimate, summer-y smoky eye.
Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
I have had this in my kit FOREVER, and it used to be one of my favourite lipsticks back in the day (let’s just say that TLC’s Creep was featuring heavily on my mixed tapes when I used to use this particular number). But it is the strangest thing – it’s a deep wine colour that really does look good on every skin tone! Now due to its iconic status, Clinique have expanded the Black Honey range to include a new Black Honey powder blush. And I think it’s time for Black Honey to come out and play again. (Maybe not the mid-90’s RnB, but you never know).
Tom Ford Illuminating Face Powder
This is a fantastic pressed face powder for those with oilier skin (such as my good self). It is heavy enough to blot down what it needs to take down but without dulling the skin. I’m actually using it in place of foundation most days, as without powder my forehead looks like it’s been laminated (such a good look!) It also has a yellow tone to it, which I”ve always liked to carry in my kit, and I’ve found it’s like a better version of T Le Clerc’s powder in Banane. T Le Clerc might be needing to find a new place to live this month.
Blistex Lip Balm Ultra Protection SPF 30+
This high protection sunscreen lip balm really comes into its own on beach shoots when it’s 30 degrees and keeping the model from frying like a lobster (and her makeup looking pristine) is of paramount importance. This is my favourite lip balm with sunscreen that I’ve found recently, and I’m hoping I’ll get to use it on a few more beach shoots before the end of the season.
Estee Lauder Verite Calming Fluid
This is my current go-to moisturiser as it’s a very light fluid that hydrates the skin beautifully, leaves a gorgeous sheen on the skin and is the perfect base for sunscreen – which is just mandatory at this time of the year. This is from Estee Lauder’s fantastic Verite range for skins with rosacea and a tendency to redness (such as mine), so it helps subtly correct your skintone at a skin care level before you even get to foundation.
Chanel Blazing Gold Single Eyeshadow and Liquid Liner in Or
I’m totally keeping these for a beauty story as I’m really feeling gold at the moment (and shimmery stuff in general). The liner is an opulent liquid gold liner which is perfect for adding a festive sparkle to the inner eye corners or for a more dramatic statement liner, and the gold shadow is a pressed powder eyeshadow and just right for layering over cream gold eyeshadow for statement eyes. Apres-beach or après-ski, tres sexy!
NARS Joyous Red lipstick
This colour didn’t actually grab me when I first tried it, but it’s been growing on me over the holidays. It’s a bright red with an amber tone to it – normally a colour that I don’t gravitate towards (depending on your skin tone) as it can be difficult to wear. But there’s an oddness to this colour that has been haunting me, and I’m desperate to do some editorial that I can bust it out on. One of the things that I love about NARS colours is they do all the standard “beauty” colours – great reds, beiges, peaches etc – but also incredible shades that are outside the mainstream and just not like anything else. Bravo NARS for consistently pushing the beauty boundaries and including so many lovely different types of colours in your range.
Ooooh now I’m all excited and raring to get back to work and get deep back into the makeup mines. There’s more than just gold to discover!
PS I’m on holidays again next week, but just for a week (such a lady of leisure!) So MM will be back on the 24th of January.
This year I am tardy with my Christmas post – but that’s because I’m tardy with my Christmas shopping. After I write this, I have to sit down and figure out a time when I’m going to get my shopping done as with shoots and prepping for various jobs it’s all been a bit hectic of late. But finally I have my eyes on a few goodies that I thought you might like to hear about as well.
What Santa could bring in his sack for me this year:
NARS Holiday – This is probably my pick of the season and has me more excited than I’ve been about a new collection in a while. At first glance I thought – nice, but not that exciting. Don’t let these little Christmas crackers fool you – they are the type of rich, complex colours that NARS does (I think) better than any other brand on the market. Colours that once you have them you don’t know how you lived without them, and that no other brand does. This is why (like Orgasm and Jungle Red) they rapidly become iconic cult beauty items. Anyway, I digress – why you need some new NARS this Christmas:
Multiple in G-Spot – At first I thought I had a colour pretty similar to this with Malibu, an old but much loved favourite NARS Multiple of mine. But no, this is Malibu’s sweeter teenage sister, more pinky-raspberry and flecked with gold. Even in my two boxes of blushers in the Vault I don’t have anything like this. Gorgeous on cheeks and lips and I fell in love with it on a recent shoot.
Cream eyeshadow in Ponderosa – my stand out colour from this collection. Rich black bronze with a purplish sheen to it, I love this as a liner or as a base for a smoky eye. NARS cream eyeshadows aren’t cheap but they are lovely and the colours are amazing. I have quite a few and I use them a lot – this is my new cream eyeshadow obsession.
Stila Dream Catcher eye shadow palette – Almost too pretty to use, this palette contains 35 different eyeshadows, including the top seller Kitten. In fact, this palette inspired a dream about Jeanine Lobell, the creator of Stila back in the 1990’s when I first got addicted to the brand. (And yes, I am aware that it is quite scary that I dream about other makeup artists but you can’t accuse me of slacking off when I sleep. Top UK makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has also blogged about this beautiful eyeshadow palette for Xmas, and I love it a) as it’s as beautiful as a work of art and b) it’s super-handy for work as I can have it on my work table and dip into it when I’m in a hurry and need a colour quickly, without rummaging through all my palettes. You could not go wrong with this one, there are colours for everyone.
Stila Lip Glaze set – This little number actually made me drool – a box of 8 Stila Lip Glazes in mouthwatering lipgloss colours. Pinks, peaches, luminous milky creams – yum, yum yum. Stila is back on my radar of late after a bit of a hiatus (although a constant devotion to their divine cream blush Convertible Colours is always at MM HQ).
Jonathan Ward Candles – I first came across JW Candles through the incredible British Beauty Blogger in London – this lady has introduced me to more makeup finds than Vogue, and these beautiful bespoke organic paraffin-free soy candles are no exception. This year I would give (and happily receive!) J W Candles in White and Verte as they are so chic and eco-friendly. They are available in the UK at Selfridges and in Australia through http:.//www.ecoluxe.com.au
Tom Ford – Right Santa, just back the truck up, that little sack of yours is not going to cut the mustard as I will be needing all, I repeat ALL of the Tom Ford collection. The whole thing please, (including brushes and skincare). I have yet to find a dud product in this new line that has breathed life into an occasionally jaded product junkie.
Aesop Gift Boxes – this year I’ll be snapping up the Celestial Mechanics set as it contains my favourite products – Fabulous Face Cleanser, B&T Balancing Toner (the only toner I like), Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream and Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque. Plus the box that they come in are the greatest thing for your makeup kit. As in ever. You cannot have too many of those!
Kiehl’s is a brand of skincare that I love and I’m well aware that it’s not been getting the MM love that it deserves (more on Kiehl’s in 2012). My pick of their gorgeous Christmas sets is the Holiday Icons set, which includes Kiehl’s Crème de Corps body moisturiser (which I use on celebs and for serious body shoots), the Kiehl’s Number 1 Lip Balm and the Ultra Facial Cream which is my go-to basic cream in my kit for normal skin.
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!
NARS and Chantecaille are available at Mecca Cosmetica in Australia and Space NK in the UK.
This post is so overdue as I have been back and forth in my mind on a few brands who have blushers that I really like, but NARS eventually won out. As always with my Best. Ever. posts it’s some big shoes to fill, but I feel pretty confident about awarding this major beauty category to NARS.
Comprehensively I believe that NARS has the best blush selection on the market. They cover all skin tones, from the incredibly pale (Angelika and Amour) to the deepest, richest mahogany (Taj Mahal, Exhibit A and Taos are all divine on black skin). They do a huge range of powder AND cream blushes, (48 in all! Which should keep even the most blush happy amongst you more than satisfied), especially when you throw into the mix their amazing Multiples, which truly are the fast food of makeup – chuck them in your bag, swipe them on your cheeks and lips and bingo! Instant pretty.
The powder blushes come in a gorgeous array of tones and finishes, and have good colour pay-off. They even do ones that are more like powder luminisers, like Albatross, Nico and Miss Liberty. I have been collecting NARS blushes for years, and the hardest thing is deciding which ones to take on a job. A quick count of the Vault and my kit has revealed a pretty staggering 30 NARS blushes to choose from, so you can see I’m a fan from way back.
The cream blushers are also beautiful and can be applied with fingers or a brush, and if you’re feeling really crazy, you can layer them with the powder for long lasting wear. They have reduced how many creams they have in the range now, which is a shame as they are beautiful, but with a range as expansive and constantly evolving as NARS, I guess things have to go periodically to make room for new makeup lushness.
I love the black rubberized packaging courtesy of master designer Fabien Baron (still so chic, seventeen years on! That’s the hallmark of truly great design), and the names. After all, who else could get away with calling a blush Orgasm and Super Orgasm but NARS?
And even though there are a bazillion shades already available, they just keep coming up with more covetable colours. How is that even possible? I have boxes and boxes of blushes and yet still each season I keep finding another NARS must-have shade. Currently on my radar to add to my collection – after all, a girl really can’t have enough blush, no? – Enchantment, Sex Appeal and Douceur. Do I need them? Hell to the no! Do I want them? Bet your ass yes.
Also if you can ever get your sticky blush-loving paws on some of the discontinued shades, there are some crackers there too.
Monsieur Nars, thank you for the best range of blushes in the world. I am however still waiting for an invitation to your private island in Bora Bora to enjoy the shade of the palm tree that my NARS habit has funded over the years. Next year around March works for me if that’s good for you?
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)
- MAC Plumful
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:
- Illamasqua Atomic
- Tom Ford Perfect Pink
- NARS Schiap
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.
NARS is a brand that, quite frankly, had me at hello, but of late it has been reaching new heights of rocking my socks off. I give you:
Not to mention the campaign image with the stupendous model Iris Strubegger , who’s one of my favourite models of the last couple of years. She looks tough, sexy, androgynous yet gorgeous – love her. I did her makeup in Berlin a couple of years ago now and she’s as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside, not to mention being an otherworldly beauty when she hits that catwalk.
Exhibit B: The new VGPs (I just can’t help myself with the acronyms.)
Or Velvet Gloss Pencils. I mean really, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! I have a Crayola like stash of NARS VMPs (Velvet Matte Pencils) in my kit at all times, so I can only guess how many of those shiny new GLOSSY bad boys are going to be snuggling up next to their matte cousins by the end of the season.
Just because it’s beautiful, here is the new VGP video with the lovely Heather Marks.
So God, if you’re listening I’m going to be needing: NARS Douceur and Sex Appeal blush, VGPs (all), Matte Lipstick in Tashkent and Volga, Hollywoodland eye pencil, the new Eye Trio in Calanque, Nouveau Monde and Bateau Ivre eyeshadow duos, and Coconut Grove single eyeshadow. I think that’s it for now.
(Although it’s OK if you’re a bit busy at the moment to fulfill my NARS request. Just, you know, when you get time).
The new Spring collection is available in the UK and US, and available in Australia through Mecca Cosmetica from the 21st February.