I must admit I don’t buy from lower end cosmetics houses very often, except for waterproof mascara for my kit (I go through a tube every two weeks and can’t justify spending more than $25 on it). I was stocking up on said mascara recently and spied this new liquid liner at the Maybelline stand. It looked ok, said it was waterproof, looked like the tip was fine, and was about $13.00 so I thought I might as well give it a go.
Well I’m thrilled that I did, because this is the best liquid liner I’ve ever come across – it’s super black, super fine, super soft, super easy to use and is super value for money! Seriously, I’ve had so many clients ask me what it is and where they can get it – every single person is just astounded when I tell them it’s just a cheapie. It is so easy to work with and even after extensive abuse (I sanitize the tip in alcohol before I use it on a new person for hygiene purposes) it’s still going strong. If you’re a fan of liquid liner and are looking for an alternative to what you are currently using – go and pick one of these up. Love it!
Have a wonderful week everyone, and stay dry and warm if where you are is wet and cold like Brisbane is at the moment!
I’m back! I’ve spent the last six months working around the clock and have just now found myself re inspired to start this blog thing up again. I’ve got lots of new products and goodies to show everyone so watch this space!
I’ve been waiting for this collection to hit our shores for months now and it was finally launched last Thursday. I just adore the pastel macaron coloured products and the kawaii touches that have resulted in a colour story that is Quite Awesome.
I only picked up a couple of products, but seriously this whole collection is amazing, Aside from the lipsticks and blushes, I also adore the nail laquers and plushglass lipglosses (my favourite ever lipgloss formula), it’s just so fun but also wearable at the same time. St Germain lipstick is also back as part of this collection, so if you love your super blue pinks and don’t own it already, it’s a must have. Another come back is the lip pencils in Boldly Bare, In Synch and Naked Liner, I hear these are staying on as part of the permanent range, which is exciting – Boldly Bare is one of my all time favourites! The eyeshadow quad is adorable too – reminds me of the Sweetie Cake Collection all those years ago.
A quick run down on the ones I purchased…..
Playing Koi Lipstick (Satin): Creamy Pastel Apricot. This is my favourite of the release, being Satin and Creamy it’s just the most gorgeous pale peach. I’ll be wearing this as blush also!
Candy Yum-Yum Lipstick (Matte): Bold Neon Pink. Talk about Bright! If you love bold lipsticks you must get a hold of this.
Quite Cute Lipstick (Cremesheen): Sheer Icy Lavender. This is a fair bit paler than Lavender Whip which came out a few years ago. Will be nice for layering and on it’s own.
Giggly Mineralized Blush: Cool toned pink with a Lilac heart-shaped Accent in the centre (cute!) This is kind of like a Dame/Well Dressed lovechild in a Mineralize formula (which basically equals my dream blush).
Anyway, enough from me on this collection, I could rabbit on about it all day I love it so much. All this talk of sweet pastely goodness has me craving french baked goods!
Recently I won a competition for one of the new Beauty Pod sponges from the lovely people from Makeup and Glow – YAY for me! I was really keen to see what the difference was between this new sponge and the cult favourite Beauty Blender sponge, which I also have. I must admit, my personal makeup routine is pretty basic, I like it to be quick and easy so sponges are a great way for me to get a flawless look without spending too much time mucking around when I have a job to get to.
I used the Beauty Pod yesterday and I must say I’m totally converted. Whilst the Beauty Blender is pretty much the same thing, I found the shape doesn’t really lend itself to the stippling method you’re supposed to use with it, so I don’t use it all the time (my lazy habit of using my fingers occasionally resurfaces and the result is nowhere near as good!). The Beauty Pod on the other hand? Well, it’s perfect. The base is pretty flat and there’s a groove in the middle so you can grip the pointy end to stipple on your foundation in a quick and easy manner. The finish is gorgeous, it’s really natural and super smooth, no lines or marks to blend away. You can apply a sheer amount to some areas and build up coverage in others. I usually apply my concealer with a brush but thought I’d give the Beauty Pod a go under my eyes. I was pretty impressed actually. I just flipped the sponge around and used the tapered end and it was super easy and gave a really nice, natural result, so much so that my concealer brush may be in danger of becoming neglected!
When comparing the two sponges, for me I personally prefer the Beauty Pod over the Beauty Blender due to shape and ease of use, other than that they are very similar in material and it’s true what they say – they don’t absorb nearly as much product as latex based sponges (they probably use slightly more than using a foundation brush, but not a significant amount). So how does the price compare? The Beauty Blender retails at around $29.95 AUD or you can sometimes get 2 for $49.95. The Beauty Pod retails for $12.95AUD, which is around half the price.
The winner for me is definitely the Beauty Pod, coming out in front for both ease of application and price. The finish really is the same for both, and I do love that the Beauty Blender is pink (come on, someone’s got to say it!) but maybe – just this once – purple is the new pink?
Both the Beauty Pod and the Beauty Blender are available at online makeup supply stores nationally.
I’m around a lot of weddings and they are all fabulous, they are the most magical occasion. Everyone has their own style and personal touches and that’s what makes them unique and beautiful. I must say the attention to detail at Salma’s wedding was phenomenal – this girl has impeccable taste!
I thought I’d share some of the pics of the makeup (taken by the truly amazing Jonas Peterson - who is awesome), however if you want to see more of this wedding (trust me you do) check out the Real Weddings Style Annual for 2010 which is available now, and also the wonderful 100 Layer Cake blog for a squiz at the finer details (including my favourite thing, the gorgeous table centrepieces at the reception). Jonas also has a few pics up on his site, but I suspect there may be more to come….
Salma wanted her makeup to be classic and elegant. She has amazing skin, so we used the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation to provide a beautifully natural base. The colour palette was a combination of neutrals – cue MAC shadows in Arena, Satin Taupe and Mystery with a flick of Blacktrack Fluidline to define the upper lashline – and Salma’s favourite colour pink – NARS Mata Hari Blush was the perfect rose petal pink for the cheeks and MAC Brave lipstick gave her natural pink lips. For finishing touches I used MAC’s Penultimate Brow Marker for naturally accentuated brows and MAC eyeshadow in Patina to highlight the tops of the cheekbones. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Photography – Jonas Peterson – http://jonaspeterson.com/
Makeup – Gemma Elaine – http://www.embellishedmakeup.com.au/
Hair – George Sotiriou – http://georgesalons.com.au/
Accessories – Shahedah Sabdia – http://www.alessarablog.blogspot.com/
Bridal Gown – George Wu – http://www.georgewu.com.au/
Number two of my articles written for Style Collective has been published on their site and it focuses on Brows, Tans and Skin preparation for your wedding day. It also contains my personal list of skincare recommendations for all skin types. I hope you enjoy!
Since you’re all mad about my storage posts I thought I’d let you in on a few more of my favourites.
When I was in New York last year, I visited the Make Up For Ever store every chance I got. Their range is so amazing, I wish we had our own dedicated store here in Australia. My two favourite storage items from there are the large magnetized makeup palette and the empty colour case.
The large palette can fit 51 MAC eyeshadow pans inside and is quite deep so would also be ok for those who like to depot deeper items also. Being made of metal it’s strong and doesn’t have any plastic to chip or get cracked. No dividers means you can put anything you like in there and no space is wasted. Now we don’t have a Make Up For Ever store in Australia, however Media Makeup Academy in Adelaide does stock these for $25 – such a great price too!
The second item is an empty flash case that I use for my MAC Studio Finish Concealers. I can fit 12 different colours into one small case so I’m always ready to attack any hardcore scarring or blemishes. Unfortunately this item isn’t available anywhere but the Make Up For Ever stores, however if you do already have the 12 Color Case of the Flash colours, hold onto it when you’re finished or the product expires and you have an empty concealer palette!
Being the organizational freak I am, of course I’ve already planned my NEXT storage post, but you’ll just have to wait and see what it is!
One thing I value as a makeup artist is having great tools. Without them, I wouldn’t be half as good as what I am. My brush belt is pretty much my pride and joy, I always make sure it’s looked after and the brushes are cleaned after every job. I love MAC brushes because I believe they are great quality – I also like NARS and Shu Uemura brushes but I don’t have any in my work kit at the moment. I’m always adding to my collection (and I have since this photo was taken in late 2009), and finding new bits and pieces to stash in the belt – which is available at MAC Pro for approx $95 in Australia.
Currently I always have (aside from brushes) the following inside:
Small and large cosmetics sharpeners (does anyone else just love the little manicare sharpeners?)
Stainless steel mixing palette
Small and large metal spatulas (for sampling lipsticks etc)
Tweezerman round grip angled tweezers
A pair of old blunt Francheville tweezers (for false eyelashes)
Small safety scissors
Fine point felt tip marker
Steel tip teasing comb
And then depending on the job I will add in pencils and lipglosses in the front pockets – you can fit so much in this belt it’s great – I can also fit powders in when I’m doing touch ups on set for commercial jobs.
When it comes to taking care of my brushes, I use MAC Cleanse Off Oil where necessary to remove stubborn product (usually for my foundation brushes, lip brushes, eyeliner brushes, and anything else that’s gotten waterproof or water resistant product on it) and then rinse before washing with Dettol Healthy Touch hand wash – this kills the bacteria as well as cleans the brushes. Some of the brushes need a double cleanse to get all the residue out. I always make sure I reshape the brushes and allow them to dry flat over the edge of a bench.
Oh, and one last thing – when I get new brushes I paint the bottom of the handles with my favourite pink nailpolish so that if I’m on set with other makeup artists I know which ones are mine – these cost too much money to be losing them!
Highlighting and Contouring is an amazing makeup skill to have. Whilst it’s on the more advanced end of what most people do as part of their daily makeup routines, it can really transform the way you look.
In basic makeup terms, Contouring is applying a darker colour than your skintone to the areas of the face you wish to recede or appear smaller, whereas Highlighting products are lighter than the skintone and draw attention to areas you’d like to bring forward. Check out this picture of Tyra Banks – if you look carefully you’ll see the makeup artist has contoured the sides of her forehead, making it appear smaller. They’ve contoured underneath her cheekbones to make them appear sharper and highlighted the top of her cheekbones and temples to make them look higher. Her nose has been given shape and definition with a combination of highlighting and contouring also.
So, how can you use this technique at home? To start with, you’ll need to get to know your bone structure. Where do your cheek bones hollow out? Have a poke around and get to know where they are, from your ears down towards the bottom of your nose or mouth. Where is the top of your cheekbones? Could they stand out more with a bit of highlighting? Do you have a wide or square jawline you’d like to look less noticable? Are you like me and have a massive forehead that could do with looking a little smaller? Or is your nose flat and you’d like it to look more shapely or narrow?
Next is where to apply the product? Everyone’s bone structure is different so we’ll all contour and highlight differently. Here’s a picture of my face and a dodgy MS Paint job showing where I use highlighting and contouring on myself. The pale yellow is where I highlight, the brown is my contouring area, and the pink is where I generally apply blush on myself.
The contoured areas are under my cheekbones (you’ll see the shape is kind of like a wedge shaped sponge), the sides of my forehead, the crease of my eye (not necessary if you are wearing eyeshadow, but as you know, a lot of eyeshadow techniques do this anyway), the sides of my nose and underneath my jaw (to make my jawline appear stronger).
The highlighted ares include my browbone (again, most eyeshadow techniques include this), the top of my cheekbones and temples, the inner corner of my eyes, the length of my nose, and the centre of my lips (as seen in this tutorial I did last year – to make my lips appear fuller).
Obviously if you don’t have a large forehead like me you can skip the contouring there, or if you have a broader jawline you can blend the contouring down from the hollow of the cheekbone instead of bringing it back to the base of the ear. Likewise if you have a nose you think is too prominent you may choose to skip the nose highlighting all together.
The key to this technique – and I cannot stress this enough – is subtlety. You don’t want it to look as though you’ve drawn shapes all over your face with makeup, it should all blend and have soft lines, not stand out or be harsh. Apply a small amount at a time, step back and see if you need more but take it easy – less is definitely more.
Tools – I use a variety of brushes – large, small and really small. My favourites? For the face – MAC Brushes #168 (an angled blush brush), #165 (a tapered blush brush), #138 (a tapered powder brush), for eyes – MAC #217 (fluffy blending brush) and #219 (bullet shaped brush) and for nose MAC #227 (large domed brush). Of course you don’t need all of these, but the shapes of these brushes are worth checking out for ease of application – find what works best for you.
Products – you can use liquids, creams or powders, the colours will depend on your skintone. Contouring products should be about 2 shades deeper than your skin, and highlighters about 2 shades lighter. I suggest people start with powders as they are easier to blend and apply, so there’s less chance of looking like a zebra at the end of it! Also worth noting, you can use a shimmery product as your highlighter if you like, but your contouring product should be matte. My commonly used products?
MAC Phloof or Shroom or Orb eyeshadow (powder, light skintones)
MAC Shape Powder in Accentuate or Empasize (light – med skintones)
MAC Irridescent Powder in Belightful (light – med skintones)
NARS Multiple in Copacabana (cream product, light – med skintones)
MAC Cream Colour Base in Improper Copper or Hush (cream product, med – dark skintones)
MAC Patina or All That Glitters Eyeshadows (powder, med – dark skintones)
MAC Moisturecover Concealer – 1 – 2 shades lighter than your skin tone
MAC Shaping Powder in Bone Beige or Sculpt (light – med skintones)
MAC Blush in Harmony (powder, light – med skintones)
MAC Charcoal Brown or Brown Down eyeshadows (powder, dark skintones)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Dark or Deep Dark (powder, med – dark skintones)
MAC Studio Stick Foundation – 2 shades darker than your foundation
Woah! Mammoth post! If you’ve made it this far – well done! I hope this has given you some idea of how to use this technique at home, and like everything you’ll get better with practice. Let me know if anything is unclear or you have further questions!
Trompe de L’oeil – or to ‘trick the eye’ is a reference to French murals dating way back in time that fool the viewer into believing they are looking at the real deal (usually a landscape) instead of simply a painting.
Well, my eyes are more in love than feeling tricked by the new Chanel temporary tattoos being released in Chanel stores worldwide very soon, these babies look amazing! I cannot wait to get my paws on them, my love of body art and all things Chanel has been rolled into one. Never before have tattoos been so glamorous (even my mum likes the look of them!), and I can’t decide from the pics I’ve seen whether my favourite will be the sultry garter or the elegant necklace.
Les Trompe L’Oeil de Chanel Temporary Skin Art will be sold as a set of 55 temporary tattoos for $90 in Australia at Chanel boutiques and the Chanel Makeup Studio in Sydney. You can be connected to the stores via 1300 242 635 to go on the waiting list for the Peter Phillips designed transfers. Until then, I will keep gazing at the pictures in absolute awe.