As you know by now, I’m a major brush junkie. I probably have around 150 makeup brushes, with about 100 on regular rotation in my kit. It helps out on jobs when I don’t have time to be sanitizing brushes in between faces and also if I have a busy week and no time to wash them it means I still have some in my belt. My favourite ones I have multiples of which helps out too and when they get old I use them for creative work involving body paint and products that stain or damage brushes.
I was given a set of Makeup and Glow brushes at the end of 2010 and have loved them ever since. These brushes are remarkably well priced for the quality of them, they are on par with MAC in terms of brush quality and durability. The foundation brush is probably the best flat foundation brush I have ever used and the white goat hair brushes are nothing short of brilliant. Pricing is between $10 and $30 per brush which is insanely good value, or you can buy them in a set of 24 brushes for less than $300. I bought a set for my mum and she adores them, and I’ve recommended them to so many other makeup artists and students about to start their makeup training and they love them just as much as I do.
I’ve compiled a list of my top 11 (couldn’t cut one out to bring it down to 10, I’m sorry!) for you, and I think if you are an everyday consumer and you had no other brushes and just the 11 I’ve mentioned you would get by happily. After over two years of solid work (they would get used and washed around 4 times a week) they are still in tip top condition and I expect to have them for a few more years before slowly starting to replace them which I will have no hesitation in doing. For pricing please see the M&G Website and the girls will be able to answer any questions you have also.
Have a fabulous week everyone!
About a month ago I was thrilled to be asked to do makeup for a campaign for accessory and fashion label knots + knits by megan todd shot by the amazing Sam Thies. Megan’s designs are absolutely gorgeous and the team for this project was nothing short of spectacular. Our gorgeous model Brooke (Chic Models + Dally’s Models) is a beautiful, leggy, porcelain skinned model who is simply perfect (this girl is going to be huge!). The makeup brief was to transform Brooke into an uber-bronzed, free spirited glamazon. The amazing Paula Kelly from Sublime Hairdressing gave Brooke super long, voluminous tresses with the assistance of tape extensions and wefts that blended perfectly with her natural hair. Super Stylist Sarah Birchley sourced an eclectic mix of both designer and vintage clothing and shoes that were both relaxed and cool at once.
Makeup wise we were going for bohemian bronze. The biggest part of my job on the day was the skin – not just the face, but all over! We were wary of Brooke getting a spray tan as the look we were going for was more of a chocolate bronze rather than a golden tan. Enter MAC Skinsheen Legspray in Dark. This product is an aerosol mousse that you buff into the skin (with either hands or a buffing brush) to get an instant bronze sheen to the skin that washes off with soap and water in the shower. It has a beautiful chocolate tone and can be layered to get more dramatic results and the finish is a delightful sheeny glow with a hint of pearl which photographs brilliantly. Makeup wise, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation was used in a mixture of shades #128 and #173 and old faithful Bloom Bronzing Powder and MAC Golden Bronze Loose Powder to define and sculpt the face and contour the eye sockets. Lips were a mixture of MAC Mocha Lipstick and Love Nectar Lipgloss and later on in the day we added a neon liner made up of a custom mix of MAC Chromacakes and Neo Orange Pigment.
Now just to buy one of these awesome bags! There are soooooo many amazing ones, it’s difficult to choose! For the full campaign see the Knots + Knits website.
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 bought my Zuca four months ago after I smashed the telescopic handle of my suitcase and it became really difficult to open and close (GRRrrr), my girlfriend had one and I was pretty impressed at how smooth it rolled and was pretty lightweight when empty. I must say I love it. It holds A LOT which means it ends up being quite heavy, when packed to full capacity, but the clear insert bags mean I just choose what I want to take the day of my job and leave the others at home so it’s not too bad most days. I still carry my MAC Carry All soft case around with the stuff I use for every job for easy access, but for palettes, spare foundations and colour products, the Zuca holds it all.
Züca is becoming very prominently used in the makeup industry at the moment after being successful in the figure skating world for quite some time. You can buy all sorts of frames and inserts in different styles and colours meaning you can really tailor it to your needs and personal taste. I chose to go with the sport frame (in hot pink of course) and the black stealth insert as it’s the easiest for me to keep clean (I just wipe it down with makeup wipes from time to time). The artist range has a collection of small clear plastic topped utility pouches you can stack inside the case and still see what’s inside. You can fit five of the pouches inside although I usually just have three or four so that I can still fit in a box of tissues and my brush belt in on top of them.
Aside from the central cavity there is also a heap of pockets inside and out, and the amount of stuff I can fit in there amazes me. In the pictures you’ll see the four inserts I regularly use, one of them up close and also a bunch of stuff I keep in the side pockets all the time as my just in case products (straws, hairspray, comp cards, nail polishes, sunscreen, panadol, etc etc), all of this fits comfortably in my Zuca (as well as my brush belt and a box of tissues as I mentioned before).
Other cool things? The top is a seat so you can sit on it if you need to. The massive rollerblade style wheels light up which impresses everyone who sees it. The extra set of wheels means it climbs stairs – usually it’s easier to just carry it up due to the big handle on top – but technically they do work. Being the shape it is it doesn’t fall over if you leave it standing up which means no more broken products. The telescopic handle is sturdy and smooth.
The Zuca is not cheap, it probably cost me about three times as much as my previous suitcase, however I’m expecting it to last at least that much longer as it’s heaps stronger and more practical for my needs. For professional makeup artists on the move, they are really amazing. You can buy them from a few places, however I ordered mine from the ZÜCA website and it arrived within a couple of weeks.
I’m often approached by makeup artists who are looking for products to fill their kit with. So, I thought I’d start my own list of recommendations for must haves in a makeup kit. Now, I am a bit of a product junkie, so I’m not going to go through all of the stuff I use (we’d be here for all eternity!), but just the basics. This will be an extensive amount regardless so I will start off with base products.
I currently have about seven different foundation formulas in my kit, and I do use them all, however when you are starting out you’ll need one or two good foundations you can manipulate to work on a variety of skin types. It also depends what kind of work you’ll be doing. You’ll use different foundation for Runway than you would for Bridal. I’m going to mention the ones I think are most suitable for most makeup artists, that will cover a wide range of situations.
For shades, it does depend on how dark you want to cater for. I personally have foundations covering the very lightest to the very darkest skins (and I do use them all), however when you are just starting out most people like to cover from light through to a medium level of darkness, covering most anglo-saxons, Asian and Indian skin tones. As you build your kit you’ll eventually fill in the gap to cater to African skin tones and super pale skins, but it does depend on your clientele obviously! You can also mix products to get extra shades for foundations and concealers to make sure you have the perfect match for your clients.
Most of the stuff I’ve recommended is MAC, as I find it reasonably priced and good quality. Also it’s what I’m most often asked about so I’m inclined to go in that direction.
You’ll need at least one nice moisturiser in your kit, something not too heavy but still nice and hydrating. I have a lot of different ones, but a nice light lotion is a good place to start.
You can have a regular one and a mattifying one but I mostly use the same one over and over.
MAC Matte Texture – $35
The two I’m going to talk about are Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ($75) and MAC Studio Fix Fluid ($48). The Make Up For Ever is a little more pricey, but I personally love it. It has a medium coverage and natural finish that looks like skin. You can buy it in Australia at www.mediamakeup.com.au The Studio Fix Fluid is great for a full coverage matte finish (make sure you buy a pump top for this to save product). Both of these products can be thinned out for sheerer coverage and layered over itself for fuller coverage.
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation – #115, #123, #128, #145, #160
MAC Studio Fix Fluid – NC15, NC37, NC42 OR NC45, NW20, NW30
I use MAC Moisturecover Concealer ($34)for under the eyes and any minor pigmentation. I use the Studio Finish Concealer ($32) for acne or anything that needs a really full coverage. You could also use the Ben Nye Cover-All (approx $40 for a wheel) as a heavy concealer, these come in wheels so choose one that works for light – medium skin tones. If you buy the Studio Finish Concealer, buy the same colours as I’ve recommended for the Moisturecover.
MAC Moisturecover Concealer NW20, NW30, NC30, NC42 OR NC45
I’m not a fan of matte finish powder foundations, I find them too powdery looking and I don’t use them that often. I have a couple which come in handy from time to time, but mostly I’m after something more natural looking. The Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powders from MAC ($46) are lovely, they have a sheer – medium coverage and a natural finish. Also it’s important to have a basic setting powder (The invisible really does work on everyone – just don’t use too much), and a blot powder for oily skin (I find the Medium Dark shade works on most).
MAC Prep + Prime Invisible Set Powder – $42
MAC Blot Powder – Medium Dark – $36
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Light
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Medium
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Dark
I like to have a few different ones for lighter and darker skin. I generally don’t go for bronzers with a lot of shimmer, but they’ll need a tiny bit of luminescence so they don’t look dirty on the skin.
MAC Bronzer – Golden – $39
Bloom Bronzer - Aloha – $35
I love highlighters, these are the ones I use the most often.
MAC Irridescent Powder – Belightful – $43
MAC Creme Colour Base – Shell OR Hush – $35
As we all know, makeup is expensive, and what I’ve listed here comes to over $1000 just for base products. My advice is to start out slowly, until you know you are going to be using all these products don’t buy them. You may also have some products that you are happy with and want to continue using (at least until they have run out) and by all means do so. This is just my personal opinion on products and what makes up part of my kit. Also, there are other brands and products out there that are still good for kits, I just find these ones work very well for me and are my staples. I do believe, however that base products are the most important part of my kit. Without beautiful, flawless skin, the rest of the makeup won’t be it’s best. Experiment with different methods of application also. The Studio Fix Fluid can be applied as a really full coverage makeup with a flat brush, or it can be really natural when applied with a sponge or when it’s thinned out with moisturiser.
Anyway, this has turned into a massive post, so I’ll wind it up here. I hope this has provided some insight into setting up a kit, and to anyone starting out in makeup, I wish you the very best with your new career.
Next I’ll start to work my way though eye and lip products, but it could take a while!
Just sharing with you all an article I wrote for online magazine and community Style Collective. This article is the first in a series of info pieces on Bridal Makeup, so check it out and stay tuned for more!
I just thought I’d share a pic from a shoot I did last week with my friend Geoff and model Veronica from Dally’s. We had a heap of fun on a Sunday afternoon playing in the studio and the results reflect that (I think!)
Makeup wise, it’s pretty simple – I’m still in love with the way the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation photographs, it’s truly beautiful. I also darkened Veronica’s brows a little (with MAC Stud brow pencil) to get a stronger look and I’m loving the way they look.
I’ve decided I’ll be sharing more of my work from now on, it makes me happy that I can share it with an audience and also I love to brag about the wonderful people I get to work with. I love my job and I think I’m so lucky to be able to do this for a living. I guess I’m just feeling the love today.
It was around the end of November I got sick of carting my heavy hardcase plus my suitcase full of makeup to wedding jobs. With those plus my chair (which saves my back so much I never leave it at home unless I know there’ll be a high stool to sit my clients on – it’s the Franklin foldable chair available at Ikea for any makeup artists out there – LINK), it was so much hassle!
If I’ve done a trial, generally I know exactly what I’ll need and can leave the fluorescent pink eyeshadow, bodypainting gear and glitter at home (unless it’s a very special wedding!), so there’s no need to take everything I own. I purchased a MAC Carryall soft case and it’s seriously changed my life. Now I just take my chair, my carryall, and my fully stocked brush belt and I’m pretty much set for anything. Sometimes I throw in one of my lip palettes (as seen HERE) and my emergency kit (more on that later!) but it’s less than half the weight and inconvience I was used to.
I seriously recommend the Carryall to any freelance makeup artists, or simply anyone who owns a lot of makeup. Being soft it barely weighs anything, and it fits sooo much inside. You can also fit a small travel lock on to hold the zips together if you have children or any sticky fingers around that may want to get into your makeup without permission!
So, exactly how much stuff can I fit in there? HEAPS!
My MAC Carryall as pictured contains the following items:
1 – Cotton tips
2 – MAC Suntints Lip conditioner – Pink Tinge
3 – MAC Loose Blot Powder (decanted into small sifter jars) – Medium, Dark (unseen)
4 – MAC Primer
5 – MAC Strobe Cream
6 – MAC Studio Moisture Fix Lotion
7 – MAC Oil Control Lotion
8 – MAC Strobe Liquid
9 – MAC Fix + Spray
10 - MAC Brow Pencils – Fling, Lingering, Strut, Stud
11 – NARS Multiple – Copacabana
12 – Make Up For Ever HD Foundation – #110, #115, #128, #145, #160, #173
13 – MAC Moisturecover Concealers – NW20, NW30, NC30, NC42
14 – Duo Adhesive – Dark tone Waterproof
15 – MAC Bronzer – Golden
16 – MAC Irridescent Powder – Belightful
17 – MAC Sculpt & Shape Powder – Sculpt / Accentuate
18 – MAC Studio Fix Powder – C4
19 – Bloom Bronzer – Aloha
20 – MAC Invisible Set Powder
21 – MAC Paint Pot – Indianwood
22 – Disposable Mascara Wands
23 – MAC Fast Response Eye Cream
24 – Duo Adhesive – Standard
25 – MAC Brush Cleanser (decanted)
26 – Isocol Rubbing Alcohol (decanted)
27 – Bioderma Crealine H20 Makeup Remover (decanted)
28 – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
29 – MAC Care Blends Essential Oils
30 – MAC Fluidline – Blacktrack
31 – Hair sectioning clip
32 – Mascaras – MAC Zoomblack, Maybelline Full & Soft, Max Factor Masterpiece Waterproof
33 – NARS Blushes x 2
34 – Purell hand sanitiser
35 – MAC Paint Pots – Groundwork, Painterly (unseen)
Also unseen is a palette of MAC Studio Finish Concealer, underneath my powders. I’ll post pictures of it in my next storage entry, coming soon.
On top of all of this, I can fit in up to 3 MAC Pro Palettes (as seen HERE) on the very top, a few lipsticks and lipglosses down the bottom, and a ziplock bag full of cotton pads. My pencils and some other bits and pieces are in my brush belt, which I’ll show you in the next storage post also.
The Carry all case retails for $95 and is available at MAC counters and stores, and also online at http://www.maccosmetics.com.au/
I’ve finally finished re-designing my website and have launched it tonight. There’s still a few more images to add… but I’m so happy – it’s finally live!
Now that we are in September it’s wedding season, and I’ve been doing wedding makeup most weekends and that’s something I really enjoy. Since I’m an organisational freak, I thought I’d throw a few tips out there for brides to help their wedding day run smoothly and keep your makeup looking perfect all day.
• Before your wedding day have a makeup trial with your makeup artist so that you can decide on a look for the day. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss what you might like for your bridesmaids and also to get some recommendations on touch up supplies.
• On the day you will generally need to touch up your lips and powder, so have your lip products (lipliner, lipstick/lipstain, lipgloss) along with your powder (pressed is less messy. You’ll need a small brush too) in your clutch ready to go. If you have really oily skin, it may be a good idea to also have some blotting papers, and if you are wearing a dark eyeliner on the inner rim of your eye, you may need to touch that up also. I also like to have a few cotton buds (for smudges, eye goo, and any other unplanned happenings) on hand just in case.
• Straws are handy to have around the house on the morning of the wedding, so that you aren’t constantly having to reapply your lips after every drink!
• Make sure that your skin is in tip top shape for your wedding day. If you are having problems with your skin I recommend reviewing your skincare as early as you can when you know you are getting married to make sure that your skin is as clear and hydrated as possible on your big day. Drinking loads of water and taking Fish Oil capsules in the weeks leading up to the wedding will help your skin also.
• The morning of your wedding, cleanse your skin and give it a good going over with your towel once you get out of the shower to ensure that any flaky skin is gone, apply your moisturiser and eye cream (ensure they are light ones that aren’t heavy as these can cause your makeup to slide off your face) so that your skin is clean and well hydrated for the makeup to go on to.
• It is generally best to have your makeup done after hair, so try to get your hairdresser to arrive an hour earlier than your makeup artist on the day of the wedding.
• If you are planning on fake tanning, please have a trial run (preferably before your makeup trial) so you can see exactly how it will look on you so you have no surprises on the day. Do have a thin layer of tan applied to your face, otherwise the makeup can look mask-like and not blend in as well. Do your research on tans (some look more natural than others), and have the tan applied a day or two before to allow it to settle.
• Bach’s Rescue Remedy is great for those brides that get a bit flustered and stressed, particularly if you get a bit red in the skin! This stuff can really save the day, so if this sounds like you, pick some up!
• Get your waxing and other body maintenance done a few days before the wedding so that you aren’t worried about having to pluck your eyebrows or shave your legs on the day! Always have a razor handy though, just in case someone needs one last minute! Try and get your hands and toes taken care of the night before also so that’s not another thing you have to worry about.
• Aim to be finished hair and makeup by the time your photographer arrives (unless they are taking shots of hair and makeup happening!) or at least 30min before you have to leave the house. This gives you time to get pictures, have a glass of juice, brush your teeth, go to the loo and make sure everything is done before you have to get out the door.
• Remember to eat! Breakfast will keep you energised and ready to tackle the day, it’s a big one. Have some snacks around also for people to nibble on and plenty of liquids in the fridge.
• Enjoy yourself! Try not to stress out too much and be calm and happy. Where possible, hand over your phone and delegate everything to a family member (Dad, Uncle or Brother are always good choices!) so that the girls can just relax and be pampered on the day and not worry about tiny little things that can interrupt what should be a fun day!