It's that time again! Don't panic over Christmas presents..here are my pick of the best holiday gift sets for men and women of all ages and all budgets. 
Happy shopping!




Let me know what you get! You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup)



Just wanted to quickly introduce you to the BEST CLEANSER EVER. I've never known a cleanser to remove makeup so easily and quickly, I don't think there is any amount of makeup that could be a match for this to clean in one quick go, not even a Kardashion amount of makeup face would be a match for this cleanser.  It's so, so good, it even removes eye makeup including mascara! I don't use a separate eye makeup remover, and I have extremely sensitive skin and eyes. It's non-greasy, non-drying and so, so good. The matching Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm* is just as brilliant but the oil has the better edge at removing heavy makeup and eye makeup in one swipe. Thanks Clinique!

*In America go here 

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Lots of people suffer from dry, sore hands in the winter. I get terribly dry, sore hands all through the year, mostly from washing my hands all day and I'm sure makeup artists are not the only job that involves a lot of hand washing and sore hands. Hopefully my short list of tough creams will help some of you out there. I have tried tons and TONS of different hand creams, there wouldn't be enough room to list them all, and most of them didn't do anything to help when my hands were particularly bad (Nivea, E45, Atrix, etc). However, I have had lots of success with these to fix my hands when they've got so dry they've cracked, as well as keeping the dryness at bay when they are in good health. Click the links below for more detailed info, and prices.

Serious creams for seriously dry, cracked hands

1. Burt's Bees Hand Salve, A Farmers Friend*
I love this stuff, it's greasy when you apply which I usually hate but it sinks in super fast. My hands react well to this and easily halts a dry breakout.

2. Lyons Leaf Healing Blend Calendula Cream 
This is my miracle cream, amazing for any type of skin issue it's great for acne/razor burn, rashes and also for sore dry hands, plus it's completely natural. It's a bit too greasy for an every day hand cream but an excellent option to have on hand when your hands really need it.

3. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Mains
One of the better regular hand creams, it works great but it leaves a greasy film for too long, it's a good few minutes which I don't love (so impatient) but it does excellent work so this is good to use this at night when you get into bed.

4. Hand Chemistry Triple-Function Hyaluronic-Rich Hydrator**
Definitely the best of all hand creams, especially for feel; theres no stickiness or greasiness feel at all, it has quick absorption and excellent results for dry hands. Top buy for regular use.

5. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
The 'Wonder Cream', another all round skin fixer. I don't use this as an every day hand cream as it's too expensive but I will use it when they get very sore or on specific dry bits. It works excellent and so fast, hands back to normal in no time, plus it absorbs very quick. Excellent to have incase any parts get really bad.

6. Balneum Plus Cream
This is a specialist treatment for dermatitis, eczema and other painful skin conditions and the cream that fixes my hands if I let them get to that awful cracked sore state. Brilliant at prevention, fast absorption, serious fix for serious problems.

7. Viridian Organic Calming Moisture Balm
Again not strictly for hands but it does a great job soothing them and keeping them smooth. Too expensive for every day but great to have on hand if you feel them start getting dry or sore to bring them back to normal (and for dry skin issues anywhere).

*Get in US here 
**Get in US here

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Sometimes I shock myself I haven't blogged about certain items and it is crazy to me I've haven't mentioned this cream when I could not work without it. I probably use this at least once a day on either myself, whichever talent is sitting in my chair, or on one of the crew. I call this the wonder cream because it is literally a wonder cure for so many things, it's probably the most used item in my kit and the one I go through the quickest because I'm always pulling it out to give to someone on set to use.

The Baume B5 is an incredibly fast working and successfully soothing balm that aids quick recovery of the skin. It has a highly reparative formulation for all kinds of skin issues including chapped skin and intense dryness. It's also anti-inflammatory so it calms bumps, bites and rashes while actively repairing the skin. I have had this since before it came out a couple of years ago and have gone through tubes and tubes of it, on myself and on so many people for so many different ailments from rashes, small burns, dermatitis flare ups, sore lips, dry patches on the face and body, bites, and it miraculously cures them all within a matter of hours, and sometimes minutes. That's why I call it the wonder cream, because it's incredible. It has a non-greasy finish making it a makeup artist kit staple but it's a brilliant cream for everyone to have for minor injuries and those mysterious 
everyday skin irritations that pop up out of no-where. Ideal for use on sensitive skin, it soothes and protects any sensitive or irritated skin and is suitable for adults, children and babies.

A little note on sensitive skin.. I often mention that La Roche Posay is the best brand for sensitive skin or any kind of skin issue, I've used it in my kit for years and never had a reaction from anyone. A couple of their other products I love, that are ideal for sensitive skin, is their Hydraphase Intense Soothing Rehydrating Mask and their excellent redness relief 
Rosaliac CC Cream for rosacea sufferers.

*In America you can buy here.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Both Emmy and BAFTA nominated for House of Saddam, and winner of 2 RTS awards, for nearly 40 years Marella Shearer has been behind the scenes of many of our most loved British comedies and television dramas. These include 80s classics Cannon & Ball and Dempsey and Makepeace, and some of the most popular shows of the 90s; Game On, French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, Gimme Gimme Gimme, My Hero and Drop The Dead Donkey. Some of her recent work includes the brilliant drama series Mr Selfridge (Season 3), Whitechapel and The Paradise. Currently working on 'Unforgotton' a crime drama for ITV, Marella took the time to tell me about her career, her highlights, her best tips and of course share her favourite products. 

Snapshot of Marella's legendary career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
MS: I started my career at The London College of Fashion and then went into fashion working for Mary Quant and IPC magazines. In those days you needed a union ticket to be able to do commercials and film and, as I didn't have one, I applied to the BBC to join their makeup training scheme but I was only 20, and you had to be 21. I was lucky enough to get onto the training scheme at what was then London Weekend Television.

MANW: You mainly work as the makeup department head in TV and fillm, did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty?
MS: I have no desire to go into beauty or back into fashion. I enjoy doing Drama as you are following a story and developing characters, I love making the written word come to life.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and make-ups you like to do? Do you prefer designing or being personal to one person, and do you prefer straight or effects makeup?
MS: I wouldn't like to be a personal as I like being at the head of a team and having the say in how a full cast create their characters and I like helping my team achieve how they develop the looks for their allocated actors. I've been very lucky in my career not to have been pigeonholed and I can turn my hand to period, contemporary, gritty and comedy. I like the contrast different projects demand and I am equally happy putting on a prosthetic piece or a period wig. More than anything I like it when people don't notice my makeups as that means they think they are real, you only really notice hair and makeup when it's wrong and stands out on the actor.

MANW: 'Linda La Hughes' look from Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie was fantastic and one of my favourites, the look was perfect for her character. What is your process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs? 
MS: Linda La Hughes look was a collaboration between myself, Kathy Burke and the costume designer. I like the actors to have a lot of input into their look as they have to feel comfortable in how I make them look. When you take a person out of their comfort zone and change their face, teeth, hair etc, it's very important that they believe where you are taking them to fulfil that role. I've been told I stare at people, especially on the tube, but really I'm just storing up ideas.

MANW: You have worked on some legendary TV shows, Cannon and Ball, French and Saunders, The Vicar of Dibley, Gimme Gimme Gimme, MI-5, Foyles War, Mr Selfridge. Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
MS: I have been very lucky with some of the shows I've worked on. Doing Sharpe in India was amazing, and hard trying to keep things looking period in that heat. House of Saddam was a very gratifying job recreating Saddam Hussein and his family, again shot in the intense heat of North Africa. The Honourable Woman with Maggie Gylenghall again was a great challenge as the director also wrote it and subsequently had very strong views about how each character should be as they were all his babies. Doing the makeup for Tommy Cooper who died at my feet was also an insane memory.
Shooting a film in Pakistan during the Gulf war was pretty weird, and doing a film in the rainforest in Borneo, where my whole team were lady boys, was pretty mental too.

MANW: You've been in the industry a long time, how do you think it has differed and what advice would you give to new artists starting out?
MS: I have been in the industry for a long time and I think the biggest change I've seen is how little time we now get to prep and shoot a project. It's all become so expensive to make anything. I think it's sad that there are hardly any training schemes to help new people into the business.

MANW: All artists have 'the wish list'; a face they would love to work on or a show or film they would have loved to have worked on. I would have loved to have worked on French and Saunders, so many fun character makeups, and The Mighty Boosh.. incredible makeups by Christine Cant. Who or what are yours?
MS: I don't really have a wish list as such because I've been privileged to have worked with so many wonderful cast and crew. I've travelled all over the world and I've laughed and cried, grown and learnt. You never stop learning, there is always a new technique or product to try.

MANW: On to the good stuff, what are your tricks for flawless looking skin?
MS: Flawless skin is rare, which is why most people need our skills. On a positive note I would say a good beauty regime and plenty of water work wonders.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products? 
MS: So the top 5 things in my kit are; Stilla cream blushers, a good skin primer, my PPI Skin Illustrator palettes, Viseart nude lip palette and Chanel loose powder.

MANW: What's your best makeup artist tip to give women?
MS: The best tips I can give to women is good eyebrows frame the face, use cheek and lip stains for natural healthy looking faces and try to grow old gracefully. There is nothing sadder or harder to deal with than actors who can't cope with the ageing process.

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
MS: As to false eyelashes I am so over the daisy cow look with ridiculous extensions, huge brows and shockingly white teeth, I really long for more natural beauty to shine through.

For more info on Marella you can see her IMDB page here or follow her on Twitter here.

If you liked this interview and would like to read other leading industry makeup artists stories have a look at the rest of the series here.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



I have found the holy grail tool that makes my life easy and it's these palettes by Cover FX, a makeup artist's dream item. I think they were initially made for the Instagram girls who enjoy the Kardashian style contouring which, if that's your thing, these are fantastic kits that combine four matching shades to highlight, illuminate, and contour.. perfect for subtle contouring. But where they really excel is being an absolutely brilliant cream foundation in idyllic packaging that should be in every makeup artists kit.

Here are some reasons why every makeup artist needs these:
*Small enough to take up very little room in your already massive and heavy case, you can massively reduce the foundations you need. 
* Made of a very light and very robust cardboard that will not smash or break in your kit, and will massively reduce the weight of your kit.
* Each kit has three similar toned colours that you can match to any skin tone without the need to ferry through bottles and tip out liquids to mix on the back of your hand. 
* Just three of these in your kit will have every skin tone covered.
* The cream formulations are excellent, perfect for both men and women. They melt into skin and completely disappear, ideal for male grooming.
* Excellent quality foundations that have exceptional coverage without being heavy or looking like you have makeup on. They cover imperfections flawlessly and disappear into the skin.
* They don't move from skin.
* The small pans contain a lot of product.

I cannot stress enough how amazing these kits are, every makeup artist should have one. I've used N Light nearly every day on myself (it's my current favourite foundation for myself) and N Deep at work every day for 2 months on well over 100 different people and it's excellent for everyone. All makeup artists need these to make their life easier, trust me. There are six to choose from, you probably only need three, but even if you had all six these would take up no kit space or weight and seriously decrease the weight you carry in foundations, it's amazing.

For non-makeup artists; if you like to contour, use a highlighter or if you change colour a lot through the seasons get this, it's an all in one prefect product. Plus it comes with a cool photo description how to use it to contour.

Finally, I also have to mention the matching Cover FX foundation/concealer brush as it's the best foundation brush I've EVER used (big statement), it is like magic. I highly recommend everyone gets both the kits and the brush, they are worth every penny. Can you tell I feel quite strongly about them ;)

In America & Canada you can buy here.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



For anyone with very dry skin or who occasionally gets dry skin or dry patches or sore skin this stuff is incredible. I'm not sure if it's meant to be used as a daily moisturiser, I mean if it works for you then why not keep it up, however I keep and use it as an occasional cure all. I get lots of sensitive patches, as the weather is changing I get very dry around my nose and mouth, and especially in the winter I feel like my skin is sore if I've been outside filming all day. Whenever any of these things happen this is the balm I use and it works so well. I've had this balm for ages and I was genuinely shocked I hadn't already blogged about it before, I rely on it that much (along with this Viridan product). 

Blended for all skin types that require nourishment it has a calm and soothing rose geranium aroma, it contains rosehip and pomegranate oils to refine the skin and gentle blue chamomile and lavender help calm the skin and redness. It's a purely natural and organic product (certified 100% organic by the Soil Association) and formulated without any synthetic fragrances, preservatives or artificial colourings, so it's unlikely to react badly with anyone. Like all Viridian products they are highly ethical products and against animal testing.

At first application it feels very greasy but it absorbs so fast it is perfectly suitable to use in the morning under makeup. I know I say this a lot but I can't stress it enough in this instance.. you really need only a very small amount, even when slathering on at night to calm a red face. A 50ml pot sounds quite expensive for £28 but even if you use it daily it should last months and months, I use it a handful of times a month and after a year I've barely scratched the surface. For people with dry, sensitive or sore skin or redness or unexplained rashes, I can't recommend this enough. 

Active Ingredients:
Rosa canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil* 
Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil* 
Cera alba (Beeswax)* 
Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil* 
Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter)* 
Triticum vulgare (Wheatgerm) Oil* 
Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil* 
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Almond) Oil* 
Chamomilla recutita (Blue Chamomile) Flower Oil* 
Pelargonium graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil* 
Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil* 

In America you can buy here, and click on the US flag.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



Since Perricone MD is one of my favourite brands I thought I had blogged more about them, I was surprised when I looked and saw I had only blogged once, two years ago, about their Chia Serum. Dr. Perricone is a clinical and research dermatologist who's products have won numerous awards and one of my long time favourite products is their No-Foundation Foundation, which is amazing (I will write about it in depth another time) and probably the product the brand is most famous for. Mainly a skincare brand with very limited makeup products, however recently they expanded their makeup line and the new No Foundation Foundation Serum is the one I want to tell you about.

The No Foundation Serum is the most wonderful base, it feels so soft and wonderful and gives such a lovely looking healthy complexion that feels incredible on the skin. It restores colour and the radiance of youthful skin by diffusing and softening imperfections, and their claim not to age one's appearance upholds. It has an extremely luxurious texture that ensures a flawless finish that smooths out the skins appearance without settling into lines at all, it's rather brilliant. 

Like the rest of the makeup range there is one universal shade which is supposed to match and suit everyone. I imagine it may not be for the very lightest skins but would possibly work well with darker skins. It is worth noting this is an excellent product for older skin as it is not concerned with full acne coverage, just blurring of imperfections for a flawless skin-like finish. However, should you wish to use it under a heavier foundation it also works wonderfully this way. As it is a serum it is very liquid-y, the bottle comes with a dropper which I love, and somehow it dries weightlessly with a semi- matte finish, much more matte than the No Foundation Foundation.. it really does look like second (better) skin. 

It is rather expensive but you use such a small amount a bottle should last many months, so very good value for money. I absolutely love this product, it's fantastic and my go to product daily. If I feel I need more coverage on certain areas I just add a heavier base to those specific areas and it blends superbly. 

You can buy it here  and in America you can buy here.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).



For anyone who wants to work in film Julie's career is the career of dreams. Starting off on huge classics like Heathers, Liar Liar and Batman Forever, Julie progressed into Department Heading some of the biggest movies of the last twenty years; Oceans 11, 12 and 13, Pearl Harbour, Spiderman 2, Solaris, Magic Mike and Saving Mr Banks are just a small list. Julie also works on films as the personal makeup artist to many stars such as Annette Benning, Barbara Streisand, Al Pacino, Diane lane, Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank and Nicole Kidman to, again, name just a few. Utilising her experience in over 30 years in film Julie also built her own successful 'Julie Hewitt' makeup line which is sold all over the world and a favourite among makeup artists. Currently working as Makeup Department Head on Brad Pitts' new film 'The Big Short', also starring Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and a heap of other stars, Julie took some time to tell me about her career and of course share some of her best tips.

A snapshot of Julie's 30 year career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
JH: I started out as a fashion designer, I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC where we studied fashion illustration and anatomy, which turned out to be my training as a makeup artist as I sat around school drawing faces. When the fashion business turned out not to be my thing I started doing make up. I had some friends who were doing non-union movies and I sort of just fell into it!!!

MANW: You mainly work as the makeup department head in film, did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty?
JH: I have always wanted to do editorial beauty but in LA movies and red carpet are the thing to do here. Presently I want to collaborate with a fashion house and bring my products to the runway and I want to design the makeup for a collection. It's going to finally happen later this year.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and makeups you like to do? Do you prefer designing or being personal to one person on movies, and do you prefer straight or effects makeup?
JH: I like variety but I truly love doing period looks. I love designing a show or the face of one person. When you do one person it is a real journey into the character.. I really like to do both. My heart is in beauty but creating characters is so much fun. 

MANW: What is your process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs?
JH: Creating looks is a collaboration between hair, makeup and costume. We create the look with the actor, with final approval from the Director and Director of Photography.

MANW: You have worked on some legendary movies; American Beauty, Pearl Harbour, Oceans 11 and with a long list of greats; Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Barbara Streisand, Jodie Foster and Diane Lane..it's a very long list! Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
JH: When I was asked to design the makeup on 'The Artist' I sat with the director and the DP who gave me references of silent films to watch for inspiration, it was helpful to get in tune with the period. Translating into black and white was a challenge to get just right. This film was a stand out moment in my career, I loved making it, it was such a love letter to movies. I got nominated for a BAFTA which was such a thrill, and a thrill to attend the BAFTA Awards in the UK. 

MANW: You've been in the industry a long time, how do you think it has differed and what advice would you give to new artists starting out?
JH: My advice for artists starting out is always just do it.. makeup everyone, work in a job with makeup, document your work and develop your style. And you will need passion to succeed. 

MANW: All artists have 'the wish list'; a face they would love to work on or a show or film they would have loved to have worked on. One of mine has always been Bugsy Malone (Tallulah) and a current one is Nashville, I'm obsessed with the country glamour and Connie Britton's hair. Who or what are yours?
JH: I would like to do a sixties movie. I also love the 40s, I was always inspired by Greta Garbo. My Dad gave me a book called 'Four Fabulous Faces' and that was it for me.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products?
JH: My Julie Hewitt Camellia Oil, you can apply makeup on top and it creates this amazing natural (not greasy!) glow. My Julie Hewitt 'Noir Lipsticks', 'Camellia Balm', 'Cheekies' and 'Shimmy'. I also love Face Atelier and Armani Silk foundations, Tatcha blotting papers, SK2 face masks and Natura Bisse Diamond Cream. 

MANW: What's your best makeup artist tip to give women?
JH: My best tip is to make your foundation flawless, however, I tell women all the time the better your skin is the less makeup you need.

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
JH: I love lashes!!! I cannot have enough. Individuals, strips or tons of mascara or all is fine with me. Its flirty and feminine, however, older gals do best with a bit more subtlety. In LA it is a big thing to get extensions which, when they are done correctly, look so beautiful and flattering.

For more info on Julie's career go here or follow her on Twitter here. You can view her makeup and beauty product lines here, and here in the UK. 

If you liked this interview and would like to read other leading industry makeup artists stories have a look at the rest of the series here.



Growing up I had the thickest eyebrows, like Brooke Shields in the 80s (above left), but I have had the shittest eyebrows for over 20 years and it's all Linda Evangelista fault. When she shot to fame with her pencil-thin eyebrows in the early 90s (above right) I plucked my eyebrows so thin and they never grew back properly. For the last 20 years I have tried every kind of brow pencil and shadow there is to fill in my gaps (I even had them tattooed which hurt like hell and didn't work), and these are my favourites (in no particular order) tested on myself and in my kit. These are the one's you will always find in my makeup bag and all of my handbags as I never leave the house without one of the following.*

ALWAYS use a spoolie (brow comb) to brush your brows after pencilling as this softens the pencil so you don't look like you have drawn them on (no scouse brows). These favourites are all retractable which is perfect, no need for sharpeners, and they all glide on and LAST. Except the MAC and Clinique ones (keep up guys), they all come with a spoolie on the other end which is genius for throwing in your handbag, one less thing to carry and more hygenic.

Please note these pencils are perfect for serious filling in, if you have great brows (lucky you) my preferred way of defining them is with an angled brush and matching eyeshadow, that is a much softer and flattering look.

To buy in America go here:

* Ps. if you ever see me in person the best thing you can say to me is your eyebrows look great.

You can follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...