31/07/2014

CAUDALIE DIVINE LEGS - TINTED BODY LOTION FOR DIVINE LEGS!


I hate fake tan, hate them. I can't be bothered to do it myself but I hate the colour of a spray tan and the way it wears off in patches. I hate the smell, that I can't wear white, the way it wears off on my towels and sheets, the whole shebang. But, typically, I love looking tanned mostly because a tan makes my skin look even toned and covers my blue, pink and white hued legs. So I love products like Sally Hansens Airbrush legs and Bourjois Spray Bronzer because they're the perfect solution for a sun or fake-free natural looking tan, basically like foundation for your legs which is ideal. But like fountains some are good and some are really great and Caudalie Divine Legs is by far my favourite.

Firstly, I am sorry as it's a little pricey considering high street ones are a lot cheaper but I've used lots of different ones, including the ones mentioned above and Caudalies Divine Legs is much, much betterOn the plus side it's best used sparingly, you don't need a lot of product, so a bottle should last a long time. It's also an exceptionally beautiful bottle but that's not a reason to buy something, it's got to be great inside as well!

Divine Legs is very light and easy to apply, it gives just the right skin-kissed glow, melts easily into the skin and dries instantly (won't come off on clothes) and washes off in the shower. It's a lovely colour without any hassle of a fake tan, no streaks, no horrid smell, no mess just stunning legs with a beautiful glow. It suits every colour as it adapts to your skin, it won't overly colour it just enhances your natural skin tone so it looks very natural. It's not thick coverage, it won't cover bruises, but it will make your legs look better around the bruise! It really is rather lovely and for anyone without perfectly even skin tone it's wonderful to use when you're wearing skirts or a dress, and for arms. I love it so I highly recommend it but don't just take my word on it, it's won lots of beauty awards and there are loads of rave reviews for Divine Legs all over the internet!


28/07/2014

MEET THE ARTISTS - KELLEY MITCHELL

My latest 'Meet The Artists' is with the wonderful Kelley Mitchell, Makeup Department Head for the hugely popular hit TV show 'Glee'.  Kelley has worked on big hollywood movies like Movie 43, My Sisters Keeper (cried my eyes out!), Oceans 13, Sin City and Passion Of The Christ. I am thrilled Kelley took time to speak to me and share her career path and stories, and as always I get her to share some of her pro tips.
Snapshot of Kelley's career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
KM: I went to a school for musical theatre and took a stage makeup class, it didn't dawn on me until years later that I could do it as a career. I went to a small makeup school to get started and then jumped into independent films. It took me 6 years to get in the makeup union.


MANW: You mainly work in TV and movies, including some special effects makeup. Did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty?
KM: I love to try everything makeup-wise but I do love film & TV, it's such a collaboration and you become very close with your other crew members. That's also what I loved about doing theatre.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and make-ups you like to do, and do you prefer straight or effects makeup?
KM: Comedies are always fun to work on and I love doing both types of makeup, straight and FX. I love doing beauty but there's always something rewarding when you've pulled off a good character or FX look. 


MANW: What is the process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs?
KM: It always depends on the project & on the actor. On Glee Ryan Murphy was pretty specific in the beginning and now that the look of the show is set he will chime in on certain looks or characters when he has an idea. He has an impeccable eye. On most projects you have a conversation with both the actor & the director (and often do a makeup test) and hope to bring it all together to make everyone happy.

MANW: You have worked on some legendary shows and movies like Glee, Oceans 13, Sin City, My Sisters Keeper (cant even type the name without welling up).. can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
KM: There have been a lot! One of my first jobs after getting in the union was as the Key Makeup Artist on a movie George Clooney directed called Leatherheads which was exciting enough in itself but on it I got to work with John Krasinski, who I was a big fan of. We hit it off & now we've done several projects together. Also, getting nominated for an Emmy for season 3 of Glee was special because it was my first season as department head having been the Key Makeup Artist for the first 2. Shirley MacClaine recently tweeted that her favorite thing about her Glee character was her hair, makeup & wardrobe, that was pretty exciting. Actually Glee has been such a big highlight because in addition to working with a cast and crew I love & getting to do big, fun makeups all the time I've gotten to work with some amazing guest stars like Shirley MacClaine, Kate Hudson & Kristen Schaal. And how often can you say you got to make Jane Lynch up to look like Madonna or Nikki Minaj?

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?
KM: I've been a makeup artist for 14 years which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that long. Other makeup artists will tell me stories of life on set before cell phones & that's hard for me to imagine given how quickly & how often things change at Glee. I'll leave set at night & get a call on my way home that the entire call sheet has changed for the next morning. But even since I've been working the industry has really changed a lot, from technology in every aspect (makeup, camera, lighting, etc) to the formats of how people view entertainment now, when I started no one watched anything on the internet. With the invention of HD I think (hope) the stigma of movie makeup artists vs TV makeup artists has changed, before people watched shows on much lower quality televisions with much smaller screens.. now you see every pore. The main thing I can say to new artists is stay on top of your craft; keep taking classes, talk to other artists and search out new products, you have to evolve.

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. My current ones are American Horror Story (amazing makeup by Eryn Krueger) and Nashville (I'm obsessed with the country glamour and Connie Britton's hair). Who or what are yours?
KM: Well, I don't blame you about AHS. I highly recommend working with Eryn Krueger Mekash if you get the chance! She's the best boss, the greatest friend & so insanely talented. As for me, I think it would have been a blast to work on Alias with all Jennifer Garner's crazy undercover looks. Or Moulin Rouge. Or Harry Potter.


MANW: On to the good stuff, what are your tricks for flawless looking skin?
KM: I learned a really crazy trick last year & now I do it on almost everyone: if you have oily skin & have a hard time keeping makeup on brush a light layer of Milk of Magnesia on before foundation. Let it dry for a few minutes & don't worry if it turns white (I've even done this on African American skin). Once you put your foundation on it will go away. Your makeup will last all day & it really controls the oil. The best part is it also helps prevent breakouts.


MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products?
KM: I love love love Koh Gen Do Gommage Gel, it exfoliates your skin like nothing else & is even safe for my rosacea skin because it's non-abrasive. My top 3 foundations are Makeup Forever HD foundation, Armani Luminous Silk, & Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. I love Julie Hewett's red lipsticks & Cheekies. Makeup Forever Eye Prime is great. Colorescience's powder sunscreens are great when you've been shooting for hours & need to reapply without having to redo foundation after.

MANW: What's your best make-up artist tip to give women?
KM: Nothing bothers me more than when the neck doesn't match the face. Blend your foundation down past the jawline & maybe even brush a light layer of bronzer on your neck if you need to.


MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
KM: Oh, I love them, you just need the right look for the right occasion.


You can find out more about Kelley's work on her IMDB page or follow her on Twitter.


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.

25/07/2014

THE ONE POST YOU MUST READ ABOUT FACE SUNSCREEN!

If you read one blog post and buy the suggested products in your life this should be that post! There is nothing more important than suncream, I can't stress that enough (I feel like I've said those exact words so many times on this blog). With this incredible summer we're having in England I don't feel that my foundation or moisturiser with SPF30 included is enough, and that a targeted face sunscreen is a necessity for everyone every day. We all know that suncream is so important to protect from many things..skin damage, cancer, pigmentation, and not forgetting anti-aging as a massive reason to cover up with a high factor daily. But suncreams used to be so thick and revolting and feel horrid on, I would never want to use one on my face, even on holidays. They took forever to rub in leaving a white film and they would clog up my skin, give me spots and leave me looking so greasy and shiny, they were the worst. But technology is a wonderful thing and there are amazing face suncreams out there made for sensitive skin, non-codegemic and incredibly will not leave you looking shiny AT ALL. The three products are truly the best I've ever used. 


Actually these products are pretty amazing, you would not know you were wearing sunscreen at all they are completely weightless and invisible yet work so hard. I use one of these daily on myself, and in my kit on everyone when filming outdoors in this weather (and no-one has ever had a reaction) and there is no difference applying makeup on top. I can't pick a favourite as they are all brilliant but I would suggest to read up on them and pick the one that sounds like it would suit your skin and budget best, obviously the Sisley one is bananas expensive (but so so so good). I swear I have given all three a thorough testing in various different hot countries and they are all fantastic at doing what they are supposed to do including keeping me matt and shine-free all day which is ubelieveably impressive in 30 degrees heat! I really can't praise them enough, all of them do each of these things exceptionally well: 


* High SPF 
* Zero shine
* Weightless
* Easy to apply
* Water and sweat resistant 
* Zero greasiness
* No white marks
* Does not affect any makeup/foundation application
* Good size packaging, all 50ml
* Hypoallergenic
*non-codegemic
* For sensitive skin
* No offensive smell

Ps. If for some reason you are a super human who doesn't break a sweat during a heatwave and would rather not have an anti-shine SPF then all the brands also do regular non-matt high SPF face suncreams.

21/07/2014

CAUDALIE MOISTURIZING CREAM MASK - AMAZING NEW FAVOURITE

Caudalie Moisturizing Cream Mask £19/$40

I recently wrote about these fantastic Indeed Hydraluron moisturising masks but not everyone likes the idea of paper masks, there is something to be said for a standard cream mask that you can slap on and carry on doing stuff without worrying the paper will fall off, so here is another wonderful option. I'm becoming quite obsessed with everything Caudalie lately, their Premieres Vendanges Moisturizing Cream is one of the best moisturisers I've ever used and this Moisturising Cream Mask is one of the best masks I've used in years, my skin looks incredible after, like I've slept for 10 hours and lost 5 years (the last ageing 5!). 

It's a moisturising "bath" for all skin types that instantly soothes and rehydrates, it's very calming and comforting as well as moisturising and leaves skin soft, smooth and soothed. Great for sore skin, it relieves tightness, reduces redness and improves overall complexion. I notice it gets rid of all my redness and plumps out my skin, probably what makes me look younger. I use this once or twice a week, it's definitely my favourite for the effect it gives and the length of time the effect lasts. It's certainly on the cheaper end of high-end masks for 50ml and a little goes a long way making it very cost effective, so a bottle should last months. Directions say leave on for 15 minutes then remove any excess with water so you could use this before a night out for a great pick me up, but like all my masks I put them on when I go to bed and sleep in them.

I think this mask is incredible, I can't say enough great things about it and about Caudalie in general, definitely a brand I would look into if you are looking to change your skincare.

18/07/2014

DERMASURI *AMAZING* DEEP EXFOLIATING MITT


Very unlike me to get excited about an exfoliating mitt, yet here I am typing that this exfoliating mitt is ridiculously amazing, so amazing I'm actually writing a blog post about it, that's how amazing! We all know exfoliating is a good thing and we do it to soften skin, reduce ingrown hairs, bumps, even out skin tone, help tan last longer, absorb creams better etc etc but loofahs, scrubs and spa mitts never do that good a job for me so I was pretty skeptical about the Dermasuri mitt claims as the best exfoliation ever, but it blew away all my expectations. 

Dermasuri is a deep exfoliating mitt that literally grabs and sloughs off flakey, dead skin cells revealing healthy, smooth skin making this one of the best body scrubs ever, you actually see the dead skin cells come off it's like having a spa body treatment scrub in your own shower, and the best part is you don't have to buff daily, you use this just once a fortnight. Dermasuri not only removes dead skin cells leaving you with smooth and soft skin, it also rids your skin of impurities, improves circulation and increases cell turnover rate. If you have dull scaly skin, do a lot of fake tanning or get bumps and ingrowing hairs this really is a must have product.

It does seem a bit crazy to spend £20 on a mitt but you only use once every 2 weeks and replace it after 6 months, and it's very much worth it. It's easy to use but you must follow the instructions to get the proper results. Here's how to use it, there's even a little video (it's not rocket science). I absolutely think this is brilliant and everyone should have one, especially during the summer showing your arms and legs!


05/06/2014

GUERLAIN 4 SEASONS TERRACOTTA BRONZER


I just realised I never write about bronzers, which is weird since it's probably the most popular makeup product for women after mascara. My only other bronzer review post was over 2 years ago! I still completely stand by that review and I realised I never write about bronzers because I always use the same two: the one I already blogged about 2 years ago and this Guerlain 4 Seasons Terracotta Bronzer.

I am crazy about the 4 Seasons, they match perfectly for all skin colours and look so natural on everyone. I have always found it very hard to find a bronzing powder that doesn't look fake or orange or too powdery or shimmery and the Guerlain 4 Seasons work perfectly every time. Depending on your skin tone and or the time of the year, whether you are a little paler or tanned, you swirl the product on the darker or lighter side of the palette and it just works. It's very versatile, you can go lighter in the winter and use the darker shades when you have a tan.

It's a perfect matt powder (very important a bronzer has no shimmer, I can't stress that enough), its a lovely velvety texture that leaves no powder effect, it sinks in your sink looking so natural as long as you use a light touch of course (you don't want to be heavy handed with any bronzer). It's a really good shade range, there are 6 different alterations to adapt to all skin tones. In my kit I use the brunette compact probably 80% of the time, but if you are very pale I would go for the Blonde shade. I haven't used the sheer shade so I can't comment on them. The regular ones are very easy to blend away and look very natural as they are.

I have to also comment on the smell as it's the greatest smell in the world, I wish they would bottle it into a perfume. I could sniff this compact all day long, it's amazing, it smells extremely luxurious, like the beautiful compact it comes in. There's also a  lovely video on Gueralins website how to apply the product for maximum effect and get the best use out of it. it's a really lovely video showing you how to wear bronzer. Or if you really want to go for a full on Bronzed Goddess look you can watch my quick Bronzed Goddess makeup tutorial video here - perfect for summer.


28/05/2014

LA ROCHE POSAY ROSALIAC CC CREAM 30 SPF - PERFECT REDNESS SOLUTION


La Roche Posay is the best brand if you have sensitive skin or any kind of skin issue, I've used it in my kit for years, never had a reaction from anyone. I've blogged about so many LRP products (like the best Miceller Water Cleanser and the BEST SPF 50 Tinted Moisturiser) because I truly believe in, love and use their products all the time. LRP have brought out a CC cream as part of their fantastic Rosaliac range that treats skin prone to redness. The CC cream is completely different to the Tinted Creme moisturiser that I've raved about for years, it aims to cover and conceal redness as naturally and flawlessly as possible and is a much lighter texture than the Tinted Creme. It definitely has more coverage and is much more like a light foundation, it also has SPF 30, lower than the Tinted Creme's SPF 50 but still perfectly high.

Like all LRP products it is ideal for sensitive skin and like the Tinted Creme it only comes in the one universal tone that blends very naturally into fair-medium skin types (the most common type to get redness). I myself, after sunbathing with baby oil throughout the 90s and like most people my age, have lots of redness and pigmation parks on my face and I love this CC cream. It gives a very lovely effect, my skin tone looks even, redness has gone, skin still looks really natural with a healthy dewy glow and my skin feels really smooth. I like the tinted creme when I'm not wearing any makeup..it's always nice to have an even skin tone when out in public and must always wear an SPF, but I prefer to use the CC cream when I'm wearing full makeup, it looks more like a base.

It is more expensive than the tinted creme (double for the same amount of product) but you really don't need very much. It's pretty liquidy and goes a long way so should last a while (tip- use very little and add more only if you need). This is definitely my go to base and has been for a while, so I'm definitely a big fan. I much prefer a light base and healthy glow to a heavy foundation, if you just want to cover redness and even skin tone for a natural look this is a great choice, and my favourite choice at the moment.


24/05/2014

CLINIQUE QUICKLINER FOR EYES - BEST EYELINER EVER!


Back to some makeup, it's been a while! I just quickly wanted to share that I've finally found my dream eyeliner, these are amazing! No dragging, no smudging, no bleeding, no transferring, got a smudging bit on the other end, they are so soft and smooth, so easy to soften AND THEY TWIST UP!!!!! That means no dirty pencil sharpeners messing up and ruining yet another clean makeup bag with black bits of kohl everywhere. Total win! Love these. Plus they're not even that expensive, especially when you think how long a black eyeliner lasts you. Comes in 8 colours.

* why clinique, why the same price in £ and $?? It's so unfair!

20/05/2014

HYDRALURON MOISTURE BOOSTING MASK


Continuing with my total love of sachet products is Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask. This is my first paper mask and I am sold. You look a little like Jason from Friday the 13th movie wearing it but it is totally worth it. Firstly I love Indeed products, I blogged before that their Eyesilix eye cream is the best eye cream ever invented (I still stand by that and tell everyone I meet), so I was excited to try this mask. The Hudraluron moisture boosting mask uses timed release hyaluronic acid to restore dry, dehydrated skin for 24 hours, with each use skin feels softer, smoother, plumped and glowing. I don't particularly have dry skin so I didn't think there was that much difference to be made but you don't know what you don't know! My skin feels so amazing, 2 days later I'm still touching baby smooth cheeks, everything sort of looks plump, so soft, more refreshed and so much better, I can imagine how great this would be if you do have dry skin. To be honest unless you drink at least 2 or 3 litres of water every day you probably have dehydrated skin, so everyone can benefit from more moisture outwards as well as inwards. 

The paper mask is so easy to use, just apply the mask over your face, sit down and chill out for 15 minutes, you can see through eye holes so you can still watch tv or read a book, you don't even know it's there. After 15 mins massage the remaining serum into the skin and follow with your normal moisturiser. I used this at night and in the morning my face was the softest its ever been! You get 4 sheets in a packet, which is a bit pricey but worth it.


16/05/2014

DHC REVITALISING MOISTURE STRIPS FOR EYES


I love sachets, LOVE them. I travel a lot and I carry a case full of bottles and makeup so for me sachets are the best thing ever, they'e so handy to shove in your bag so I already loved these before I used them. 

These soft gel strips stick gently under your eye and deliver a whole heap of nourishment to help with puffiness, dark circles and brightening. You wear them for 30 mins to overnight for more conditioning and they absorb into skin so you don't need to rinse off, so it's pretty easy. I wear them overnight, they're not at all uncomfortable and they give lovely smooth and bright skin around the eyes by morning. I mean, they're not going to disappear a whole load of wrinkles but they're a great alternative to eye cream for an extra hit of hydration because fun fact, the majority of lines around your eyes are dehydration lines, not wrinkles, and if you hydrate internally and externally they will go, how is that for good news! 

Probably not the best value for money if you're comparing it to a pot of eye cream (depending on the brand of course) but then these give a much higher shot of hydration than most creams. I'm a sachet lover, so I'll always pay more for the convenience but I'm very happy with how these work so I think they're worth it, plus they're pretty cheap. Also, if you don't mind wearing these in public they are ideal while you sleep on a long haul flight. 

Ps. if you haven't heard of DHC you haven't been reading my blog! It's a fantastic full range Japanese brand who I mention quite a bit. They make the worlds greatest mascara EVER, reviewed by me here and a wonderful primer reviewed by me here, you should definitely check them out.