10/03/2015

CLINIQUE HIGHLIGHT/CONTOUR CHUBBY STICK & MY 'HOW TO CONTOUR' VIDEO


Ahh contouring, people are obsessed. My personal (and professional) opinion is that most people don't need contouring or sculpting but for the Kim Kardashian fans these new Clinique Sculpting Contour Chubby sticks couldn't make it any easier to do, they're so great and completely fool proof. Just suck in your cheeks and using the contour stick draw a line along the hollow (not coming down too far) and either soften the line with your fingers or a brush and that's it. If you want to use the highlighter chubby stick draw another line just above the first line you made (above the hollow) and blend the same way.

The sticks only come in one colour which will suit most Caucasian skin tones, except for the very pale (go here for the perfect bronzer for pale skin). They are oil free, long lasting, extremely easy to blend, like all Clinique Chubby sticks they swivel up so no need for sharpener (genius) and they are super easy to throw in a handbag without the need to carry a dirty brush as you use your fingers to blend the edges. Other than the lack of shades (which, knowing Clinique, more will probably follow soon) these are a big thumbs up for a perfect product.

You can also use the sticks the same way to contour your nose to re-align a crooked nose or make it appear thinner, and along your jawline and forehead. This is unnecessary for most people but a good trick to do if you feel you have a large forehead or wide jawline.

You can watch me demonstrate all the ways to contour on this short contouring video, if the video doesn't load you can watch it here.




*To buy Clinique Highlighting and Sculpting Contour Chubby Cheeks in America go here.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).


06/03/2015

KIEHL'S RE-TEXTURIZING MICRO-DERMABRASION - EVERYONE NEEDS THIS!


I truly thought nothing would ever take place of my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (one of the best products ever made), for many it will always be the holy grail product but sometimes some people need something a bit more. As a daily user of the Daily Microfoliant I didn't think the Keihl's Micro Dermbarasion would do anything for me, how much more could there be to exfoliate when I exfoliate every day? Apparently there was because this product is incredible, it really makes a huge difference, even if you are already exfoliating every day it gives you incredibly baby soft and smooth skin. For someone without much of a skin problem a go with this once a week would be amazing for your skin, a real treat. For others with issues.. such as dry skin or ingrowing hairs causing spots on the face (yes, it's a thing and be grateful if you don't get it) this product is indispensable. 

I can't really rave enough about this product, it does an amazing job and the packaging is great. It's small enough to travel easily and it's extremely cost effective; if you're using it once a week I imagine it'll last somewhere between six months to a year, and if you're using it every couple of days you'll use such a small amount that again a tube should last equally as long. Regular use will really see a remarkable difference in marks on the face, discolourations and pore size, plus a huge reduction of any ingrown hair related spots. Skin texture will be incredibly soft and smooth, way more than any other exfoliator you might use, and if you don't already use one this may well change your life. I put off using this for ages as I thought it would be too harsh for my fairly sensitive skin but it's not at all, it's perfect and will be with me forever.

To buy in America go here.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).


22/02/2015

MEET THE ARTISTS - ALYN WATERMAN

As makeup department head on many huge british hit TV dramas and comedies Alyn's work has certainly been seen by the masses. From the groundbreaking and incredible Queer as Folk, the massive hit Footballers Wives, four series on the huge hit Hustle, My Mad Fat Diary, Fat Friends and the brilliant The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (one of my favourite shows, go see it) Alyn has designed on a succession of fantastic British shows. Currently working on the third series of My Mad Fat diary, while also working as Joan Collins personal hair stylist, I am thrilled Alyn took time to speak to me and share his career stories, and as always I get him to share some of his pro tips.
A snapshot of Alyn's long career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
AW: I started my career by practising make up on myself.. in the late 70s and early 80s punk and new romantic bands had these very iconic looks which inspired me to experiment with makeup and hair. I also became involved backstage with school plays and fashion shows. There were very few makeup courses or schools when I completed my A levels, I trained at the Dawn Cragg School of Film & TV makeup for 2 years and I loved every minute of it. Dawn was very forward thinking with her training (I learnt airbrushing there) and she was made an MBE for her permanent makeup skills which she pioneered in the late 80s. After the course I spent most of my first year testing and building my portfolio in Manchester and after working successfully in fashion and advertising I returned to the school to teach short courses which is where I met Linda Davie who gave me my first break in television working on Brookside.

MANW: You are an accomplished hairdresser and make-up artist. Which path did you start on and do you see yourself as either a hairdresser first and make-up artist second?
AW: I always wanted to be a makeup artist first however, after completing my first year of makeup training, I was told by agencies that a hair qualification was needed. It wasn’t my original plan but I’m really glad that I did my City and Guilds hair training, I think it’s really important to know how to cut and style hair if you want to work in television drama. But I am always learning and adapting my talents, I often take courses to learn new skills and refresh existing ones. Creative Media Skills and Nasmah offer very good courses taught by professional and established artists.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and make-ups you like to do? Designing characters for TV dramas or do you prefer being a personal and working with just one person?
AW: I’m just happy to be busy and loving what I do. I like the variety of working in lots of areas of makeup and hair, whether it’s working with just one person like Joan Collins, with a team on a television drama, or at my studio with clients.

MANW: What is your process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs?
AW: The process begins with the script and then the casting and it’s a really exciting process tracking a character through a story with makeup and hair changes. Usually the actor has the most input into how their character looks and then you have to blend these ideas with direction from the writer, producer, director and costume designer.

Queer As Folk was a really exciting and groundbreaking drama to work on, Davy Jones designed the first series and I looked after Charlie Hunnam (Nathan) and Carla Henry (Donna). Carla was great. she let me have free rein with hair designs and I received a lots of great feedback as at the time afro hair in drama was rarely more than just tied back. I then designed the second series which was my first big job as a designer and it was the perfect way for me to step up.


MANW: How much does logisitcal issues come into play with character designs, were there any ever limitations on something you wanted to do?
AW: Budgets and time seem to get tighter with each production, nobody wants to wait ages to see how clever you can be adapting a cheap wig to look amazing. I think as a designer you have to be both strong and honest to a production about what is achievable with the time and the money available.On Hustle it would have been great to do more disguises however the schedule rarely allowed this to happen.

MANW: You have worked on and designed some legendary shows like Footballers Wives, the ground breaking Queer As Folk and one of my favourite shows The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?
AW: Oh thank you, the shows you mentioned were all great to work on. I worked on a Lottery funded film “PURE” with a group of young adults and to see them put together their own film with the help of an experienced crew, and the positive effect that had on their lives, was really rewarding for me. Other highlights were shooting a promo with Zoe Lucker In LA for Footballers’ Wives which was great fun, and also working for Spanish Vogue with Joan Collins last year. 

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?
AW: When I started out there was no internet, no mobile phones and product choices were limited, the industry is very different now. As one makeup artist said to me, “Anyone can pick up a bag of MAC and a brush and call themselves a makeup artist these days.” I think it’s a bigger and more exciting industry; the internet and social media provide a great platform to show your talents and network. I would advise new artists to practice and absorb as much creativity as possible; not everyone will be the next Pat McGrath. However, I think there is enough diversity in the industry for someone to find their niche, never give up on your dreams.

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've been obsessed with The Rocky Horror Show makeup since I was 3 and my current obsession is Nashville and getting hold of Connie Britton's hair. Who or what are yours?
AW: Toyah Wilcox, and Richard Sharah's makeup designs on her, were a huge inspiration at the start of my career, I would still love to do her makeup. I love Kevyn Aucoin's work, to work on the Supermodels would have been amazing. Audrey Hepburn’s hair in My Fair Lady was beautiful and inspiring and I also love all the Bond Girl styles, especially from the 1960s.

MANW: On to the good stuff, what are your tricks for flawless looking skin?
AW: When you work with an actress over a period of filming you really have to be on top of her skin care regime without becoming too dictatorial. I try to introduce good habits slowly, if she gets a breakout it will be you the production will look to for solutions. I think good skin prep before you start make up is really important, I have used Dermalogica products for years. I also use airbrush makeup which gives great results for television drama.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products?
AW: You will always find MAC and Dermalogica in my kit, they have supported my work for a very long time. I always use L’Oreal Tec Ni Pli to set hair and The London Brush Company Brush Shampoo is fantastic. Bourjois is a fabulous brand that I have used for years and Bare Minerals is my favourite brand for sensitive skin and bridal work. I may also appear slightly biased however the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty range is really great, I especially like the bases and concealers. Joan has used cosmetics and beauty products for years and written four beauty books, she was determined not to put her name to anything she did not like herself.

MANW: What's your best make-up artist tip to give women?
AW: Happiness is the best beauty tip and also lots of sleep. 

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?
AW: I think it depends entirely on the project and the look you are trying to achieve. I really like the false lashes from House of Glamdolls but I’ve seen some beautiful makeups ruined by thick heavy lashes. 

For more info on Alyn visit his website here, on Facebook here or follow him on Instagram 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.

13/02/2015

VIRIDIAN ULTIMATE BEAUTY SKIN REPAIR OIL

Viridian Skin Repair Oil £15.76/$23.96 100ml

Continuing with my 100% natural products search I'd like to tell you about a wonderful company called Viridian Nutrition. Viridian is a UK-based, family owned and run, company with a rather large range of award winning vitamins, minerals, herbs, oils, and speciality supplements. All Viridian products are as clean and pure as can be and guarantee ethical ingredients and manufacturing procedures; they use only non-GM, non-irradiated and 100% active ingredients with no additives whatsoever and no added sugars, no colourings or artificial flavourings, plus there is no testing of any products or ingredients on animals. From seed to recycling bank they maintain an ethical philosophy at every stage. 
They have a lot (a LOT) of great products and I've tried a few, but my absolute favourite product probably in the world (not just from Viridian) is their Ultimate Beauty Organic Skin Repair Oil. It is a delicate, nourishing, very easily-absorbed oil that does wonders for skin. It is made from a very clever blend of soothing, natural organic oils in their purest form, blended together to produce the ultimate topical oil; there are no synthetic fragrances or colourings, just pure ingredients of the best oils known for skincare*. 

It's advertised as a face and body oil to aid in the appearance of stretch marks, scarring and uneven skin tone but I use it solely on my face. I first thought I didn't want to waste a small bottle on my body but I have been shocked how far this 100ml bottle goes. I have used this oil twice daily, morning and night, for 3 months and I have used maybe a quarter of the bottle, probably less. It is fantastic value for money. Considering how cheap it is for  how long it lasts (and how good it works, lets not forget) I wouldn't hesitate to also use it on any targeted areas for stretch marks or scars. I haven't used it for this so I can't comment on it's success but as a beauty treatment there are no better things to use on your face than natural products, or oils, so you will never go wrong with this. Skin is nourished, hydrated, smoothed, more even, glowing and healthy, it smells delicious, it's calming and I love it. I can't recommend it enough for all skin types. If you feel your skin could be better in all sorts of ways I'd always recommend using natural products (fragrances and chemicals are usually the triggers for most skin issues) and this is by far my favourite oil I've ever used, the incredible value for money is an added bonus.

*Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Rosehip Fruit Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Calendula Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifola Oil and Vitamin E Oil.

*To buy in America go here and change the currency.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).

10/02/2015

L'ANZA KERATIN HEALING OIL FOR INCREDIBLY SHINY, STRONG HAIR


I recently talked about the best way to grow and fix weak or broken hair, but this post treats the other most common hair problem.. how to fix dry, frizzy and porous hair, or to just have incredibly shiny hair. L'Anza Keratin Healing Oil Hair Treatment is fantastic to completely heal and reverse dry, brittle, frizzy hair into a wonderful glowing mane, it will seriously make even the driest and frizziest hair look incredibly shiny and healthy. When I use this I am constantly told how shiny and healthy my hair looks and it feels so much stronger, i
t's probably one of the best products I've ever used. Another major benefit is that, as well as major healing power, it provides thermal protection against heat styling up to 260°c, the heat actually activates the treatment making your hair stronger as you dry it. It also massively (massively!) reduces drying time, which is so great if you have lots of hair that takes ages to dry, and it means you're using less heat which is ultimately the best thing you can do for your hair.

It's supposed to be used 2 ways; 1) regularly as a leave-in treatment then washed out and 2) smooth a tiny bit over hair before blowdrying for a smooth and incredibly shiny, frizz-free blow dry. I can't stress this enough! your hair will be super glossy shiny like you've only seen in the magazines and Chelsea, it's really something. You must only use a tiny amount or your hair will look lank and greasy, which is great as that means a 100ml bottle, which is fairly expensive, lasts forever; I've used mine a lot over 6 months and it's barely reached a quarter way down. As a hair treatment this is far superior to any other healing oil product, like Moroccan or Argan Oil for example (and has played a big part in fixing the awful hair nightmare where I destroyed my hair). As a topical styling product, to make hair look shiny, healthy and eliminate frizz, it is unsurpassable. For dry, frizzy or weak hair, or just thick, dull hair that would love to look shiny, this is a must, must have.

To buy in America go here (free worldwide delivery - change the country to USA for $ price)

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).


05/02/2015

JAMAICAN BLACK CASTOR OIL - MIRACLE HAIR GROWTH

 

This is probably my most talked about product mention ever. I wrote about it in my Thinning Hair Bible a few months ago and I don't think I've stopped talking about it since, so I thought it deserved a post of it's own. This product discovery may be one of the greatest things I've ever found, it's so wonderful and I'm so thankful for it that I've started to have nightmares about becoming immune from over use and it stopping working, god forbid.

Thinning hair and/or loosing hair are problems for so many of us, undoubtedly to do with lifestyle, diet and chemical treatments but lets be honest these are lifestyles that we're not going to change. It's been over a year since I wrote about my horrific hair nightmare how I destroyed my hair when the top layer snapped off after going blonde 3 years ago, leaving me with extremely weak, thin hair that continued breaking and snapping off 2 years later. Over the last 18 months I've used a lot of different things to get my hair stronger and thicker, to be healthy and grow without breaking and I feel like I've become a bit of an expert on the subject of thinning hair. I've done a LOT of research but I have seen nothing work like Jamaican Black Castor Oil, you could call it a miracle and I wouldn't disagree with you.

I have had unbelievable success in a very short space of time, whole new layers of hair have rapidly grown along my centre parting, along my hair line and throughout my hair, my hair line has thickened, my hair is much stronger and barely any comes out in the shower compared to the handfuls before. And there is the rapid hair growth that no-one can quite believe, well over 2 inches a month.

It is a very easy treatment to use:
1. Warm bottle for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
2. Pour some oil into a plastic salon applicator bottle like this one
3. Apply to scalp on dry hair and massage in to the scalp (no need to apply to the hair length) 
4. Warm up with hair dryer and either tie back and leave on for a couple hours OR put on a beanie hat to keep oil warm and sleep with hat on overnight.

You don't have to sleep with it in, you can just leave it on for a  couple hours before washing out, you will see results both ways. Once or twice a week will see great results and the best thing is you don't have to wait long to see results, you will notice a difference after a couple of weeks, it's incredible! I am not alone with my success story, so many people I have shared this with have since told me about their amazing results, and there are hundreds of 5* rave Amazon reviews so you don't have to take my word for it. 

If you're having real problems with your hair don't forget to check out my Thinning Hair Bible for other great suggestions to try in conjunction with the Jamaican Black Castor Oil. 

Ps.it's also really great for growing back and thickening eyebrows.

*To buy in America go here.

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).

01/02/2015

LYONS LEAF HEALING CALENDULA CREAM (NATURAL TREATMENT FOR ECZEMA & PSORIASIS


If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I have been moving to a 100% natural and more vegan diet over the last year, which I believe fully impacts your skin, hair and nails, particularly if you have any kind of skin complaint like exzcema or psoriasis. Whilst in Canada earlier this year I picked up a jar of all natural face cream at a farmers market for $10 and it turned out to be the best moisturiser I've ever used (including Creme De La Mer). It confirmed my thoughts that natural products (food and topical) really are best way to look after yourself inside and out and I've been on the hunt for natural skincare ever since. I recently came across Lyons Leaf, a wonderful couple who make homemade natural skincare from their garden and has grown into a full product line and winner of skincare awards. They grow as much as possible themselves and choose natural ingredients in the most unprocessed state possible. All their products are made with water free recipes which don't require harsh preservatives and emulsifiers, ie. zero chemicals and they never use artificial colour or fragrance, everything I want to hear.

I have tried most of their small product range and their products are great. I recently wrote about the Natural Beauty Balm, and their Healing Calendula Cream is just as incredible. A 100% natural and effective emollient that's completely free of artificial chemicals and made from their own homegrown calendula oil (known as nature's first aid) it is a general healing cream and can be applied to minor abrasions and rashes on any inflamed skin and as a natural treatment for eczema,psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It not only safely soothes, repairs and heals scars, perhaps most importantly for sufferers of inflammatory skin disorders it also bolsters and repairs the causes of flare ups and stops further damage, soothing without side effects. Being completely free of artificial chemicals means it is a safe emollient for even the most sensitive skin. All of the ingredients are non-comedogenic (non pore blocking) so it is suitable for both dry and oily skin.

If you suffer from eczema & psoriasis the Healing Calendula Cream is a must. I have the small pot of this in my kit and give it to anyone who suffers and they have all said they got immediate relief. I have seen it clear up eczema flare ups in 24 hours and I personally experienced it completely heal the most extremely painful leg razor burn in the world in a few hours. I also use it when my awful hand problem flares up and it settles it right back down.

It's the perfect size and bottle shape for travelling and also not a glass bottle (regular readers will know how I feel about that). At £14.95 for 120ml It doesn't seem like a lot of product for the price but I really mean it when I say you only need a small amount of product, if you've ever used coconut oil you'll know a little goes a very long way. Being water free means their products go much further, you only need to use very small amounts, much smaller than conventional creams, making them extremely cost efficient. It also comes in a smaller 30ml jar for £8.99 which is the perfect handbag or overnight size. This is a fantastic product if you're a sufferer or just for those razor burn emergencies.

All Lyons leaf products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, are not tested on animals and are 100% natural.


Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).

23/01/2015

MEET THE ARTISTS - MARIETTA CARTER-NARCISSE

You probably haven't heard of Marietta but unless you live under a rock you have certainly seen her work. During my teenage years in the early 90's Marietta was the makeup behind tons of people and shows I, and most people at the time, obsessed over. In Living Color was huge in America, Boyz In The Hood was one of the few VHS tapes I owned and watched a zillion times and there probably isn't a person alive who hasn't seen the giant epic Malcolm X. As department head of Malcolm X, The Tina Turner Story.. What's Love Got to Do With it, Boyz In The Hood, Sparkle, White Men Cant Jump plus many more you would think such a successful career designing movies would be only movie based but Marietta is a true "all rounder" which you don't see so much at that level. Marietta has a long list of credits as personal makeup artist to stars on huge movies including Samuel L Jackson (Jacqui Brown) and Whoopie Goldberg (Ghost), alongside another list just as long as personal makeup artist to stars on press junkets, promos, campaigns and editorial shoots with some of the greatest stars of our time: Angela Bassett, Danny Devito, Diana Ross, Denzel Washington, Natalie Cole, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Cindy Crawford, Damon Wayons, Queen Latifah, Tupac Shakur, she even went to Sesame Street with Whoopi! Marietta has another long list of music videos with even more of the greats such as Barry White, Janet Jackson, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Julio Inglesias and Kenny Loggins to name just a few. From music, TV, film and beauty it's safe to say that Marietta was at the forefront (or behind the forefront) of a large scale of arts who had an impact on shaping our society. Her most recent film work designing "Whitney" with one icon, Angela Basset, playing another icon, Whitney Houston, has recently aired and I am thrilled she took some time to talk to me about her incredible career and, of course, share some of her pro tips.

A snapshot of Marietta's career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
MCN: My first love was sewing which began at age 12 when I migrated to the United States from Barbados. This love of sewing out of necessity led me to an after school grooming club in my Junior High School; that was my first real introduction to the world of makeup. Shortly after I attended two charm schools which really heightened my interest and by 16 I had already amassed a steady paying clientele of about 25 customers without realising I was an entrepreneur. All through my undergraduate studies I kept sewing; I made clothes for fashion shows, taught my peers how to sew and even ventured into creating bridal gowns, it was second nature and a no-brainer, then I had this epiphany why not combine my love of sewing with makeup and hair. So, after graduating from University and a two-year miserable stint at a major insurance company, I enrolled in cosmetology school. 

After receiving my New York cosmetology license I was building my hair business while also freelancing for Revlon. They had just introduced Polished Ambers, a line for women of color so I was simultaneously sharpening my makeup artistry skills along with my hair skills. For personal reasons I relocated from New York to Los Angeles via Europe and through my brother I met one of the hottest recording groups at that time, The Commodores. A lifestyle that I had written about but never envisioned coming to fruition came true, so be careful what you ask for because it most certainly will come true. I hitched my wagon to him and went all through Europe, eventually landing in Los Angeles. Once in LA I continued freelancing for Revlon as well as several other lines and I met, again through my brother and The Commodores, legendary singer Natalie Cole. When the opportunity presented itself, as Natalie and I were walking out of LAX airport together, I mentioned to her that I sewed as well as did makeup and hair and if she ever needed anyone I was available. Three days later Natalie’s manager called and told me to meet Natalie after rehearsal, she needed several elaborately made gowns altered and shortly after that I was on a plane to Hawaii with her. 

Being Natalie’s personal confidant, assistant, makeup, hair and wardrobe person was an amazing opportunity. I was young, single, without chick or child and had thrown caution to the wind, but I was losing my passion and everything started to feel like a job. One evening, while at the movies watching the credits roll, it hit me hard that I wanted to see my name roll on the screen so I enrolled in a Makeup Artistry school for motion picture. After graduation everything changed while assisting my brother, Ian Carter, on a Commodores music video; he introduced me to the makeup artist Robin Siegel who, at that time, was fully entrenched in the music video world. We exchanged numbers and I hung around that set and watched her do her thing, including picking up a few meaningful work tidbits at the same time, three days later I was assisting her on a Jeffrey Osborne music video. 

Most of the individuals I met at the beginning of this phase of my career were through Robin, she helped me carve my niche in this industry. It was a very exciting time in both of our careers and a reference was everything back then. She refered me to a few people who worked nonstop; Valli O’Reilly, Anne “Medusah” Aulenta, Lynne Eagan, Lizbeth Williamson and a few others. Whenever they needed extra help or if they were unavailable I got a phone call and I will be eternally grateful to those who took a chance on me. Robin and I did several things together until our paths separated when she chose to develop her career in television and I chose to develop mine in film. We have been best friends for about 30 years and let’s just say the rest is history.

MANW: I believe you may be the first true "all rounder" I've interviewed. If I had to narrow it down you mainly work as a personal makeup artist to well known actors on movies or for tv performances, as well as department heading movies. I know you do lots of campaigns and beauty editorials with personalties but did you ever want to work in fashion or beauty? Or do special effects?

MCN: I have done my share of effects, when I first graduated from makeup school I was gung-ho about effects, but after several bouts with asthma I decided that aspect of my life would take a backseat. I did one or two small fashion shows, lots of bridal work, worked in a salon as an aesthetician and freelanced for several makeup lines however I never really had a burning desire to work in fashion. I paid my dues in video hell (27 hour days filled with mineral oil-based smoke and playback) and then I fell in love with film. Even though I did quite a bit of television, film just kept pulling me back in.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs and make-ups you like to do? From the sketch comedy character makeups in In Living Color, designing movies or do you prefer being personal to one person on movies?

MCN: My sketch comedy wasn’t really that much, I worked on In living Color off and on because one of my besties, the very talented Stephanie Cozart Burton who was co-department head, hired me when I was in between movies. I also filled in for her the last two weeks of the show. The pace almost killed me and gave me a whole respect for what she did, as soon as you were ready to do a makeup look there would be a major script change with very little time to create and execute that change into a completely different makeup look. I never did quite figure out how she did it, much respect to my sista, I bow down to her. I love doing clean beauty makeup but I really just love developing that character in the script, there is something very challenging and quite majestic about bringing that character to life. I enjoy being a department head just as much as being a personal to one person, I feel fortunate to have done both simultaneously. 

MANW: What is your process of creating character looks and how much say do you have in the designs? 

MCN: This is my process for developing each characters looks: I read the script a minimum of three times before I even begin to break the characters down, I like to get a very strong feel of the evolution of each character that I have to work with. After I do my initial breakdown I create my list of questions. Many times there are not enough details surrounding each character, script notations maybe vague or sketchy or just not there. I like to give each character a somewhat complete life so that the makeup evolution makes sense. This usually involves conversations with the script supervisor, director, costume designer, the hairstylist and the actor. Film is a collaborative effort so everyones input counts. 

On Malcolm X I spent quite a bit of time working with Denzel Washington to create the look of Malcolm X. We met several times to discuss the various looks and the major transition from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X. After much deliberation we agreed to not use contacts to simulate Malcolm’s green eyes because it was too much using both contacts as well as wearing glasses. We also agreed to apply the moustache in two pieces and to cut the full hand tied lace beard and apply it in a few pieces, this made him feel more comfortable. 

For Ghost Whoopi and I discussed her looks, as well as with the director. I custom blended her liquid foundations as well as her lipsticks, I wanted her skin to look clean and dewy. She really wanted her black lipstick so I used dark brown instead of black and mixed it with a very orange/gold color to create a much softer lip colour. 

Tina, What’s love got to Do With it required a lot of detail. The director, the late Brian Gibson, was very hands-on, we had much discussion prior to shooting. He requested a complete breakdown of every look for Tina and Ike, including nail polish changes, so I handed over a continuity book before we even started shooting.

On my latest project Whitney, which aired on Lifetime Television in January 2015, there was very little time to do anything, we prepped as we were shooting. Changes happened quickly and mostly on the fly, the pace was insane.

MANW: You have worked on some legendary shows and movies, I still watch old episodes of In Living Colour on youtube, the epic Malcolm X and Boyz in The Hood, Jacqui Brown, Sesame Street with Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Tupac, the incredible Angela Basset..it's a very long list of greats. Can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career? 

MCN: Wow, let’s see. I think one of the biggest standout moments of my career was meeting and spending about eight hours over the course of two days with the legendary and iconic Tina Turner, I felt like I was in the presence of Rock ‘n Roll royalty. Her energy, sense of purpose and sense of self were so heightened that it was majestic. We discussed many of the intrinsic nuances that were used to help bring Angela Bassett’s character to life in the movie but the highlight of our meeting was beyond anything that words can describe because, in order for me to get the full picture, Ms. Turner actually got down on her knees and did my makeup. That’s right, Tina Turner did my makeup. She pulled out her makeup bag from her purse and did half of my face in the 1960’s and the other half in the 1970’s to actually demonstrate the stage looks she used during those eras. I was in awe, and she said “I’ve always wanted to do a makeup artist’s makeup”. 

Another standout moment was doing makeup for the legendary and iconic Diana Ross for the movie Out of Darkness. This was an exciting opportunity to breakdown and create the evolution of the character with her. When I first came to the US, as a writer for our Junior High School paper aged 13, I was one of a few students chosen to attend a press junket for The Supremes at the world famous Waldorf Astoria and I got to take photos with Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong. Cut to years later I was booked for a photo shoot with Mary Wilson and I took that photo to show her. She loved it and told me she remembered that day. Wow! I had no idea that this was the direction my life would take.

And, the best moment, the pièce de résistance was most recently in Paris. I was invited to be a master instructor for Make Up For Ever’s new Film and Television Academy at Cite du Cinema in Saint Denis. I got a chance to meet and hang with Dany Sanz, founder and creator of Make Up For Ever, I revisited the original boutique that I visited 18 years ago and I was able to go into the back to Dany’s office and actually get my hands into products. It was amazing, electrifying and all those wonderful adjectives, I was like a kid in a candy store. We left the ultimate makeup artist’s paradise and went for a 20-minute leisure stroll through the streets of Paris to our dinner location. What an evening, dinner with Dany Sanz!

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? 
MCN: I feel some things have changed tremendously. The introduction of social media has increased the need for instant gratification and the speed at which producers expect you to deliver has tripled. Movie making time has decreased considerably yet you still have to produce the same high quality. For new artists starting out it’s important to pay more attention to detail and learn the craft properly by continuously educating themselves from the right sources. Stop being in such a hurry to conquer the next smoky eye, instead learn the history and the art of the craft as well as the business entity of the industry.

I am passionate about education and teaching as a whole, in 2009 I took a leap of faith and enrolled in Kaplan University Online and graduated with my Masters in Higher Education with a focus in Adult Teaching and Learning and Online Teaching and Learning. My goal was to learn more about online teaching so I could deliver classes online and I have since created my Lipstick Lectures (a series of free monthly, one-hour sessions that discuss a different topic in film every month and anyone who is interested in a career in Film and TV can tune in) and my Workshops by Marietta Classes which focus strictly on the business of this industry. My other baby is my MUA Planner (a simple tool to assist makeup artists in their daily appointment lives which I designed to be a makeup artist’s backup life) and my recently created eBook on Industry Terminology.

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  equally enjoy doing beauty and character makeups so In Living Color/SNL was/is a bit of a dream of mine, although the 3 minute bald caps they do on SNL scare me endlessly. And obviously going to Sesame Street is a major life goal! Who or what are yours?

MCN: Wow, that’s a tough one. Halle Berry, I missed out working with her because shortly after interviewing with her she cancelled the project. I would have also loved to have done Sharon Stone and Anne Hathaway’s makeup. I think working on The Devil Wears Prada or Sex in the City would have been a fun makeup experience.

MANW: On to the good stuff, what are your tricks for flawless looking skin?

MCN: I love beautiful skin so I like a good skincare regime which includes regular facials and the right serums. I don’t like product overload so I use minimal stuff, I apply foundation lightly then I blend, blend, blend. I Love using a beauty blender for my final blend. I do my corrective work in creams, especially cream blush. I like to set the foundation properly so I use a powder puff then I buff the face with a large, clean powder brush.

MANW: What are your top 5 holy grail kit products? 

MCN: These are some of the must-haves for my kit. RCMA & Graftobian foundation palettes, RCMA Clear Foundation, Make Up For Ever HD Cream Blushes, Eve Pearl Blush Trio, MAC Orange Full Coverage Foundation, MAC Red Full Coverage Foundation, Eve Pearl Invisible Powderless Powder, Embryolisse lait-crème-concentrè, Ben Nye Five O’Sharp Beard Cover, Embryolisse Rich Balm, Beauty Blenders, a white palette, a white cape, Tweezerman tweezers, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, RCMA No Color Powder, RCMA Over-Powder in warm gold. Skindanavia Makeup Finishing Spray, Christian Dior Loose Powder in medium, Face Atelier’s loose powder in ochre, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, Touche éclat and Lancome Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen, Smashbox & Stila Primers, SmashBox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color, ELF Studio Eyebrow kit, Cinema Secrets powder puffs and Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch.

MANW: What's your best make-up artist tip to give women?

MCN: My best makeup artist tip to women is to blend, blend, blend, then blend some more. I love to see clean, beautiful skin accentuated with hints of color on the cheeks, a beautiful crisp mouth and clean pretty eyes. When a woman is over 40, I believe that less is best, so they should spend more time on the skincare to avoid using a lot of makeup.

MANW: Finally, false eyelashes - the longer the better or enough already they look ridiculous?

MCN: I use false lashes in moderation. If the natural lashes are beautiful I prefer to use several coats of mascara. I enjoy mixing a couple of different formulations to achieve maximum results so I might mix lengthening, thickening and full volume mascaras to get the look I desire.

For more info on Marietta, her classes and books visit her website here or follow her on Twitter here.

If you liked this interview and would like to read other leading industry makeup artists stories (including the above mentioned Robin Siegel) have a look at the rest of the series here.


22/01/2015

CLINIQUE CHUBBY STICK LIP COLOUR BALM - THE PERFECT RED LIP


I've had this photo of Keira Knightley at last weeks Golden Globes* saved on my phone and I keep looking at it as the makeup (and her) is so beautiful. And then I realised the lip colour is exactly the same as the lip product I've been favouriting for a while now, Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Colour in 06 Roomiest Rose is amazing and has been my go to product for the last few months. Sometimes I'll have products in my kit for months before I use them and then I'll kick myself for taking so long to try them because they're incredible and this is just that product. It's not harsh like a lipstick, it kind of melts into the lips so it looks like a stain, but without looking dry. It's really hard to explain until you try it, it's like wearing an effortless 'natural' red lip if a red lip can look natural, it's what I call a very modern way of wearing a red lip that is extremely wearable and practical for the modern woman living and working; it's not going to leave it's imprint anywhere or bleed across the chin, it's not heavy, it's not glossy or in your face glaring bright, it's just perfect. This photo of Kiera looks exactly what I'm trying to explain.. it looks soft, beautiful and very flattering. I must say I've used Roomiest Rose on a lot of people of varying colours and tones and it suits everyone, it's probably my favourite lip product in my kit.

For my other "red lip" posts go here:
*GET THE RED LIPS LOOK
*RED LIPS AT THE GRAMMYS
*HOW TO APPLY THE PERFECT RED LIP

* To buy in America go here
* Kiera's Golden Globes makeup by Kate Lee

Follow me on Twitter here and Instagram here (@anniemakeup).

12/01/2015

THE BEST MAKEUP FROM THE 2015 GOLDEN GLOBES, AND THE WORLD

Rosamund Pike, Emily Blunt and Amy Adams at The Golden Globes 

Can we all just agree that natural pretty makeup with soft pinks, peaches and taupes are the most flattering? Accentuating natural beauty with soft flattering colours will always be the best use of makeup and one day every makeup wearing female will know that scouse brows and thick heavy makeup looks like it's been applied with a trowel and crayons. ok thanks bye. 

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