19/09/2014

FASHION WEEK MAKEUP KIT Q&A WITH MAC SENIOR ARTISTS


Ever wondered how makeup artists prepare for Fashion Week? Since I work mainly in TV fashion week is a completely alien world to me, albeit an intriguing one. MAC sent me a this Q&A with two of their senior artists; Pablo Rodriguez and Gina B and their "Fashion Week in Numbers" list, both of which I found thoroughly interesting. Some good kit tips for makeup artists out there.

Tips for packing a kit? 
@MAC_Pablo_R: 
 • Clean up and clear out. Get rid of anything broken, empty or dried up. List out whatever needs to be replaced. 
•  Scour the M∙A∙C website. Make a second list of everything that I’m missing and need.
•  Create a separate bag for all the new products I’m testing for next season.
•  Contain your potential messes! Keep glitter and pigments in stackable pots, which then go into plastic bags. Safety first!
@MAC_Gina_B:
• Packing a kit is like maintaining a boat: Something always needs your attention! One of my best tips is to empty each foundation bottle into a travel vial. Each vial of Matchmaster Foundation holds 80 pumps of foundation. I carry nine shades. That’s 720 pumps of foundation with me at all times! 


How many M∙A∙C containers do you empty out/depot to create custom palettes for fashion week? 
@MAC_Fabiana_G: 
• 53!

How long does it take to pack your kit? 
@MAC_Pablo_R:
• When I pack my kit properly, it takes all day. Cleaning palettes, decanting and labeling product – it all takes time and precision. This makes it so my kit lasts throughout the whole month of shows. 


Do you pack anything in your kit besides makeup?
@MAC_Pablo_R:
• Extra towels, straws for models wearing bold lips, and Scotch tape to pick up unwanted glitter on a model’s skin.
@MAC_Fabiana_G:
• I bring stencils, sponges for effects, special glue to cover eyebrows, Glycerin (to fake sweat or tears), accessories to mould makeup (such as pieces of jewellery and fabric). Even if some of these items are more commonly used during editorial shoots, it’s always good to be prepared! 


Name one product in your kit that works for every model, no matter their skin tone or type.
@MAC_Pablo_R:
• Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork: Great for contouring fair skin and highlighting dark skin. Everyone wins.


How do you create your Lipstick and Cream Colour Base palettes?
@MAC_Gina_B:
• Scrape your pots clean and fill each section of your palette. Pop into the microwave for a 30 second trip to get them smooth and gorgeous. Voila! 

What’s the one product you lose every season?
@MAC_Pablo_R:
• Sharpeners! Where do they go!? Sometimes, my kit feels like the Bermuda Triangle.


If you could only take five items with you to Fashion Week, what would they be?
@MAC_Pablo_R:
• Select Cover Up, Fluidline in Blacktrack, Eye Brows in Lingering, Ruby Woo Lipstick and Blot Powder.
@MAC_Fabiana_G:
• Prep + Prime Fix +, Face and Body Foundation, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, Cream Colour Base in Shell and Lip Conditioner. 

How do you mark your “territory” backstage?
@MAC_Fabiana_G:
• Backstage is no-man’s-land. No one is safe! To claim my work station, I use an old M∙A∙C towel that almost nobody has anymore. I also label all of my palettes, and my brushes each have a green mark on them. Besides that, I know my kids! 


What is your pre-show ritual/routine?
@MAC_Fabiana_G:
• I hang upside down for 10 minutes.


Describe your pre-fashion week feelings in three words.
@MAC_Fabiana_G:
• May I pick four and create a quote? “Go with the flow.”


Fashion Week Makeup In Numbers
  • Number of shows in major Fashion Week cities that M∙A∙C will support backstage: 208
  • Number of Eye Liners and Eye Pencils ordered for Artists’ kits: 1,233 
  • Number of Permanent Lipsticks, Lipglasses, Lipmixes, Lip Erase and Conditioners ordered for Artists’ kits: 576 
  • Number of Mascara Wands and Tubes ordered for Artists’ kits: 3,776 
  • Number of Lashes ordered for Artists’ kits: 844 


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


16/09/2014

MAKEUP-ARTIST CONTEST & GIVEAWAY!

Ok guys, I'm going for a different approach for this giveaway; I have 4 big bags of products to give away from this massive lot of goodies below. 2 bags are for the many makeup artists amongst you and two are for any of my other lovely readers.



BUT I want to see something from you first:

GIVEAWAY 1 FOR MAKEUP ARTISTS: 
Upload a photo of your favourite piece of work- beauty, sfx, character, whatever you want to show me, but show me your best and tag @anniemakeup #anniemakeupcontest on either twitter or instagram. 

RULES:
1. It must be your own work
2. You must tag @anniemakeup and #anniemakeupcontest on twitter or instagram

GIVEAWAY 2 FOR EVERYONE ELSE:
Upload a photo of your favourite makeup, hair or beauty product and tag @anniemakeup #anniemakeupgiveaway on either twitter or instagram and tell me why it's so great.

RULES:
1. You must tag @anniemakeup and #anniemakeupgiveaway

Deadline for both: September 24th/ Four winners announced September 25th. 
OPEN WORLDWIDE, SHOW ME YOUR STUFF!

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

14/09/2014

L'OREAL SUPERFINE LINER - BEST BLACK EYELINER EVER!


Very quick post, just wanted to share with you a new really good find. If you like a black line this is the one. If you were scared of liquid or felt liners before, could never get a straight or thin enough line or it kept going wonky or too thick THIS IS THE LINER FOR YOU. It is so easy to do a perfect line, I think it's something to with the length and the special grip, either way it's the best liner I've ever used. Also, very important it doesn't smudge, transfer or wear away- it lasts all day. Ticks every box and does it the best out of all the others I've tried. Cheap too, bonus. Let me know if you've tried it or if you swear by any others.

In America you can find it here.

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

10/09/2014

THINGS I'VE LEARNT AS A MAKEUP ARTIST EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

Me at work

1. Spend money on good brushes
It's a fact of life you get what you pay for and the same goes for makeup brushes, your brushes are your tools and the better the tool the better the application. There isn't a makeup artist who would disagree that you can do great makeup with good brushes and cheap makeup, but you can't do good makeup with expensive makeup and cheap brushes. From Wayne Goss to Suqqu (my favourites) there are varying price points of great brushes. Buy the best you can afford, they are an investment that will last you a lifetime and your makeup will look better and last longer.

2. Wash your brushes
It sounds obvious but I'm always amazed how few people wash their brushes. You are applying products to your face with brushes that you then dip back into your products, that's a lot of  bacteria collecting and transferring from face to product, back to face again, repeated every day. I'm not suggesting you clean your brushes on a daily basis, I clean mine after every use because I use them on different faces but if you're using your brushes daily you should really be washing them around once a week. Whether you use alcohol, a brush shampoo like London Brush Company's or baby shampoo it doesn't matter, just wash them. 

3. Get great skin
Great makeup starts with great skin, there is no denying this. There is only so much foundation and concealer will do, no matter how expensive it is. The truth is truly beautiful makeup will only look beautiful on good skin and if you don't see positive effects from you skincare within a few weeks, change it and keep searching until you find one that works for you. Everyone's skin is different and what works for one may not work for another, so don't waste money on products that aren't making your skin look incredible, move on to another great brand, there are a lot out there.

4. Ignore trends that don't suit you
Cat eye flicks, orange lipstick, contouring.. go nuts experimenting but, just like fashion with clothes, ignore trends if they don't suit you. Know your face shape and know what makes the best of your features and stick to them. A simple even skintone, groomed brows and a healthy glow will always be beautiful on everyone, classics are classics for a reason.

5. Makeup can change your entire mood
It doesn't matter how you do your makeup or what makeup you wear if it makes you feel good. After 13 years working as a makeup artist I am constantly amazed not only how different I can make someone look with makeup but also how different someone can feel. For myself, I don't feel right until i've pencilled in and thickened my eyebrows, I become an entirely more able and confident person. Whether it's a cat eye, lipstick or a perfect base, what ever makes you feel confident and the best version of you is a fantastic thing to have, embrace it as that's the best thing ever about makeup.

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

07/09/2014

AERIN PRETTY BRONZE ILLUMINATING POWDER - THE PERFECT BRONZER FOR PALER SKIN



Two and a half years ago at the beginning of this blog one of the first posts I wrote were The Pale Skin Base Basics and Makeup Looks & Tips for Pale Skin; both still relevant with great tips and advice for ladies with paler complexions so definitely check them out if you're interested. Finding a good base and bronzer for pale skin can be really tough, although 2 years on foundation colour choices has massively improved and it's a lot easier to find very light and dark bases. Bronzers maybe not so much. This Aerin bronzer is the perfect bronzer I've found for paler skins, it's very light and natural looking, you can build the colour slowly, it's the perfect choice to warm up your skin and not look orangey, dirty or stripey. Anyone who is usually scared of bronzer should definitely give this a try. The colour is really soft and gives a hint of glow, like the glow you get from a day in the sun, totally understated as a bronzer should be. Really stunning product.


*In America you can find it here


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

02/09/2014

MEET THE ARTISTS - ROBIN SIEGEL

Robin Siegel's resume reads like a a who's who list of Hollywood; from Julia Roberts, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone and Jodie Foster to Felicity Huffman, and to name just a  handful, nearly every major star has had their makeup done by Robin. Her work with one celebrity or another has been in every major publication, on numerous red carpets and many an advertising campaign. Robin's TV work includes heaps of hit shows and Makeup Department Head positions on huge shows like Beverley Hills 90210 (1 season), Veronicas Closet (3 seasons) and Friends (9 seasons), as well as personal makeup artist to Lisa Kdurow and Jennifer Aniston on many other projects and films. Currently working as personal makeup artist to Mary McDonnell on Major Crimes, Robin took some time to tell me about her career and, of course, some of her favourite products.
Snapshot of Robin's career

MANW: How did you start your career and what was the progression it took?
RS: For a couple of years I worked in a salon as a hairstylist and aesthetician. I knew I wanted to be in the beauty industry and realized I was more interested in skincare and make-up. Doing "make up for the movies" inspired me to move to Los Angeles. After going to a make-up school that taught everything from beauty to effects and fantasy I started working on student films, non-union movies and then music videos. Eventually I worked on larger independent movies, some on location; I spent time in Jamaica, St Croix, Baltimore and New York. After being on location for a while I wanted to work more at home in Los Angeles and I was hired to do the pilot for one of the first HBO original series, a comedy called 'Dream On' starring Brian Benben and Wendie Malick. That show lasted 5 or 6 seasons and was created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane who also created Friends. Marta and David invited me to work on Friends and Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox asked me to stay. During the first season I was finishing the last season of 'Dream On' so I only had time for a few episodes on Friends, I stayed as Makeup Department Head on Friends for the remaining 9 seasons.

During the time I worked on Friends I did Jennifer Aniston's and Lisa Kudrow's make-up for most of the award shows and other press and red carpet events they attended. It was at this time that I got an agent who still represents me. My agent, Alyssa Regulski, recently opened Grid Agency. Since Friends ended I still sometimes work with both Jennifer and Lisa, I recently did Jennifer Aniston's makeup for Horrible Bosses 2. I did Kyra Sedgwick's make up on The Closer for seasons 4, 5 and 6 and I am currently doing Mary McDonnell's make up on The Closer spinoff - Major Crimes. In between I had the pleasure of working with Ashley Judd on the mini series Missing which filmed in Prague, Croatia and Istanbul for 5 months. In between my film and television jobs I also do make up for celebrities and private clients for red carpet, press and special events.

MANW: Do you have a preference for the type of jobs  and make-ups you like to do, ie: TV characters, red carpets or magazine shoots?

RS: Beauty is still my main focus when it comes to make-up and skin care, I don't have the experience or desire to work with special effects. I designed a couple of fashion shows and worked on several films as a personal make-up artist to Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Felicity Huffman and Diane Keaton but my preference is to do one actress's make-up on a television show, film, event or photo shoot rather than design a whole show.  

MANW: You have worked on some legendary TV shows like Friends and Beverley Hills 90210 and with a huge list of legendary actors such as Sharon Stone, Brad Pitt and Jodie Foster.. can you tell us about some of the stand out moments of your career?

RS: Some of the stand out moments of my career are watching somebody see themselves in the mirror after I finish their make-up and smile at their image, that never gets old for me.  Working with some legendary actors has given me a chance to be in the presence of true artistry and talent. When I see them go from my make-up chair to in front of the camera it can be magical. I love using make-up to reveal the beauty I see in each woman whose make-up I do. I don't necessarily transform them to look different, I try to bring into focus the beauty that is already there.

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? 

RS: The main differences I see in the industry are social media and high definition film.  I recommend that new artists learn, experiment, photograph and post their work. There is also a business to being a make-up artist and I highly recommend that new artists learn that aspect as well. Marietta Carter Narcisse has excellent online classes and seminars that take you beyond the brushes and products.

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

RS: Some of my favourite makeup products are; Cle de Peau concealer, Makeup Forever Primer, Chanel and Dior liquid and Tom Ford Stick foundations, Chanel Inimitable or Clinique Lash Power mascara, Chanel waterproof eye pencils and eye shadows, MAC fluid line, Tom Ford eye brow pencils and Chanel, Shiseido and Cle de Peau lipsticks and glosses.

For skin care I love Cle de Peau eye baume, La Mer Hydrating Infusion, Murad Perfecting Serum, Dr Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream and Nerium or Optimera Night cream treatment.

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

RS: Besides blending....look in the mirror and smile!

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

RS: I love false eyelashes as long as they look like lashes and not a little animal sitting on your eyelid.

For more info on Robin see her agency page here or follow her 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.

28/08/2014

THE BEST & EASY WAY TO GET RID OF DRY SKIN ON YOUR FEET


I will say I did try to think of a snappier title! Personally I hate pedicures, I hate the time it takes and I have excessively ticklish feet so it's a lot more pain than pleasure, pain that I have to hide so no-one sees me wincing like a child. I don't particularly enjoy getting them but for pretty feet I suck it up. WELL NO MORE! I could not be more ecstatic about this beauty tip I just discovered and boy is it a good one. 

Soak your feet in a bowl of the following for 10 minutes, then give your feet a quick scrub with something coarse like a pumice, scraper or even just a rough towel if they're not that bad and the dry skin just falls off. It works like a charm, it's so easy and that's how you get soft and smooth pretty feet! 

I cup of vinegar
I cup of Llisterine (other mouthwash should work but I haven't tried)
2 cups of warm water

Share! Share! Share! 

25/08/2014

DERMABLEND CORRECTIVE STICK - THE WORLD'S GREATEST CONCEALER


Covering spots or acne can be very difficult and upsetting for everyone, even for the makeup artist. I wrote a post over a year ago about covering acne using Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation which I absolutely one-billion-percent stand by and you should definitely check it out. The same brand have re-designed their Dermablend Corrective stick, which is a small concealer in a tube much like a lipstick so, as well as being magnificent at it's job, it's extremely easy to carry round with you as you would a lipstick. 

The Fluid Foundation is the best product in the world to completely cover acne with a totally natural and flawless finish, and I do mean flawless and natural. I have never seen a product work quite like it and I have the same praise for the  Dermablend Corrective Stick which is ideal to use as a targeted application. It is a very high coverage for medium to severe imperfections like spots, acne scars, rosacea, dark circles, vitiligo, hyper pigmentation etc. It has a very soft, smooth texture that blends so easy (unlike other high coverage products of the past which were very thick, hard to blend and obvious looking). Like the foundation it leaves a completely natural flawless finish and your skin looks like (perfect) skin, not a mask. 
As well as looking natural it feels completely natural and doesn't feel at all heavy, it never ceases to amaze me every time I use it. And if you set it with powder (Mac Blot Powder or Vichy Dermablend Loose Setting Powder are my favourites) it doesn't move all day. Also like the foundation these are an ideal choice for men as it looks so natural. The company say it is sweat, water and rub resistant, I say use common your sense in this regard..no makeup will survive a full face rubbing. It has great buildable coverage so you could also use it to cover tattoos, which you should set with a powder or sealer spray. 

Like all Vichy products it's suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skins. It's the perfect product for specific areas which you can easily blend in with your finger, ideal if you don't need to use the foundation for your full face and you just want to cover a specific spot or area. I use these all the time, at work and on myself for the occasional spot or blemish, it just doesn't slip off. I could not live or work without it, I never have to worry about covering anyones skin and it's a tiny little thing you can throw in your handbag. It is THE BEST. 


If you're in America you can find Dermablend here.


12/08/2014

CREME DE LA MER - THE TREATMENT FLUID FOUNDATION (YES, IT IS INCREDIBLE)


Made with Creme de la Mer's remarkable skincare benefits (you can read about their blue algae process in all La Mer products here), their lightweight fluid foundation is something special. I've used La Mer moisturisers and can confirm they are amazing, I can't speak for long term use but I can vouch for it's instant effects which are incredible so I'm sure long term use is something rather brilliant. Because of this I certainly had high expectations for their foundation which I've been using for a couple months. It's taken me a while to blog about it because I really wanted to give it a thorough testing before saying how great it is and give it my thumbs up as it is expensive and I know how upsetting it is forking out a lot of money for a foundation that doest suit you. My opinion solidifies every day, it's a wonderful foundation and for the right person this will be your holy grail and probably the last you ever buy.

It's very light, but not too light it doesn't cover and correct, it has medium coverage that erases minor imperfections like an uneven skin tone, roseaca, small bumps and acne scars, really leaving a naturally flawless complexion. Natural and flawless- these are key words as it does look exceptionally natural and flawless which really are the only things you want from a foundation. It has a lovely luminous finish so it really makes you look radiant and it claims to lift the skin creating lasting firmness which I have noticed my skin does looks slightly firmer, with it on and when I've washed it off. I am intrigued to know over time how much accumulative difference this would make.

So what did I mean that this will be the best foundation "for the right person"? I think if you like a full coverage/ matte foundation this isn't for you as it gives a very natural look with a beautiful healthy luminous glow (my preference, which is why I think it's so great). If you have extremely oily skin this isn't for you (and you should change your skincare) and I also think if you are very young the benefits are probably wasted on you. But, from 30 onwards and especially 40 and upwards you will see a huge difference in this foundation compared to others for a significantly smoother and more radiant complexion. That's not to say there aren't other wonderful foundations that also make you look fantastic which are cheaper, because there definitely are. But from a certain age foundation needs to do a whole to more than cover and even skin tone and the La Mer does it all exceptionally well, plus a hell of a lot more.

So, I can't not mention the price! It is expensive there is no getting away from that. You only need use small amounts so a bottle should last a long time (mine still seems full after 3 months although I don't wear it every day) but it's still expensive. Is it worth it? Again, if you're the right fit then yes, I think so. I think the price difference between UK and America is shameful and thoroughly unfair, so if you can buy it in America even better. There are 10 shades, mostly neutral (they could do a LOT better on the shade spectrum) so its imperative you go to a counter and get colour matched, do not guess over the internet that is far too expensive a mistake to make. It is SPF15 which is decent but for the price it should be higher, I wear it over one of my favourite anti-shine/matte high factor suncreams and they don't affect the look or the longevity of this (or any) foundation. The longevity is great, in fact I think it looks better as the day goes on as it mixes with your natural skin oils, I maybe have a slight powder touch-up early evening but that's about it. Another great thing is it feels very light on, it doesn't feel (or look) like you're wearing makeup which I love, and I always feel my skin looks better and firmer than usual when I wash it off, maybe that's the La Mer Skincare benefits working?

La Mer advertise this foundation as the "power to transform the complexion" and if you're the right fit I don't think they are far off. It's certainly my favourite foundation, I will say due to the price I do save it for going out and I don't use it when I'm going on set at 6am or hanging round the house writing and cleaning, but if I didn't have such a weird job with weird hours this would be my go to everyday foundation for sure. I had a very thorough read of the many online comments as I wanted to see if other people also had such a great experience and if they felt it was worth the money and I was blown away by the amount of positive comments and the content. There are some incredible stories of 60 year olds being mistaken for 40, the first foundation a severe eczema sufferer had used that didn't make her break out, and a lot of women of a certain age (that phrase is the pitts, I'm so sorry!) swearing never to use another foundation again, it feels a bit like a cult once you enter you don't leave! I personally love this foundation and will definitely repurchase, I think if you are of a certain age or getting there this might be something wonderful for you.

Please do go to a counter to get colour matched and take a small pot with you to ask for a sample to take home to try for a few day before purchasing. Like all products what works miracles for some may not work for you and I would hate you to spend money without trying it first. And if you do use it please do come back and share your opinions!

Ps. Don't buy from Harrods they are only showing 5 colours on their website, not the full 10 colour range.


*To buy in America go here

07/08/2014

MELVITA L'OR BIO EXTRAORDINARY & SPARKLING OIL *I AM OBSESSED*


Without doubt these are my favourite body oils/moisturisers, they are pure luxury in a bottle with the most incredible smells, they smell like summer in a bottle. I can't stop feeling and smelling my arms when I wear them, I literally walk around sniffing at my arms and deep sighing.

The L'Or Bio Extraordinary Oil is made from 100% natural oils* which protect and nourish the skin leaving it looking beautiful with a truly magnificent scent. It's a very fine and silky texture that's absorbed immediately (I detest oils that sit on the skin) and leaves a very soft, smooth and non-oily protective finish, skin looks a bit like it's been photoshopped! The combination of five natural oils are a mix of Argan oil from Morocco, Kendi oil from Indonesia, Inca Inchi oil from Amazonia; all known for their exceptional skincare properties. Buriti oil from Brazil nourishes the skin and promotes a healthy glow, and Pracaxi oil improves hair shine and strength. And I really cannot describe how incredible the smell is.

The L'Or Bio Sparkling Oil is made exactly the same as the L'or Bio with the addition of golden pearlescent natural pigments and another amazing and addictive natural scent. The natural mineral pigments are Mica, Red Iron Oxide & White Titanium and give a light golden sheen to the skin that is so subtle and extremely beautiful, there is nothing gaudy, gauche or obvious about it, it's the perfect summer skin oil. Again, both sink in quickly leaving no oily film, skin is completely nourished and looks amazing (can't stress that enough!). 
I'm obsessed with both oils, they are my absolute favourites, I honestly can't rave about them (and their smell) enough.

*Personally I am becoming more and more interested in natural protects, every one I try does such a good job usually miles better than chemically produced products. If natural organic products are important to you Melvita is a great brand to look into. Please do let me know of any other great natural products.