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.


04/08/2014

COLORWOW ROOT COVER UP - MUST HAVE FOR GREY HAIR!

Colorwow £28.50/$34.50

Everyone hates seeing their grey come through and everyone hates getting their roots done; it's so time consuming, expensive, a constant reminder you're closer to death, it's just the worst. So many times I wished there was a foundation for hair for the bits of grey that come through just one sodding week after having my roots done, I can't be the only one who's brushed eyeshadow over grey hairs? Recently I came across Colorwow (otherwise I would definitely have mentioned it earlier) and I'm not exaggerating when I say for covering grey hair this is one of those life-changing products. Like all genius products it's so obvious in hindsight but I can't believe no-one made this before. For women who colour their hair due to greying (or even highlights*) this is a can't-live-without product. It's a very easy process, you pick the colour that most matches your colour (there are six colour choices from platinum to black) and you brush it on the grey hairs, it works just as well on odd hairs as well as a full root growth on the hair line and parting (that takes a bit longer than applying to odd hairs). 

Colorwow camouflages grey roots and hairs instantly, always apply to dry/styled hair and just brush it on, thats it. They made a video how to apply it which, if you're thinking of buying this, I highly recommend you watch just to show you how easy it is to apply and how great it works, you can watch it here. It doesn't feel sticky on or affect your hairstyle, it doesn't dry your hair out or alter the condition and it stays in your hair until you wash it out. It will stay in place if you sweat, get caught in the rain and even go swimming, you need to actually shampoo your hair to remove it so no brown dye dripping down your face in the gym or if you're caught in the rain, how great is that! It's roughly the size of an average makeup compact so perfect for putting in your handbag and there is a mirror inside the compact so it's easy for touching up on the go. Personally, using Colorwow I can get about an extra 3-4 weeks before redoing my colour and that's with no more random greys showing the entire time between colours. All in all a genius product that I think is completely brilliant and I'm very grateful for.

Ps. It's also great to use as an eyebrow powder so hair and brows match.
.
* The two blonde colours can also be used to extend highlights by applying and covering dark roots the same way they cover grey. I haven't tried it but this would have been a life saver when I was blonde to extend the length of time between getting my roots done, saving huge amounts of stress on highlighted hair AND wallets.

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


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.

* Usually £23, I found it here for £15.20 
** Usually £20, I found it here for £15

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.