Anyone who has ever had their makeup done by moi knows that I am a little obsessed with brows, I have made it my personal mission to ensure that these unsung heroes get the attention they truly deserve.  The power of the brow is not to be underestimated, when done properly they can lift the whole face, spreading gravity defying properties all over the eye area (hell, who doesn’t want some of that?)

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Naked brows with no makeup

IMG_5004What a difference a brow makes!

Shape is crucial, anything resembling a tadpole should be avoided at all costs and over plucking is criminal to the poor defenceless brow.  I recommend getting your brows shaped by a professional and by this I don’t mean your beautician, but by a brows expert, someone who does brows everyday, all day.

Here I take my cue from Zoe Foster Blake’s Fruity Beauty blog where she encourages open discussion on who makes up your personal beauty army.  In the interests of caring and sharing my own personal beauty army, I have always gone to the very talented Diana Calvet of Brows Baby (apart from once when she was away, sorry Diana it was only the once, I promise) – then I went to Nathan at Parlour B.

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My current favourite brow brushes to use are Ecotools brow brush and Mac’s 212

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I always recommend brushing the product through afterwards to blend either with a brow brush or a clean mascara wand.

If you already have full, lustrous, perfectly shaped brows to rival Kate Winslet’s then read no further. Fashionistas know that a bold brow is the the look du jour but not all of us are blessed with Cara Delevingne’s statement brows. But for us mere mortals there is still hope, fine sparse hairs can cut the mustard provided they are given the attention they crave.  Beautiful brows are the result of good grooming, shaping and filling, for this i have a several ‘go to’ products that do the job.

Often the most cost effective choice is eyeshadow, used either wet (for more intensity) or dry for a softer look.  Avoid shades with any red undertones (pinky red brows look good on few people), choose something that is no more than a shade or two lighter/darker than your natural shade.  Mac shadows that I like are…..Omega and Coquette

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Another popular product choice for brows is the pencil, often the easiest to carry and use but beware sharp lines (which are not associated with anti ageing properties), unless Greta Garbo is your inspiration.  My brand choices are Mac (Fling and Stud), Chanel, Kevyn Aucoin (Brunette) all readily available and provide good colour ranges.

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Another great product are brow gels – quick and easy to use whilst offering buildable texture.  Either brush straight on to the hair for a natural soft effect or gently tap on to fill gaps whilst creating shape. My lastest squeeze being Benefits’s Gimme Brow (light/medium) but Mac’s Girl Boy is good too

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If eyes are the window to ours souls then brows are the bespoke blinds we need to dress them with. Not only do they give your face structure and shape, but our brows draw attention to the eyes and can turn a good makeup into a Great Makeup.

Next time you do your makeup please spare a thought for your hairy friends.  Don’t abandon them, instead show them some love and they will love back, lifting and framing your peepers spreading anti ageing love all over your face.  Thank you brows, keep up the good work.

 

Last Monday was an exciting day in my house as it was the day I finally got my hot little hands on a Il Tutto Roma bag, joining the likes of Cate Blanchett, Dannii Minogue, Denise Van Outen and Jackie O.  I’ve been lusting after one of these babies for some time and it was well worth the wait.  My peepers were wide with delight and as I tore of the wrapping, removed the stuffing and quickly ran through a mental checklist of what all those delicious polka dot pockets where going to be used for.

For those that know me know I am a bag girl through and through, but am also a working Mum who needs even more bags, sadly my makeup bags need are more the practical kind.

This butter soft leather bag is designed as the After Baby bag for Mums who still need to carry all the various paraphernalia that comes with little people but no longer require all the feeding stuff.  This bag has marked a turning point in my life where I just pick up my bag and tote my son out the door …

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I can’t help feeling a little smug about the many compliments I received this last week – “is that Italian? where’s your bag from? is that an Il Tutto?”. Yes it is beautiful and I think the leather is Italian but what those lovely admirers don’t know is that it is cunningly hiding all my baby stuff whilst still being pretty damn stylee.

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There is one more huge advantage for me with my Roma bag which is another reason I am ever so slightly in love with it.  With 12 something pockets and a totally removable washable lining I am able to fit everything I need for on-set touch ups (yes feeling pretty clever about that discovery).

Last week when I was at Channel 7 I carried my full entourage of on-set makeup (powder, brushes, eyelashes, hairbrush, spray, lipstick blushers to name but a few items) together with all my personals.

Those lovely girls at Il Tutto are not only very clever at making bags but they are also super lovely too, so much so, that they are offering all those who follow my blog 20% off the Roma bag in either the Chocolate or Tan.

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When fighting the good fight to get our makeup looking as good as is humanly possible the biggest weapon at our everyday disposal is a bloody good foundation.  Lets face it, who doesn’t want good looking skin?

Here are my top 3 favourite foundations that I use in my kit and my own makeup bag:

  • By Terry Sheer Expert Fluid Foundation
  • Mac Face and Body Foundation
  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

Mac Face and Body Foundation feels like an old friend, I’ve carried in my kit for years.  Its lightweight fluid consistency is buildable and gives light to medium coverage that is utterly breathable.  It’s a hard working, great all round foundation. The plastic bottle needs a bit of a cocktail shake before using and the product emulsifies as you apply it.  The name says it all on this foundation and really is a secret weapon to combat areas of uneven skin tone. White pasty legs can be a thing of the past with this little baby resting in your makeup bag. ($49 for 50ml at MAC pro stores).

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Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is sheer genius in a bottle if you ask me.  This foundation offers more coverage and staying power and a little really does go a long way so there is value to be had even with a slightly higher price tag ($68 available at Mecca Cosmetica).  Nars have produced a colour range that is clever that has really saved me on a number of jobs when I’ve been faced (pardon the pun) with a client who has a skintone that is tricky to match.  There are only two downsides to this product that I have discovered, one is the glass bottle that means one slip of the wrist will leave you crying over spilt foundation and two, the consistency requires a fast hand or brush to achieve a smooth blended result.

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Fantastic for those with normal to dry skin leaving it hydrated and baby bottom smooth with a whisper of glowing radiance.  The extra coverage evens out skin tone but if you wanted something lighter it could easily be mixed with moisturiser.  Now that I’ve found it, I wouldn’t be without this little bottle of sheer loveliness.

Last but not least is By Terry Sheer Expert Fluid Foundation (availabe at Mecca Cosmetica $89), probably the cleverest foundation of all. The tube with an IQ contains new generation technology that is multi corrective,  adjusting and blending with the skin to erase imperfections whist delivering plumping comfort that leaves the skin glowing.  Its fair to say I love this stuff and is personal favourite for my skin.

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The colour range is slightly unusual but works brilliantly and it smells absolutely amazing. Why don’t all foundations smell this good, we are wearing them on our faces after all.  Kissed greetings and embraces should be infused with something that smells good, really good and this stuff does.  Ok I digress, smelling good isn’t reason enough to buy a foundation but this is an awesome foundation in every respect.  It is sheer enough to be worn every day but delivers just the right amount of coverage to erase imperfections.  The creamy consistency is easy to blend with either fingers or brushes and is totally buildable leaving skin feeling plumped, smooth and looking radiant.  Once again the clue is in the name for this foundation, Buy Terry.

Heres a quick before and after Terry worked her magic on me…

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High maintenance consumers that we are, not only do we want adequate coverage, long wearing yet natural, hydrated and more often than not, dewy and radiant skin.  Shouldn’t be that hard right? So when you do fall in product love and find a one that loves you back, treasure it, cherish it but most of all wear it as often as possible.

Don’t forget to follow my blog and share with your friends for product reviews, info and advice.

If theres something you’ve always wanted to know about an aspect of makeup, how to do it or even just a product then please drop me a line or leave a comment below.

I confess that I have had my head turned by a new kind of nail polish, I have strayed from my usual path of a solid classic colour.

Don’t get me wrong I love nail varnish, the  30+ colours in my fridge are testament to this.  But I’m more of your plain old fashioned solid colour, kinda gal. I marvel at Kaleidoscopic nails with intricate patterns all crammed onto one tiny finger nail. How do these people do this and where on earth do they find the time?  Surely that one knock or scrape that comes as soon as you leave the salon or pick up your mug of tea would require the whole fiddly process to begin from scratch?

A recent trip to Mecca Cosmetica has led me into temptation, a Summer Temptation ($38) to be precise. Double trouble in the form of deep reflective Navy blue (not unlike Chanel’s Blue Satin) together with what is best described as tiny flecks of gold leaf contained within clear nail varnish.  My ‘decorating’ process comprised of 2 coats of deep Navy (which I will definitely use even without the gold), followed by a coat of the gold (used sparingly for best effect) and finished with a top coat.

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First impressions led me to feel rather pleased myself as I’d successfully decorated my nails with only one extra coat and managed to avoid the afore mentioned labour intensive look that just isn’t me.  My 11 year old was also impressed and aptly named them ‘Galaxy Nails’ which he deemed cool (heavy praise indeed).

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Be warned fellow fans of this spangled seasonal duo, not using a top coat will result in a very rough texture on the nail not unlike sandpaper.   A top coat sorts all this out and ensures longer wear. My little experiment proved this seasonal duo to have surprising staying power.  Day 4 and apart from the top coat wearing a little thin there are no chips or cracks which should raise some worthy concerns about removal.

Despite the beautiful colours, shelf life and random praise I still haven’t concluded if this is a style that I have or will embrace.  With each casual glance at my hands I remain somewhat bemused at my nails and their glittery and decorated appearance.

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Thank you Mecca for leading me into a Summer Temptation but for now I remain delivered from the perils of nail art and will continue to worship the vast array of colours contained in the top shelf of my fridge.

 

Recently I was asked to do the makeup for Il Tutto, makers of beautiful baby bags and accessories. I met Lucie Trinco on another shoot I did and she obviously liked my work and asked me to be involved.

This was such a fun shoot for me and it was easy as everything was thought out to the tiniest detail by Il Tutto’s brilliant team.  The highlight of the shoot wasn’t the beautiful bags, the beautiful sunshine or the wonderful model I worked with but the beautiful baby I got to hold.  I had a scrumptious cuddle with the newest member of the team – baby Luella who has that divine baby smell I can’t get enough of.

Here’s a look a behind the scenes of the shoot, me at work and of course the result of my work.

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Love this super detailed mood board, it puts mine to shame

AnnailtuttoAnna has so much hair and of course she is tall, which I’m not, so my arms had a proper work out whilst styling her hair.  Thats probably why I had such a serious look on my face.

photo 5-2luellailtuttoHere you can see me in the back ground making the most of my cuddle with Luella.

These are the final shots from the day and I’m really happy with them.

Nico gunmetal winter 2 low resThe above picture was one of the last shots and its my favourite, I love the colours and the composition, it all just works for me.

Olivia snake landscape 2 low res

After Baby gunmatal 1 low res

The After baby bag, could I rock it?

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Click here to buy Il Tutto bags www.iltutto.com.au

Today’s blog is about my awesome experience of styling the Stylist.  I was fortunate enough to be asked by Tara Langsford, stylist of http://www.tlcstyling.com.au to style her hair and makeup for an upcoming shoot.  Tara  needed some fresh new headshots for her website that really represented her and the service she offers her clients.  Tara’s main objective was to convey her approachable and friendly nature in her shots.  I’m fortunate enough have worked with an amazing photographer who I knew would be perfect, Graham Jepson of http://www.grahamjepson.com

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Tara has great bone structure amazing blue eyes so I had great features to start with.  We spent some time talking about the look that Tara wanted to create, and finally settled on a number of key looks.  The first look we agreed upon was to emphasise Tara’s beautiful eyes in a subtle way, a great way to do this is with fake lashes, either individuals or strips.  I chose strip lashes for Tara.

Firstly we went for a more of a natural look with soft eyes and a softly applied burgundy lip.  I wanted to teach Tara how she could use strong colours in a subtle way so she could recreate these looks herself when visiting clients. I dabbed a deep colour on with my fingers and blurred the lip line, this way deep plums and burgundy colours can be worn in the day without looking heavy or ageing.  They can give lips a beautiful bitten and full look.

With Tara’s hair she wanted natural movement with some fullness and root lift.  We gave her a quick blow dry to get some heat into the hair and then added some velcro rollers and hair spray to hold this in place. Here’s the first look:

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After we had taken these shots we wanted to create a new look which was a reversal of the make up look we had just done so this time Tara and I decided on a stronger with a nude lip.  To emphasis this Tara changed into darker clothes to make the look a little bolder.  The shots came out really well and I think Tara looks absolutely beautiful, I’ve included an action shot of me jumping into to add some final touches so you can get a feel of how the day went, we had a lot of fun.

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Once these shots had been completed and we had a range of looks to choose, Graham and Tara decided they wanted some shots using natural light.  This was the perfect opportunity for me to tweak Tara’s look again to freshen things up.  I had talked to Tara at the start of the day about wearing a bright lip and she was a little hesitant.  Fortunately Tara trusted my judgement, I used Lady Danger by Mac which is my favourite Orangey Red, perfect for daytime and gives a fresh modern take on the bright lip and here is the result:

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Tara was thrilled with the result I’m happy to say that I’ve converted her to a bright lip.  I spoke with Tara today and she told me that she wore a bright lip only a few days ago and received nothing but compliments.

All up it was great day for all of us and creatively we are a good team, the shots turned out amazingly and I also enjoyed working on a new face and exploring new looks whilst imparting a little makeup education.

Please comment on my blog, your feedback is important to me and I will try to reply to all questions

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A makeup artist's blog on makeup and all things bright and beautiful

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A makeup artist's blog on makeup and all things bright and beautiful

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