Monday, November 30, 2009

Mario Badescu Glycolic Eye Cream

I just had to post about this....I started using the Glycolic Eye Cream (overnight treatment) by a few days ago and I am AMAZED by the results! I had quite a few little dryness lines underneath my eyes and they are gone! I keep looking in the mirror as I can't quite believe it. The best thing is it's only $20 for a pot and you only need a little at a time.

I can't wait to see what I'll look like in a few weeks : )

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting your makeup on in the back of a moving car!

This is what I had to do today except it wasn't my own makeup it was for Terri! Her schedule had changed and as she had just arrived off of a plane and we didn't have time to stop, I did her full makeup in the car in 10 minutes.

If you get caught out and have to do your makeup on your way to an event (only if you are the passenger PLEASE!) here is how to do it:

First of all get the essential products together in one bag so you aren't hunting for things when you are in a hurry. We aren't talking fancy makeup here, just the basics so you look great when you arrive.
Here is a list of products to gather:

Powder Foundation - this is the quickest way to make your skin look great and as it's in powder form it won't spill or get messy. Apply extra where you need more coverage to omit the need for concealer.

Powder Bronzer - apply this next with a big fluffy brush all over to give you a glow, take it down your neck and decollete too.

A subtle pink, peach or plum blush depending on your skin tone - dust this lightly on your cheekbones to brighten your whole face.

One shade of shimmery neutral eyeshadow - put this all over the lid and up to the crease and blend well for a wide awake look. This is not the time for shading and mixing colors. The shimmer will add enough drama for evening.

Eyeliner pencil in a darkish metallic shade - when the car stops at the light quickly line upper and lower lashes for some definition.

An eyebrow brush or brow gel so you can at least brush your brows into shape.

Mascara - wipe the brush on a tissue so that it doesn't smudge whilst you apply it. Just put one coat on, you can always apply more later at the event.

Lipgloss - in a neutral shade so that if a little goes over the edges it's not a complete disaster.

This should enable you to look fresh and polished when you arrive, no one will ever know how close you were to being caught out!

How to look good in photographs by Rod Howe

I asked my long time friend and photographer, Rod Howe , whom I have worked with for over 10 years for tips on how to look good in photographs. Rod is a very well known beauty/celebrity and lingerie photographer based in London and he knows how to make women look great! Read on for some very informative tips:

I am sometimes asked, jokingly, by female friends if I can make them look as good as the models they see on my website. The natural photogenic attributes that professional models possess are hard to compete with for most women, but of course you also have to consider the skills of the photographer, makeup artist, stylist and other dedicated crew members working together to create 'the look' on a high end photo shoot. Most of us who are not models can often feel uncomfortable about having our photograph taken, but there are some simple rules of thumb you can follow to look your best.
What to wear: Go for clothing that makes you feel natural and comfortable - not necessarily the clothes you think will make you look more photogenic. The photo is about you and not the clothes, so if possible avoid wearing bright colors and bold patterns. Neutral combinations, plain pastel or muted colors work best. Remember that ultra trendy fashion styles will date very quickly, so to avoid embarrassment in a few years time, choose classic styles.
Make up: If you wear make up, its best to keep it simple - less is always more!
Heavy make up will be exaggerated in the photo, so go easy, but do pay attention to blemishes or overly greasy areas on your skin, as these will show up prominently.
Lighting: The inbuilt flash on most cameras can give a harsh and unforgiving effect if not operated by someone with a degree of photographic skill, so I would advise taking the photos outside on an a bright but overcast day - mid morning is best. Daylight on an overcast day is softer and more flattering than full sunshine. Get the photographer to consider the background and keep it simple and uncluttered so it doesn't compete with you for attention. If you have to shoot against a busy background, and the photographer has a reasonable command of the camera, ask him or her to put the background out of focus whilst keeping you in focus.
Posing: The camera lens needs to be at your eye level, or slightly above. When standing or sitting, angle your body slightly away from the camera, keeping eye contact and maintain a good posture - don't slouch! The aim is to portray a relaxed confident look. Don't stare repeatedly at the camera because this will make you look vacant and awkward - try looking away from time to time and ask the photographer to take the picture as you look back at camera. Don't be scared to repeat this several times in order to get the best shot. With a digital camera you can review, delete and repeat until you are satisfied. Do smile, but not a big cheesy grin, just think some happy thoughts. If you know the photographer well you could ask him or her to take pictures as you chat - natural and spontaneous looking images can be achieved in this way, but it is a technique used by professional photographers, so the
camera will have to be in the hands of someone who knows what they're
Photo of Dannii Minogue by Rod Howe, makeup by Melissa Walsh, Hair by Alex Price

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I love face masks.....

Maybe a little too much as I try out at least several a week! There are a huge selection out there that perform different tasks. Some are for deep cleansing, some repairing, some deeply hydrating and some that perk your skin up - ideal before a night out.

Here is my round up of some of the best:

For deep cleansing and to firm and brighten oily skin I recommend B. Kamins Diotamamus Earth Masque - I found this left my skin feeling exceptionally clean but really soft and bright too.

For a quick fix for tired skin in the morning after a late night or to freshen up before a party Liz Earle Brightening Treatment is perfect. It works in 2 minutes and is a great pick me up.

For skin that is irritated and red try Healing and Soothing Mask by Mario Badescu is amazing. It calms skin down and softens dry patches. I like to use this on shoots when the model has been removing and putting on makeup continuously and her skin needs a break!

For skin that needs purifying after a hectic day in the city Be Fine Warming Clay Mask is ideal. This warming and soothing mask fights the free radicals that have been ravaging your skin all day long.

For skin that is smooth and glowing before a big night out I love Wine Hydrating Mask this gets rid of little fine dryness lines. I find I can go without moisturizer under my base after using this.

For a deeply exfoliating and moisturizing treat use Fresh Sugar Face Polish . It not only leaves your face radiant, refined and moisturized, it smells gorgeous too.

For dehydrated skin under your eyes (I put these on for 10 minutes under my sleep mask at the end of a long flight) I always use Stress Relief Eye Mask these pre-moistened pads really get rid of lines and puffiness and make you look refreshed - even after an 11 hour flight!

I try to use a mask at least 3 times a week and I've been getting a lot of compliments on my skin lately - is it down to masks? Who knows, but I'm going to carry on using them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How to get more for your money!

There are a lot of products out there that can do double or even triple duty if you know a few little tricks....

Here are some:

A brown eye pencil. This can be used as eyeliner, to fill in brows (brush through afterwards with an old clean mascara wand), a natural eyeshadow if you blend it well over the eyelid to the crease and also a lipliner - lightly trace the outline of your lips and blend with a cotton swab until it is barely there.

A pink, peach or red lipstick can double up as a cream blusher. Apply after foundation and smooth onto the apples of your cheeks for a healthy flush.

The foundation in the lid of your bottle. This tends to thicken up and so is perfect as a concealer, bonus - it's the same shade as your base!

Shimmer powder can be used to highlight cheeks, eyes and the cupids bow and if mixed with some moisturizer it becomes a great all over body shimmer.

Loose face Powder has a multitude of uses! The ones that work best for me are as a dry shampoo - dust on with a clean blusher brush, massage gently into the roots and then brush well. This soaks up oil at the roots and helps freshen. I also use loose powder under my bra when I'm wearing a strapless one, to help keep it in place and if you dust it onto lashes between coats of mascara it really helps thicken them!

Petroleum jelly is great for all sorts of beauty treats. Mix it with eyeshadow to give a glossy editorial look. On cheekbones for a sheen, lashes for a natural conditioned look and lips to keep them soft. You can also put a little down your shin bones to make legs look slinkier!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Party ready - straight from work

I missed out on an opportunity tonight to go the Dancing with the Stars finale with Terri Seymour because I wasn't prepared at a moment's notice. It will NEVER happen again because I will always have a party kit on me! Here is how to get ready at a moment's notice and what to have in your desk/car to make sure you look amazing in 15 minutes:

Makeup sponges: Use these to smooth out and blend any smudges or greasy areas that have occured during the day.

Rosewater Balancing Mist by Jurlique : Spray a light mist over your whole face and neck to freshen your skin and let dry for a few seconds.

Photo Op Under Eye Brightener by Smashbox Cosmetics : Sweep this under your eyes, on your cheek and brow bones for a quick brightening effect that makes you look awake.

Disappear Smoothing Concealer by Estee Lauder : Cover any blemishes with this highly pigmented, non creasing concealer and if you need any extra help under your eyes, blend a little there too.

Hello Flawless Powder Foundation by Benefit Cosmetics : This is my saviour! Great skin in an instant. Using the sponge that comes with it, apply this all over your face or just where you need a little help.

Opaline Creme Eye Definer by Three Custom Color in Aurora : This is a gorgeous black eyeliner shot through with blue opalescence that makes all eyes look brighter. You can define with a strong line using a pointy brush or blend out for a smokier look.

Diorshow Mascara in Black by Dior : One coat of this will thicken and lengthen your lashes.

Eyebrow Manicure by Shu Uemura : This is my latest find and I won't go anywhere without it now! It's a colored brow get that really does darken and hold your brows in shape all night and it's so fast to apply.

Mineral Bronzer by Tarte in Hotel Heiress : Dust this lightly all over your face or just on your cheekbones for some glowing definition.

10 Years Younger Makeup Finish Spray by Skindinavia : This sets your makeup all night and stops it creasing and looking dull, perfect if you've had a long day!

Quikee toothpaste and gum by Supersmile : These freshen your breath and whiten your smile without a drop of water in sight! The gum is in separate little packages of two pieces, perfect to keep in your purse or pocket.

Glossy Pencil by Lipstick Queen : This makes defining and glossing your lips a cinch. My favorite color is Chinatown Crime - a bright pink that is a great party shade but not too shocking for those that usually steer away from color.

Straight and Curl hair irons by UBe : These are amazing! Tiny little irons that can straighten or curl and they heat up to 410 F in 10 seconds! Makes refreshing your style extremely quick and easy.

Keep it all in a little makeup case in your car or desk. I have the Mitte Case by Face Stockholm which has several different compartments and a space for brushes but is big enough to carry all your essentials. I keep all Terri Seymour's personal makeup in one!

For the final finish I like to carry a solid perfume in my purse. Saves carrying a big bottle and any spills you might have. I love Lotus Garden Solid Perfume by Pacifica it smells like you're on vacation - something you need during the cold Winter nights!

I will keep a little black dress and heels in my car too and will be ready for the next time!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My kit essentials

As a makeup artist I have a vast selection of products but there are always a few constants in my kit. These are the products I can't do without:

Lancome Eau Fraiche Douceur Cleansing Water - this takes off makeup thoroughly without irritation or leaving a greasy film. Ideal for putting makeup straight back on or at the end of a shoot to take off makeup before leaving.

Janson Beckett Alpha Derma CE moisturizer - perfect for under makeup, this moisturizer also gets rid of fine lines before your eyes.

Jouer Luminizing Moisturizer - I carry all the shades of this so I can mix and match colors. I love this for a lighter base that gives an amazing glow and an SPF 20.

Hourglass Fluid Veil - I use this on most of my clients to give a flawless almost airbrushed look to their skin.

Alison Raffaele Transparent Finish Loose Powder - I love this powder for it's light and luminous finish. I use this to set foundation and make it last.

Cargo blusher in Catalina - this is my favorite blush color, it looks good on everyone and gives that just got back from the beach flush.

Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer in Hotel Heiress - to get a bronzey shimmery glow all over for evenings, this is the bronzer to reach for.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer - for more of a daytime look or for the boys (sssh) I use this matte bronzer that is never too orange, just looks like you've been on vacation.

Christian Dior Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Trinidad Black - this pencil is a true deep black and it lasts! The basis for most evening eye makeup starts with this.

Christian Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Incognito - the perfect set of neutrals in matte and shimmer shades that can take you from day to night in an instant.

Estee Lauder Sumptous Mascara in Black - a mascara that gives the sparsest lashes the full and feathery look.

Guerlain Cupidon Lip Pencil - I use this on almost everyone to highlight their cupids bow and make lips look fuller.

Lipstick Queen Medieval Lip Treatment - an amazing red stain with a slight sheen that makes lips look naturally bee stung.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Armour Beauty

I just tried a lipgloss from Armour Beauty and it's the perfect nude! The shade is called Edie and it has just the right amount of opacity and isn't at all sticky. I love it....I will be using this on shoots for sure!

Monday, November 16, 2009

How I became a makeup artist

I'm often asked how to become a makeup artist, here's how I did it. This may not work for everyone but it did for me.

I started before it became a really popular career, before there were lots of schools and information on the subject. I somehow just knew or maybe I was just being cheeky by asking, but I contacted photographers whose names I had seen in magazines and asked if I could test with them. Most said no but then one gave me a break and he was a very well known music photographer in London. After testing with him for a few months he gave me my first job, a shoot with a rock band called The Quireboys. It was an amazing day and I knew then that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I continued testing with other photographers and building my book (industry term for portfolio). I also got my kit together by buying whatever I could afford and asking for makeup for birthday and Christmas presents.

After a little while I was working with a model one day who gave me the number of a photographer she thought I'd be good for. I called him and although he was very abrupt on the phone and barked 'send me your card', I did. Six months later I got a call out of the blue from a national daily paper asking to book me for a fashion shoot with a star from the most popular TV soap. I said yes straight away but wondered how they'd heard of me. I turned up to the shoot and it was the photographer that I'd sent my card to six months previously. I did the job and he asked to talk to me after. He said he loved my makeup and there was a young violinist that he knew that needed a makeup artist and that he would introduce me. Even though I was excited, I'd had offers of help before that hadn't amounted to anything. A few weeks later he called and said they wanted to meet me and see my book. I went to the violinist's house and showed my book and they liked it but said they wanted to have a trial run with me and they'd call me. Well the next week the call came and I went to do the makeup. After I'd done it, they said come with us and the next thing I knew we were at the BBC for her to appear on Blue Peter (a huge children's show in the UK). She was Vanessa Mae, I hadn't realised when I met her that she was actually a rising star! From there I went everywhere with her as her personal makeup artist. We traveled all over the world and it was an amazing experience and made me realize that as much as I love all sorts of makeup, it's great to be working with someone that you know what they like, know their face well. You can experiment with different looks with them because they trust you.

I've been lucky that since then I've worked regularly with different bands and personalities and have been personal makeup artist to quite a few. My job has taken me all over the world and enabled me to experience things I never would sitting in the dug out at Yankee Stadium (my Dad was jealous of that one!), being on a private plane in a storm in Finland (not the best experience), shark diving with a boy band in South Africa, being at the side of the stage at numerous concerts with bands I've admired and of course being taken on by my agent in America and fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in the US. I now have achieved another goal in my career and that is a cosmetics campaign - Hourglass Cosmetics this year. I'm not sure where the rest of my career will take me but that is the exciting part, you never know what you will be doing next!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to achieve the Hourglass Holiday 2009 Look

The Hourglass Holiday 2009 look is up now in Sephoras nationwide and on both the Hourglass and Sephora websites. As I created the look for the campaign I thought I'd let you in on how I created it:
Start by priming your skin with Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer to give a smooth base and give it a few seconds to absorb. Then apply a light base of Hourglass Fluid Veil Foundation and blend thoroughly with a wedge shaped sponge. Apply Hidden Concealer under the eyes and over any blemishes and pat gently to cover without removing the base underneath. Now take a little of the cream highlighter from the Illume compact and highlight your cheekbones, down the center of your nose, your cupid's bow and your browbones. The trick here is to be subtle, so don't use too much and blend well! Next apply a very light dusting of Invisible Veil powder all over to set the base but still leave a bit of glowiness showing through.
Now on to the eyes...using a medium size blender brush, pick up a little of the light cream shade from the Suede Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo and blend over the entire lid, in the inner corners and up to the crease. With a smaller crease brush put a little of the darker goldy shade from the duo in an arc in the crease and yes - blend throughly! Line the upper lid with Calligraphy Liner in Ebony and flick up slightly at the outer corners for a sultry effect. Define your eyebrows if necessary with a powder eyeshadow in a shade closest to your natural color. Two coats of Superficial Mascara in Carbon complete the eyes. Leave under the lower lashes bare, the main focus of this look is the lips.
Leave the cheeks bare apart from the glow from the shimmer cream and concentrate on your lips. Line them with Trace Lipliner in Bare to keep the gloss in place. Blend the line with a cotton swab so it isn't harsh and then apply the metallic red Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Siren for a showstopping look!
All cosmetics available at and or instore at Sephora and Barneys.

Working out

I have just begun working out again so that I can be in shape for the holidays and have some room to eat and drink! That's what holidays are about right??

Anyway, I went to a class tonight run by a celebrity personal trainer - Missy B (she trains the casts of Greys Anatomy and Nip/Tuck). It's only for half an hour and the results are remarkable. It tones, burns fat and builds strength in a short amount of time. The last time I did it regularly I lost 5% body fat in 2 months and didn't have to change my diet at all. I haven't been for a while as I couldn't get there because of work commitments, but having been tonight I am fired up all over again! I will either go to class or do Missy's DVD at home from now on. You can find out further information at BTW that is her in the above picture....see what I mean!!

It works!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recent products I have tried that work!

I have been testing out a few products recently and here is my round up of the ones that actually work!

Triple Berry Smoothing Peel by Renee Rouleau this little miracle gives unbelievably smooth skin in 10 minutes. I like to use this before putting my base on before I go out in the evening.

Pure Hyaluronic Acid by Hylunia I was given this by the people at NuFace to try after using the NuFace machine. This serum totally tightens and smooths the skin instantly and doesn't leave an oily film. Perfect for putting makeup on straight after.

Superskin Eye and Lip Treatment by This is amazing! as soon as you put it on it seems to disappear fine lines from around your eyes and on the lips gives a baby like softness. I am using it every day now.

Superskin Body Cream by Another goodie from the Superskin range. It has already transformed the skin on my body. It looks youthful and healthy again.

Argan oil by I've been using this as a night treatment. This is too oily for me for the daytime but I've found that if I use it at night I wake up glowing.

Mineral Matte Mousse Foundation by Bourjois I got this on a recent trip to London and when it is applied with the little brush that comes with it, it gives an airbrushed but very natural finish. I love it!

Revlon Double Twist Mascara I saw this recently in CVS and had to buy it. I am always trying new mascaras and am not keen on plastic brushes but this intrigued me, as it was a combination of a regular brush for volume and a plastic one for definition. works! My friends thought I had false eyelashes on!

Hercut Long Layers Catalyst by I've never seen my hair look so shiny and have such swingy movement as I did after blowdrying with this product. I also love the shampoo and conditioner that were specifically for my hair type. All the products worked in perfect conjuntion with one another.

Defabulous Clipless Curling Iron (The Heat Series) by My friend Sean Duncan, the hairdresser at Extra got me these after I'd been coveting the ones he uses on Terri Seymour. They give that Boho beachy type curl that looks really natural and you can achieve it really fast as they heat up in 3 seconds!