Thursday, 28 February 2013

A recent shoot Hair and Make up.

Hair was kept *lush* and touseled, shiny with texture.
Make up was a porcelain finish to the skin and very flawless, lips with a bitten stain, eyes framed with liner and soft shades that just blend seamlessly.

Photographer: Andrea Vecchiato
Stylist: Valentina Tiurbini
Hair & make up: Me

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The importance of the correct base for a skin prone to sensitivity

Sensitive skin prone to redness across the cheeks.
A fresh, natural look.
Photograph: Julie Kim, Make up: Me
This is a before and after of the difference that soothing skincare and the correct base makes on sensitive skin. As I have incredibly sensitive skin myself, it means I can understand from a very personal perspective exactly how to *handle* skin prone to flaring up and here are my top tips.

  • Use a cream cleanser (not Micellar water or cleansing wipes) 
  • Remove cleanser with Mineral Water (in an atomiser can) spritzed onto the face and also on cotton pads to remove cleanser.
  • Use an alcohol free toner with soothing ingredients (floral extracts are fab)
  • Use a little oil (just 2 drops) choose one without mineral oil with soothing/hydrating ingredients
  • A fragrance free moisturiser
  • I always use a really, classically soothing primer to create a *barrier* between the skin & the base
  • Water based foundations without silicone or mineral oils
  • If you need more coverage add a little pure pigmented concealer wherever you feel needs any further covering.
  • Powder- just a light dusting of a pure *mineral* powder.

I did not use a colour corrective primer or concealer or primer in this instance as the skin was dramatically improved with the trio of: skincare, primer & base.
If in doubt patch test anything behind the ear and in the crook of the elbow before you actually apply to the face.

Here are some of the products I use and have had beautiful results with:
Cream cleanser: Sisley & Sophyto, Water atomiser: Avene, Alcohol free toner: Sisley (floral) & Elemis (Apricot)
Oil: Antipodes, Sophyto & Trilogy
Moisturiser: Antipodes, Sisley, Sophyto & Espa
Primer: Hourglass & Pixi
Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Myface
Concealer: Make up forever & Bobbi Brown cover up stick
Mineral powder : Loose Inika (Nurture only) & Bella Pierre- all Pressed: Pur pressed mineral foundation

Friday, 22 February 2013

If you ever get the chance pop along to..... Glamr at Oulton Broads (Suffolk).

Norwich is having a real beauty renaissance, the most famous beauty exports are the amazing Pixi Woo sisters, of course you have Louise Young (she was a tutor to the Chapman sisters and creates the most exquisite brushes), recently I have had the pleasure of teaching/meeting Flamingo Amy an incredible talent, she was already an established vintage hair guru and last year she diversified into make up and her talent literally knows no bounds. Norwich is becoming a sound destination for filming & shoots and it is fabulous that local talent is being recognised and appreciated.

One such person is make up artist Maria Giles based just about half an hour from Norwich, she opened a small intimate make up shop in Oulton Broads where Maria would sell her favourite brands as well as having a small studio to give make up lessons and when the *staycation* became chic again places like Oulton Broad were raised in people's consciousness again as they kind of encapsulated some of the charm of a bygone England. 2 years later she moved to a much larger premises and the shop morphed into a beautiful salon, with hairdressing and chi-chi beauty boutique. Maria is still a jobbing make up artist but now has a team of amazing therapists that keep the home fires burning when she is shooting.

It is such a beautiful *find*, a gorgeous gem of a salon that delivers absolutely 1st class treatments and service, as the buyer as well for the beauty emporium so you will find some amazing beauty buys from the finest array of false lashes,  Darphin skincare and so much more.
Oulton Broad in Summer *note to self* must go back when the temperature is above freezing.
Peeking in to Glamr
Darphin- I love the Intral range for sensitive skins and the facials are amazing!
 I do love an opulent light.
I hear you!
1 of the gorgeous treatment rooms.
OOOHHH those lashes.
My flawless Shellac manicure.
Still looking gorgeous.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Top 3 Moisture boosting masks.

My skin can easily become dehydrated, dry, taut : essentially dull and lacklustre. When this happens and I feel that my skin needs some serious *treatment* I add a treatment moisture mask twice a week to really get my skin back into a healthier, hydrated state, so that the texture becomes softer and smoother. A great moisture mask puts the radiance back into a skin that has lost it's mojo and these are my top picks to help you get your skin a little fresh face action :)

Treatment Mask:
Filorga Meso Mask 50ml £38.00
What they say:
This program, directly inspired by mesotherapy treatments practiced in the doctor's office brightens the skin for a luminous and radiant complexion, while treating wrinkles and erasing all signs of tiredness.
  • The skin is plumped-up, smoother and is radiant with a fresh and healthy glow
  • All signs of fatigue disappear
Why I love it: It is a cooling and comforting texture that makes your skin feel soothed, plumped and hydrated. I actually find that my skin looks *rested*.and very healthy with a definite *glow* after using and it helps to take the *heat* out of irritated skin..
Verdict: Plumper, hydrated skin in a jar.
Note: Can be left on the skin up to half an hour (I normally leave it on for 10-15 mins)

Deluxe Mask:
Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask- 60ml £88
What They Say:

A skincare mask rich in trace elements, vitamins and plant extracts, specially formulated to act instantly on the signs of aging and fatigue to rejuvenate skin and restore vitality. 

An instant youth and beauty boost combining three actions to restore a luminous complexion and skin that appears redensified, in only 15 minutes.

  • a smoothing and plumping action
  • a revitalizing action
  • a moisturising, softening and repairing

Why I love it: It is an incredibly sumptuous texture with a delicate floral aroma, my skin feels less stressed, hydrated and very, very smooth. If you are looking for a mask that will restore your skin to it's former glory, then this should be your 1st choice and it is my personal go-to mask when my skin is dry/stressed and in need of TLC. It is revitalising and makes my skin feel very soft and refreshed.
Verdict: A solid investment
Note: To be used 2 to 3 times a week for 10-15 mins

Best budget buy:
Super Facialist By Una Brennan Intense Moisture Mask 125ml £8.99
What they Say:
Boost skin moisture levels and radiance with Superfacialist thirst-quenching Intense Moisture Mask developed even for the most sensitive skins.
It expertly blends White Willow extract, known to enhance skin cell turnover, Vitamin E and Urea with soothing Marshmallow extract to effectively hydrate, plump and replenish skin.
Complexion appears calmer and visibly renewed, glowing with a healthier radiance.
Why I love it: It is outstanding value! It has a rose aroma and is a medium texture cream that gives skin a fantastic moisture boost and nourishes with a high percentage of rose, it is a speedy 5 minute mask. Definitely provides a moisture boost and is incredible quality for the price point.
Verdict: Do not treat as a *luxury* can be used as a bi weekly part of your routine.
Note: A 5 minute mask to be used once or twice a week.

My favourite fragrance of all time.......Molecule 01.

Molecule 01 £64.50
What they say:Molecule 01 contains only the aroma-chemical Iso E Super, which, on its own, is less of a fragrance than an effect. The wearer may notice a subtle, velvety, woody note which will vanish, then re-surface after some time. More than this, she or he will notice the impact the fragrance has on other people, because Molecule 01 lends an indefinable allure to the wearer. In fact, its effect is almost pheromonic.

My 1st encounter: A woman passed me by and she was wearing the most incredible fragrance I had ever, ever encountered, it was complex literally to the point of being indescribable and so incredible that I had to ask her what fragrance she was wearing and she told me, that was it for me! I have been wearing this (mixed with other fragrances) for a long time.

Out of every fragrance I have ever worn it is the one that I have had the most compliments/comments about. It isn't for everyone as some people really can't smell it and neither can they smell it on themselves (I always imagine like a whistle that is attuned to such a high pitch that only dogs can hear) but it is also the one that people who smelt it on me have then gone and tried it and were disappointed. It has been described to me as the emperor's new clothes  of fragrance and I do understand as when you spray it does not *envelope* you like a traditional fragrance, it definitely has a *woody* unisex aroma that literally comes and goes over the day. It makes me feel so happy when I wear it and although I don't smell the constant fragrance during the day, I do smell it in my hair, on my clothes and I am literally in love with this fragrance. Every now and again I smell it on someone else and it is literally incredible!!! Because I do mix it with a dash of this and a spritz of the other it doesn't smell the same on me all of the time, but I LOVE this fragrance, it is literally like liquid Alchemy.

Today: I have mixed it with a little Clive Christian.

Cult Beauty, Libertys & Harvey Nichols sell it (try Libertys & HN to sniff before you buy).
My all time favourite mix is: Molecule 01 and Chanel Cristalle EDP (magic).

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Colour crush......Flamingo Pink!

Loving that flamingo pink!!!!
Do you want a colour to BLOW away those winter cobwebs??? Well if you do, let me just mention  Flamingo Pink, yes it is a little Kitsch not always subtle/nuanced, but when used as an *accent* colour it can be utterly gorgeous. It is admittedly a colour that can quite easily end up *wearing* you, so that hint on lips, cheeks and of course nails can look beautiful but as a statement colour it still can look beguiling with a vintage twist.
Flamingo pink- Pantone style!
A shoot where I created a delicate Flamingo Pink Lip using Nars Turkish Delight.
Photographer: Andrea Vecchiato. Model: Sylvia
A shoot where the makeup had to *stand out* whilst bathed in extreme Flamingo pink light!
Gorgeous, sheer Flamingo Pink Lipstick: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine -Shade Parfait£24.00 (All skin tones)
Glossy, sheer Flamingo Pink Lip gloss: Nars Lip Gloss Turkish Delight £17.50 (Fair Skin tones)
Cream Blusher (can be used on  lips too) Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge: Pale Pink £18.00 (Fair skin tones).

Buildable powder blusher: Sleek Blusher-Flamingo £4.40 (deeper skintones)
Barry M- Flamingo Pink Nail varnish £2.99 (all skin tones).
Pixi Nail Colour- Flouro Flamingo £8- particularly beautiful for deeper skin tones.
So LA.....a flamingo pink house.
Well, if you feel so inspired to get painting...Flamingo Pink with a Fired Earth twist.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Colour crush..........Mink Brown!

A plethora of *minky* shades.
Mink is a neutral shade, it is essentially a grey brown, it is a brilliant base shade to *smoke up* as well. It can be used subtly as a colour wash across the lid or it can be the perfect *foil* for a stronger *pop* of colour whether it is with a high octane shade of liner like: Emerald, Teal, Copper, Antique Gold or with a high coloured lip like: Coral, orange,Hot pink, red. It just makes a fabulous base shade which allows you to either play it down and keep the look muted or to inject that added hint of vibrancy.
A look I created around a *mink* shade of eye and a little extra *drama* with smokey black liner.
Everyday Creamy Texture:The look was created around the Gilded Mink Pixi pencil £12.50.

Everyday Powder texture: Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Sable £16.50

Blow the budget: Tom Ford Quad in Golden Mink £62.00 (also note this is a mink with a yellow toned pigment opposed to the greyer minks) .

Eye Pencil: Urban Decay 24-7 eyeliner shade Underground Approx £13.00

Nails: rather than being too matchy/matchy these Chanel shades would look exquisite on both hands and toes.

A great Value Mink brown lip colour: ELF mineral Lipstick in Bare Brown £5.00

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Spring Summer Trend looks Part 2....

The *hot lip* and the groomed brow.

Luxe skin- flawless with contouring,

Bronze eye and a beautiful nude lip.
Using Alexandra again as my model, these are just some snaps of upcoming trends. That really translate into gorgeous every day looks.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

From the archives.. Wedding make up a beautiful *Spring* look.

I love this look, so fresh, with a flawless skin and shades that tone beautifully together. A soft mix of sage green and bronze on the eyes, paired with nude cheeks and lips, so that the whole look is naturally beautiful.


Product review...Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation SPF 15

Surprisingly nice packaging. 8g £24.00

What they Say:  More than a mineral foundation, 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation is a natural mineral makeup concealer, powder and SPF 15 protection all in one. The cornerstone of the Pür Minerals line, this mineral makeup foundation is pure mineral pigment ground to the smoothest texture and bound with organic shea butter and vitamin E. This full-coverage mineral foundation is good for your skin. Vegan friendly. Paraben-free. Gluten-free.

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 8%; Inactive Ingredients:Mica, Boron Nitride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bismuth Oxychloride, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Carbonate, Silica, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Tocopheryl Acetate, Iron Oxides. May contain: Ultramarines

My Findings:  I have been using this for about 4 weeks, to really *test* it as it was a departure for me and I wanted to really give this review some thought/consideration. I do not use powder  normally or if I do, it is very sparing, I personally prefer a glowing base or a demi matte finish at it's most matte. But I have used this pressed mineral foundation in 2 ways: as a base and also very, very lightly as a finishing powder on the T-Zone and I have been very happy with the results:


  • It looks barely there and very natural can build up or use over a light textured liquid foundation for a *flawless coverage*.
  • Colour was a perfect match I have been using Golden Medium.
  • It is very quick, easy, portable.
  • Does not look too powdered but obviously errs on the more matte finish.
  • A high quality,finely milled powder so it blends seamlessly.
  • Did not irritate my skin at all.
  • Great for on-the-go make up or for people that want minimum products to use in their routine.
  • Evens the skintone.
  • Great lasting properties during the day.
  • It is a powder, so does look relatively matte, if your skin is dry I would recommend using a moisturising primer underneath.
  • I personally found it *natural* opposed to full coverage (for me that is preferable) but it can be *built* up.
  • As I have very dark circles, I did have to use a little concealer under my eyes.
Pur Mineral  as a base buffed in all over with concealer under my eyes. I did not use concealer anywhere else
It is available from M&S (but I saw this brand everywhere when I was in Canada recently) they do great value starter kits with the brush and a deluxe sample size of primer and 1 shade of the powder a mineral bronzer and a mascara, so I personally will be trying that next :)

*I was sent the mineral powder as a PR sample. But I will be purchasing the starter kit.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A flawless look using Pixi .

Look using Pixi- Model Katy
I wanted to create a soft, delicate look with a very flawless finish with just hints of soft colour.

I used:
Base-Illuminate tint & Conceal in shade#1 & correction concentrate under the eyes.
Eyes: Shades of Nude shade quartette, Endless silky eye pencil in brown cocoa, large lash mascara in Brown.
Cheeks: Peachy- sheer cheek gel
Lips: Nude Lily Succulent lip twin

Spring/Summer make up looks Part 1.

Look 1- Model Alexandra
A very simple look with a warm pinky/apricot used on eyes/cheeks & lips. Skin was kept velvety matte, cheeks a hint of blusher working out towards the hairline. I created a *gloss* for the eyes by mixing a little shadow with some organic lip balm and lips were a *glaze of colour*. 1 coat of mascara and grooming of the brows and the look was finished.
Look 2- close up
Look 2
This look focused on the eyes and was about the *blending*, colour was graduated, so it started lighter in the inner corner and graduated to a dark colour at the outer corner, to balance the use of: champagne, beige and dark brown used on the eyes, the cheeks & lips were a peach tone which added warmth and *lifted* the look so that it was less neutral. The base was less matte and a delicate touch of highlighter was applied across the highest points of the face. under brow, along the bridge of the nose, along the highest point of the cheekbones and the cupids bow.

Every once in a while you come across a *face* that you could work on literally every day and for me Alexandra has that face. She reminds me of an 80's supermodel. Strong features and a face with amazing *personality*.