Saturday, 23 February 2013

My afternoon with Jessica Biel..........

..........doing Jessica's makeup for the Brits!!

When I got up on Saturday morning last week, I sleepily checked my emails as I do every morning but one in particular grabbed my attention. It was a request from a talent management agency in L.A California to be Jessica Biel's makeup for the Brits that coming Wednesday! A following email asked me to do her makeup for the Tom Ford show at London Fashion Week too, that Monday! And so, that was the start of a pretty cool and hectic week!
I don't have an agent and so for them to contact me like that is huge! I did do Jessica's makeup at the BATA's a few years ago, arranged through the Lancome PR team (I was the Lancome National Makeup Artist and Trainer at that time), so maybe they remembered!

As it is in showbiz, the Tom Ford was cancelled at the last minute but hey, I used to live in London so it was a great opportunity to wander round my old haunts and catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in ages. It was great to soak up the London vibe too, everything still the same...busy, rushy, everyone with heads down getting to where they're going!

The day before my appointment with Jessica I received detailed from the office in L.A about where I was going and the codename the hotel room was booked under!! Very exciting, we're dealing with mega stars here! So on Wednesday morning I met up with a good friend for lunch then off to the hotel for my 2pm appointment. I thought I'd treat myself and get a cab so I could see more of London on my way round rather than being stuch on the Tube. I love cab drivers in London, if you get a chatty one it's brilliant, they've got some amazing stories to tell!

So I arrived and sat in the lobby of one of the worlds most iconic hotels.......................................

Sorry folks.........this is going to have to be TBC because I've got to go and take my three year old daughter to dancing......................!!! Yes, life is back to normal now!........................

More of the story, hints and tips on how I created Jessica's look and the products I used to follow...........................  xx

Thursday, 14 February 2013

And the winner is....................................take two

I couldn't possibly write a how-to piece on the red carpet makeup at the BAFTA's this year without including the forever youthful Helen Mirren. I love this look for her, the cropped hair and it's colour and the elegant, fresh and radiant makeup.

So let's look at this makeup creation in more depth..................................

                                                 Image at

In the flesh, Helen Mirren is just as beautiful as she appears on the silver screen. She has always looked full of vitality and this look is certainly no different. Here, she proves that this look is ageless and, to me, she totally rocks the pink hair!

Although the makeup here looks pretty natural there is some fantastic, quiet contouring, brilliant brow shaping, really radiant colour choices for the complexion and some clever work with false lashes to achieve this elegant, modern look.

As skin matures, the texture and colour change considerably and we need to remember this when choosing skin care and cosmetics. Don't be afraid to ask questions and get advice from skin care counters in your favourite department store and don't feel obliged or pressured to buy anything. There's nothing wrong with doing your research and taking your time in deciding what you're going to go for. You should expect to use any new skin care routine for about one month before you see the full effect, as this is how long it takes for your newly formed skin cells to travel up through the layers of the skin to the surface having been infused for a month with the active ingredients of your chosen skin care. Fabulous!

Before a special occasion I love to use and recommend using Bliss Triple Oxygen Energising Masque which is packed with vitamin C and brightens, tightens and lightens the skin in just a few minutes. It infuses the skin with pure oxygen and it's foamy texture feels really zingy on the skin as the tine bubbles burst on your skin!I feel a masque coming on........!

To add a youthful glow to mature skin or skin that its just looking a bit tired, then a pink or apricot undertone to your foundation and powder gives a gorgeous effect. Have a look at Dior Snow foundation, it contains fresh glow pigments and rosy highlights to give a pick-me-up to dull skin and diamond powders to illuminate. It even has Glow Control powders to absorb and control your skin's excess oil production, if need be! Could they get any more into this wonder product and they even have a powder to match!

Can you see how the blush colour is concentrated on the "apples" of the cheeks? (The bits that pop out when you smile!) This is a naturally youthful way to wear blush as it adds volume to the cheek area which can often diminish over time. Look in the mirror, smile at yourself and start applying colour lightly and delicately onto the plumpest part, blending well with clean fingers (remember, we're not going for the Aunt Sally look here, in fact, we're never going for the Aunt Sally look!)

And look at her brows......a light colour but perfectly groomed and defined. If you're planning on defining your brows with some colour, be sure to measure them first to make sure you're not going to make yourself look lopsided! Take a thin brush or pencil and hold it at the outer corner of your nose/nostril, pointing it straight up past the inner corner of your eye and beyond. The point at which the brush meets your brow is where your definition should start. Next, keep the pencil at the corner of your nose and swing it outwards to the outer corner of your eye and beyond. Again the point at which it meets your brow is the best place to stop the colour, and if your brow doesn't reach there, then lightly extend your colour to that point. I'm a huge fan of defining eyebrows. I once spent a few days escorting two makeup artists from Singapore who had come to London to join my team of artists for the BAFTA's. Eyebrows are big business where they are from and so I watched and learnt how they applied their colour for a simply beautiful effect. Perfectly defined but soft too.

Onto lashes. Lashes are a great way of optically lifting the eyes, giving them a wider appearance and so are perfect when creating a youthful look. If you're a little worried about them looking over the top you really should try Ardell Accent Petit half lashes 318. Sooooo easy to put on but transform the look of your makeup. Keep the area underneath the eyes fairly clear which again will brighten and open the eyes.

And finally to the lips where we can afford to be a little more daring. For all lips, but especially mature lips, I'd love to share a secret with you.................Lipstick Queen at Space.nk, Silicone Invisible Liner which acts like an invisible force-field around your lips to stop bleeding and feathering! Total genius! You can then use another liner in a similar colour to your natural lip colour to define the shape. Take your time and use small strokes, working more towards the outer edge of your lipline to give a fuller appearance. Blend with a clean brush then go for something bright and bold to finish your glam look. Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colour in Italian Rose 09 is great for adding a bit of va va voom!

Links to products

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Bright eyes beauty on eBay

It must have been a long day yesterday because I gave you the wrong details of my fave lash store!
The guys at Bright Eyes Beauty are fab, well worth a look for loads of lash stuff. Free postage too!

Go on, get lashy!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

And the winner is.........................part one

Yes, it's BAFTA time again here in the UK and, as always, there are a stream of gorgeous ladies sashaying down the red-carpet, with makeup looks we can all draw inspiration from for our own special occasions (although there may not be awards given/received at our nights out!)

This week I'm sharing my tips on how to achieve some of the key looks from our BAFTA beauties this year.

Let's start with...............................

Anne Hathaway

                                                                                      Photo by GETTY

Anne's complexion is perfectly porcelain here, with very little colour on the cheeks, a softly defined look to the eyes and brows and the main colour statement here is those gorgeous raspberry lips.

Complexion is key here so be sure to prepare well. For this kind of look I'd advise my client to use a hydrating  face masque such as Lancome Hydra Intense to plump out any dehydration lines and give a beautifully soft finish to the skin.
Use a foundation base such as Shu Uemura Brightening UV underbase mousse SPF30, before foundation to smooth and add light to the skin. It's also amazing for keeping makeup fresh looking....virtually for ever!
Use a foundation brush to apply a foundation with a radiant, matt finish such as Diorskin Forever, apply concealer then finish with a light dusting of powder to set the look even further - plus if you choose the right powder, it can leave your complexion looking soft as a peach! I love Armani Luminous Silk Powder. It's a compact (not usually best for setting makeup) but the texture is like stroking your face with a cloud!
To copy Anne's celestial radiance, I'd also apply a fine amount of illuminating powder across the skin to polish the overall look. I've been polishing everyone with Kevyn Aucoin Celestial powder in Candlelight since I bought it but if you want something with more of a porcelain finish, check out Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder - Porcelain Pearl.
Cheeks wise, keep it natural with a matt powder blush. Apply slightly back from the plumpest part of your cheeks, blending upwards to the temple. I'd go for something like Bobbi Brown Blush in Nude Peach (new shade).

So, eyes. Here we have a softly, smoky look, with a stronger line in the inner rim of the eye to make them appear more captivating. The colour palette is neutral, in that it mainly consists of cream and chocolate brown with a little taupe to define the socket line. To recreate this at home, start with a good quality brown khol eye pencil - for me, you can't beat Lancome. Soften the khol by scribbling on the back of your hand, this will make application easier and give it a more intense colour. Line above the top lashes quite thickly and very finely under bottom lashes too. Line the inner rims at this point too. Smudge this either with your finger, if you have a light touch (you don't want to rub it back of again!!) or if not, with a smallish brush.
Next, define the socket line with a matt, taupe shadow. The easiest way to do this is by loading the brush by dipping the tip of the brush only into the eyeshadow, removing any excess on the back of your hand (better there than all over your face!) then look directly ahead into a mirror. The area just above your actual crease is where you want to shade to give the illusion of bigger, wider eyes. Lift your brows slightly, so that you can still see where you should be applying, then pop the brush into the crease and swish backwards and forwards, being careful not to take the colour too far into the inner or outer corners. Brush any excess on the brush under your lower lashes to set and soften the khol.
Does anyone like to use fingers with their eyeshadow? I love to! Especially with highly pigmented colours, using your fingers gives you more control and allows you to build the intensity beautifully. Another great thing about fingers is that there's always a clean one at hand to smudge away mistakes! Generally the ring finger is best for application, so dab the pad of your finger onto a gorgeous dark chocolate brown shadow. An absolute must-have, multi-purpose product I have in my kit is Trish McEvoy Eye Define/Eye Liner in Rich Brown. You can mail order this from Harvey Nichols or Selfridges.
Start by applying the colour onto the middle of the movable eyelid (the bit from the lash line up to the crease) and pat/smudge outwards then inwards to each corner, picking up more colour from the palette if necessary.
Then switch to a medium sized blending brush and swish backwards and forwards in the crease to blend the two shades together. Finish with a light, matt ivory shade under the brow, or you could use a little highlighting concealer there instead.
Finish off with a couple of coats of a lash building mascara then, when it's dry, go for glamour with a pair of falsies! For strip lashes, I'm a big fan of Red Cherry and Ardelle. I get mine from, excellent products, excellent service and excellent prices. Must, must, MUST treat yourself to some DUO lash adhesive too - if it's good enough for Kim Kardashian, it's good enough for us!

Finishing with lips, moisturise them really well in the hours leading up to you getting ready. Dry, cracked, wintry lips look pretty terrible in any colour never mind an attention grabbing bright shade such as the one Anne is wearing here! Line lips softly, you don't need harsh lines here, a light plummy shade will work well. Dab on your lip colour straight from the bullet, keep pressing lips together as you build the intensity to give a more lived-in look. Lancome Rouge in Love lipcolour in 377N Midnight Rose would be great for this.

Et voila! Ready for the red-carpet.........................or the local pub!

Links to products

Friday, 25 January 2013

Feature in Nu Bride blog


When I came across Nu Bride on my Twitter travels, I just had to get in touch and ask
 if they'd like any tips and advice from me for their blog. Seeing as I have a passion and
a wealth of experience in makeup for all ethnicities, I really hoped they'd give the thumbs
 up...........and they did! Read on for an intro from the team at Nu Bride about their blog 
and then click on the link below for some fab tips and a few insights into my training
and work...Thanks :)


"Welcome to Nu Bride: A wedding blog for all British Brides-to-be

with a special emphasis on Black brides-to-be, looking for ideas, fun,

inspiration and loves blogs. Grab a cuppa tea and a biscuit and enjoy!

Nu Bride x "

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

To me.....from me!!

On the way home from a recent photo shoot in Newcastle city centre I just couldn't help popping into Space. NK on Grainger Street to see what's new. To me.....from me.... this week are these absolute must haves for my kit and for any one of use who wants dreamy skin, a perfect put and a gorgeously groomed brow!

Kevyn Aucoin is a hero of mine and his book, Making Faces, was more or less the catalyst for me to enter into the world of make-up artistry. Totally inspiring. So, anything in his cosmetic range gets the thumbs up from me.

I've been searching the world over for something to replace my beloved Lancome Blanc Neige finishing powder and Kevyn's team have come up trumps with their Celestial Powder, shade Candlelight £34. Soft textured and oh so easy to blend, this illuminating powder gives a natural radiance that instantly banishes the winter blues!

Next on my list, for me personally, was a great eyebrow pencil. I prefer retractable ones because when time is of the essence in the morning, they're always ready to roll, no sharpening required. The Precision Brow Pencil, £19 is fab. Hard enough to give full control of the amount of colour you're putting on and soft enough to be quick and easy. I've tried many, many other brands and this is my fave to date.
Lastly, I love love love a red lip, personally and professionally and always enjoy finding the perfect red for clients who want to be a little more daring. I'm always on the lookout for red lip liners, either to define and contour lips or to use as a long lasting, sophisticated, matt lip colour. Et voila! NARS to the rescue with their Jungle Red lip liner pencil, £15.50. Glides on effortlessly and the colour is exactly what I wanted, not too orange-y, not too blue-y, just right!

I'm a product junky to the end so let's see what next week brings! Any comments or questions welcome and I'll try my best to help.

Monday, 30 July 2012

I hate to namedrop but did you know that I've been trained by Oprah Winfrey's personal makeup artist, Ross Burton?!!!! I love working with darker and Asian skins, a bolder colour palette can look breathtaking if done properly. Here is Alecia Cotterell, a model from Friday night's fashion show. Gorgeous or what?!! A little Beyonce-esque don't you think? These pics are post production too, my photographer friend Richard Leng hasn't even touched them yet!