Sunday, 27 January 2013

Picture heavy post.

Let's start with a great old British thing and mention the weather...Henry in the snow.
The view in Central London last week, it took me 6 hours to get home (I wish that I was kidding).
Before the snow there was frost, the view from outside my front door.
Lou Lou and the Lego Storm trooper.
Mr Whiskers looking handsome.
A classically soft and natural look.
A vintage red lip and sleek ponytail.
From my work archives- a portrait of Lizzie Evans in her store *I feel Smug* in Islington , the picture was for an accompanying article. In the Financial Times. Such a gorgeous store.
Some beautiful Spring Summer shades from Make up Store.
My Session School box arrived.
Terminal 5- off to Toronto (where I am now) minus 10 was minus 30 city runs like clock work :) 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Shea Terra Premium Dark Chocolate Body exfoliator.

Rich, deep, dark chocolate!

I have used this up and I am looking to replenish ASAP. My skin on my body gets so dry, so I am always looking for the ultimate body scrub, a bit like Goldilocks on the quest for the perfect porridge I am always searching for the perfect *polish* :)
I like a good scrub, one that is effective yet not painful (ouch)! One that moisturises but does not leave you feel *coated* in too much residue. This is it, the holy grail of body polishes and the ingredients are so pure (as are everything that the brand does).
I have so far not spoken about the aroma, but it is rich, deep, satisfying cocoa. I am not per-se a choc-a-holic but I did find this a very, very comforting almost nurturing kind of smell.

My skin feels so smooth and silky afterwards and in this weather I am desperate to de-croc my shins, elbows etc. So as Yoda would say " Onto the 2nd pot I must"!
Ingredients: pure spring water, organic chocolate liquor, organic shea butter, natural emulsifying wax, organic sugar, pumice, all natural vanilla extract, naturally based preservative (glucono delta-lactone, sodium benzoate)

Hope the sound quality is fine- video of my son sledging.

I apologise if the sound is dire, but I wanted to share it. Firstly he sounds like wolf cub in some parts and then sings *let's do this thing* in a slightly Bo Selecta Shamone kind of way :) Plus the positive attitude would put Tom Cruise at his sofa jumping best to shame.

Has provided me with entertainment (but there again, I am frequently easily entertained :)

Session School beauty box in association with Latest in Beauty.

Dani the founder of The Session School  has curated a beauty box for Latest in Beauty. It contains full size hero products from: Pixi, Daniel Sandler, Bella Pierre & the Vintage Cosmetics company and a deluxe sample size from Inika & Benefit.

It is the perfect opportunity to try some things that may be completely new to you & these are items that Dani has personally chosen so that together you can create a really gorgeous look.

My prediction....going to go like hot cakes!

My Perennial go-to eye colour for a simple, fresh look.

This is an eyeliner from Pixi in a shade that I have used infinite times when I need to do a super quick make up and don't want to *think* about it. It is a flat olive green shot with gold and it is something that I use as my go-to shade as I can just use it around the edge of my eyes and then blend it out and ba-da-bing it literally takes seconds! Mascara, a little brow groomage (not sure that is even a word) but you know what I mean. Done!

I have been known to take it a little smokier and wear with a red lip when I have time, but for days when I don't and want to keep it super simple, this works. But I also use it on shoots when I need to create a very soft look with a little Va Va Voom.
I used it on Pia towards the outer corner of the eye with a nude shadow. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Review-Mcvitie's Breakfast Porridge Oats biscuits with red berries.

Breakfast time, I just don't have a ravenous appetite and could quite happily skip breakfast. Lunch is the meal where I am so much more *into* which would totally make sense as clearly my breakfasts are insubstantial to non-existent.
I know that my priorities are skewed as I always have time for a strong coffee before I leave the house, never do my make up on the train yet will be more likely to eat a yogurt and a piece of fruit on the train (which normally constitutes as breakfast for me). Now, I know all about the importance of breakfast and I have a huge admission to make...I hate porridge (I know, I know) my partner and son have it frequently with a handful of seeds and fresh berries sweetened with agave (not for me), it is a texture thing. So, to break me out of my habitually rubbish breakfast eating, I was ecstatic to be chosen to try a new breakfast biscuit with berries and porridge oats no less.

This morning with: Watermelon, cherries and raspberries and took no more than 2 minutes to *wolf down* 
I am going away on a trip soon and I was willing that they would arrive before I left as I have a very heavy schedule and I doubt that I will have *time for breakfast*.
So, this ticked the boxes for me: I love biscuits :) I love berries but despise porridge. The ingredients are simple with no unnecessary additives (no artificial colours or flavours), suitable for vegetarians, they do contain sugar (to be noted) but on a plus for me they have added Vitamin B, Vitamin D & Iron and have minimal salt and at 57 kcal per biscuit, I will be having at least 2 every morning. They are a little sweet with an oaty/berry flavour. If like me you are more than a bit *rubbish* at breakfast this could be your answer. I am going to pinky promise that I am going to keep this up with added little delish berries on the side for a balanced start to the day.
Ingredient List


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Aging, it sucks, but a fact of life- whatevs :)

1972- That's me in white (looking like a toilet roll cover).
1992- 20 yrs old, but you can see why *Wednesday Addams* fitted me perfectly, I was an art student and not particularly friends with a hair brush :) .
2012- Aged 40 complete with a double chin & mascara/brow powder & lip balm. Up close and probably way too personal for you.
2012 with light diffusing base & a subtle use of colour & contouring to hide the double chin. Skin is much more even toned than the previous picture and more flaw-free and *poreless*. This is Pixi Illuminate Tint & Conceal Base.

After working with make up for 19 years I like to think that I know *skin* and you will age *fact*!
I am 40 and looking back at my 20 year old self, yes I do look like I could be a Mother to that person but 20 years have passed and it is inevitable that will happen.

At 20, I suppose I was very much a *type* and because I naturally had quite a strong look I just accepted it. Make up was never really about *transforming myself* it was always about other people and it still very much is for me.

20 years later, I have aged (of course), I lighten my hair a little (Dorian from Birds of a feather) is not where I want to be at all. I am fastidious in the way that I look after my skin, I use sunscreen every day and I would personally not contemplate any form of *extra help*  but if you do consider it that is your personal choice, but it just is not for me.

I have always had a rounder face and have a double chin (not the end of the world and relatively easy to conceal).

Make up does not have to be a mask and I know if you are really strapped for time it can be the last thing on your mind, but here are my personal top tips for anyone that feels that they need a *fresher look*:

Skincare- I write about skin care from time to time, I use cleansing milk/cleansing oils/cleansing balms, I don't have facials enough but at home I do: double cleanse, exfoliate, use masks clay/moisturising, I always use a toner, take my make up off every night, layer with serums/oils before moisturiser- my skin is hyper sensitive so it restricts me massively about what I can use and anything I recommend I honestly use and did not have any adverse reaction to. If you want the best skincare advice in the business go to:  she is incredible for being literally the skincare guru.

Make up-  

  • Having a glow to the skin is not a bad thing, healthy skin is not 100% matte and therefore will reflect the light.
  • Use powder sparingly, if you do use it, restrict it to the T-zone and blend well.
  • Don't be afraid of blusher, a great blusher enlivens the complexion =, if you are a little hesitant start with a little gel or creme blusher on the *apples* of the cheeks.
  • Use the lightest textured base/sheerest base that you are comfortable with & use concealer sparingly over the top.
  • Don't be afraid to really bring out a feature whether it is a Strong lip or focusing on the eye, don't restrict yourself to beige.
  • Fill in sparse brows, over zealously plucked eyebrows can be quite unforgiving. Choose a shade that is matching or 1 shade lighter than your brows.
  • If you can, curl your lashes this really opens up the eyes and makes you look bright eyed and bushy tailed (Shu Uemura's curlers) rock!
  • If you like matte lip colours make sure that you have a brilliant lip balm to keep lips moist.
  • Invest in a set of good brushes, it is like you are providing yourself with the best *tools*
  • Keep said brushes clean, brush cleaner is a must (look for 1 with Isopropyl alchohol) my all time favourite is the Shu Uemura brush cleaner, but I still wash with a shampoo (my favourite is Paul Mitchell Tea Tree- lasts forever- keeps brushes in tip top condition)
  • I am a huge advocate of primers, they can really make your base last longer and *prep* the skin.
  • If you do feel that your skin gets shiny use blotting papers rather than *topping up the powder*
  • If you have dark circles (I do) neutralize with a peach/apricot corrector and then apply a little skin toned concealer (or your base) over the top.
  • If you do want to sharpen the jawline conceal a double chin a little, use a sheer mid bronzer gently brushed along the jawline and blend down into the neck. Just add a little more bronzer to the *under chin* area and blend out.

I do take vitamins with added iron (anemic) and being a strict vegetarian does not help. I take Omega 3,6 & 9 (vegan) with flaxseed, evening primrose oil, wheatgerm oil etc and I swear by it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Colour crush .....shades of grey!

Almost 50 shades of grey- sorry that was lame.
Grey at the deepest charcoal shade is a softer alternative to black and at the lightest version is a more interesting version of white, it is the chameleon of colour. Metallic versions of grey are so beautiful with shades like anthracite to silvery pearl. It can be a statement colour and yet very wearable. With grey, it is the perfect foil for that *pop* of colour whether it is cheeks or lips it won't fight against an intense contrast. Grey is the perfect shade to take you from Winter to Spring without feeling inapropriately *pastel* and if you are in the doldroms wear the most kick ass lip colour in your make up bag. You have been told :)

Soft colour wash of *dove grey* with nude rose cheeks & lips and lustrous skin.
Smokey grey eyes Armani style.
Soft metallic grey eyes with berry lips YSL style

Mid toned grey eyes with a *pop* of colour on lips-Ralph Lauren

It is so easy to wear and suits all colourings and there are some fantastic options from high end to high street.

Ilia mascara- Anthracite around £20.00 great for fair lashes/tipping the end of the lashes.
Mac powerpoint pencil- Utility Grey £14.00 a beautiful rich/neutral grey which will add great delicately smokey definition.
The Make up store shadow- Deadly £11.00 a great mid-tone grey, perfect for a matte colour wash of shadow.
Burberry Complete Eye Palette- Smokey Grey £40.00, the perfectly *nuanced* grey eyeshadow palette, minimalist & chic.

Dior Cherie Bow Palette- £56.00 OOH LA LA for the beauty obsessive. Eyes, liner and cheeks in this limited edition compact.
OCC Cosmetics Lip Tar- Dangerous £10.00/£12.00 for the avant garde look.  
Pop Nail Glam Foggy- £6.50 The perfect muted grey shade for fingers and toes.

Soft mid grey shadow with dark grey pencil and all other colour *pared down*

Confessions Of A Fashionista!

The book!
So lovely to have a note from the author!
There is a saying that everybody has a book in them! Well, if they do, very few people actually get round to physically writing it (that's me included) ha ha!
Angela is different and has written a book, a real flippy page book complete with quote from Lulu Guinness on the cover, it is a book that people have already started to rave about.
Angela made the jump from being an agent within the industry to writing a while ago and has had an anonymous column where each week  the very surreal experiences she has had within the cray cray world of fashion : the designers, the models, the photographers, make up & hair. Stories and situations that were just begging to be told outside the inner sanctum of *fashion*. The launch for the book was last week and I feel very honored to have received my copy (signed no less) and I am salivating at the thought of dipping in but.....I am going to wait as I have a long haul trip coming up and I am going to save it for the bleary eyed, jet lagged nights ahead :)

But I will review once I have read it!  To know Angela is an utter privilege and if she wasn't such an ace person I would be riddled with jealousy- well I will reserve the right to tap into that reserve of green mist when the follow up book comes along and the film rights are sold :)!

If you want to have a look further:

Monday, 21 January 2013

I won something!!!!!

I won a crate of these blimmin heck!!!!!

I literally never, ever win anything! Not wanting to have a defeatist attitude but it quite simply is the truth. So I entered a giveaway on Paula- PinkBow's blog the prize was......48 mini  tubs of the Meringue and raspberry fondant ice cream- Haagen Dazs. I am a huge fan of Pavlova & Eaton Mess and this seemed almost like the frozen equivalent, so entered I did and I won. So surprised!!! But so grateful as these are delicious and are being enjoyed by more than me.

If you are looking for a blog that is literally dripping in beautiful imagery and incredible styling/taste then I recommend the PinkBow blog, Paula has the most sumptuous style with an exquisite *vintage twist* and a penchant for Chanel that I can so get behind.

Paula's blog if you want to delve further:

Bridal Make up.

These images are from a wedding I did make up for at Stoke Park, the bride looked absolutely stunning and it was a combination of hair/make up/dress/amazing photographer and of course her  natural beauty that resulted in a very enduring and timeless images. I always feel that it is a HUGE responsibility as these pictures will hopefully be something that are cherished for a very long time.

The base needs to be flawless but barely there, it needs to shoot well in daylight, artificial light, colour & black and white.

I always try and capture the essence of the bride rather than create a generic bridal look.

To see more images of the wedding:

Shoot with Alexander Vlahos.

Alexander Vlahos in
 Passarella Death Squad

Here is a little sneak peak of a shoot with the actor: Alexander Vlahos. An image that has been well received by the huge Merlin fan base (Phew)!
Photographer: Andrea Vecchiato
Hair/Grooming: Me

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

No7 Fanomenal Lash Serum- final post.

Lashes curled, clear mascara and *nude brows*
To put it succinctly this serum has far exceeded my expectations with the results although my lashes are not *darker*, they are stronger: less prone to falling out, longer and thicker.
But the biggest revelation was the brows, my brows were thinner than I would have liked. Now I feel they are fuller and actually *frame* my face again even when  they are without any pencil/powder/filling in.

Out of 8 weeks of use in all honesty I used for about 7 weeks (missing the odd night here and there), it was absolutely worth the commitment and I am so happy with the results.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Round up of my personal favourite memories of 2012.

Lego star Wars- may the force be with you in 2013!
Looking Smart with brushed hair :)
7th Birthday party.
Sums up the year Sunshine & showers-rainbows make!
Hair cut for Junior school!
Loved the pumpkin gang at halloween.
New York- meetings
New York- meetings
A cover, is always good :)
Working with inspiring people.
Entering my 40th year and being 100% comfortable in my own skin.
Loving the faces you work with.
Having at least 1 day in the year when you don't wear black .
The achievement I am most proud of in my life. 
Archive of work: This image is shot by Mario Testino, for Vogue
Some of my favourite images 2012
Making wishes for the New Year.