Wednesday, 13 April 2011

"The One"
Photography by Charlotte Kibbles
Make-up and Words by Charley B

"I can never find the right foundation" I hear this 9/10 times i make someone up. It's not surprising really is it? You walk into a department store and "BAM" sales girls leap on you stilettos flying, Acrylic Nails sharpened like their lives depend on your sale and your sale alone!
Foundation choices are every which way you turn, light reflecting, liquid to powder, matte finish, dewy finish! You leave the store emotionally exhausted from people in white coats scrutinising your skin under microscopes, flashing colour wheels in your face and heartlessly labelling you Dry and Mature. Your arms are now heavy with bags full of potions and lotions you'll never use, brain washed by yet another Brand convinced, this is THE ONE.
You wake up the next day for work so looking forward to this miracle in a bottle which cost a quarter of your wages. You imagine what the girls at work will say:
"Oh my god, you look so radiant, what is it, what have you done?" as you saunter through the office swishing your hair in the fashion of the Pantene Girl. But no, you end up disappointed by yet another failed match. It really doesn't need to be this hard, does it?
Step One: The Basics:
For a flawless base you need to have a clean and well oiled canvas.
-Cleanse your skin removing any of last nights grime (shouldn't be there but lets be realistic)this will ensure a fresher looking base.
-Assess your skin I believe you should have a few moisturisers in your bathroom cabinet as your skin changes constantly for a variety of reasons whether it be the season or hormones. For example i will use an oil control gel on my T-zone to prevent shine (1) and a rich moisture balm on any dry areas on my cheeks (2). So you need to get these products right first.
 Then let it sink in (in the time it takes you to brush your teeth if your in a hurry) and now your ready for application.
Step two: Coverage
If it was up to me i would have everyone using a tinted moisturiser or a light fluid foundation. If your raising your eyebrows right now, hear me out. Starting with a tinted moisturiser or a very light foundation evens the skin out, blurring imperfections looks so much fresher than trying to mask your skin with a full on heavy duty foundation all over. If there are still imperfections you want to cover afterwards, used a cover-up in those area's only, using a small flat headed brush blending the outer edges away leaving the imperfection untouched for maximum coverage.
So when it comes to choosing the right formulation, look for 'oil free' if your more oily in area's that need coverage and just apply where needed. If your more on the Dry side try a richer formulation or a Balm which will add that much needed glow to the skin. And for something light with a little more coverage try a water based fluid foundation.
Step Three: Avoid tidemarks:
It is so important to get this part right and it's so easy when you know how. I think there are two main causes of women picking the wrong colour, not checking in daylight and settling. When shopping for a foundation get the consultant to sit you down if you prefer to have someone do it for you. Try at least three shades close to your skin tone. When you think you've got it right take a mirror outside into natural daylight, if it disappears into your natural skin tone, you've got it right, if it stands out even slightly, it's wrong, so don't settle.
Once you've got the right colour and formulation take a few samples home with you with an alternative formulation to try as well. If you have a generous consultant try it for a week and see how it wears to avoid disappointment.
Step Four Application:
When doing a make-up lesson i will get my client to apply their foundation themselves in front of me to get an idea of their day to day routine. Most women use too much all over their face, and apply without care and are usually very rough with their skin. Another thing i see allot of is a very ancient sponge being used which can cause infection. My advice is put half a pump (pea sized amount) on the back of your (clean) hand and apply to the area's needed. This is usually the middle of your forehead and nose (otherwise known as the T-zone) apples of the cheeks and centre of the chin. 
People who suffer with acne/scarring will find that lighter application will make any texture from blemishes less obvious, and won't find that make-up has dried around the area of the blemishes by the end of the day.
Follow with a concealer which ill be covered in my next article.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I DO!.......DO I?

There is so much to sort out when it comes to your wedding day and after the dress, finding the right option for make-up big contender in the stress stakes. So ease your worries slightly here are just some of my DO's and DON'T's for sorting out your bridal make-up:
DO your research
Look locally to your wedding venue for Make-up Artists. Look for experience not training. An artist can be trained at the most prestigious make-up school in the world and still be virtually unemployable! Look for a strong portfolio and clientele, it's even better if you can get a recommendation from someone you trust!
DON'T be tempted by gift with purchase
Just because you like the brand and you get a free bag with mini tube of something you'll never use doesn't mean you'll like the way the consultants do your make up. Yes, I've done my time as a counter girl and i know what it feels like to have your area manager breathing down your neck. These women are trained to sell so it's a tough nut to crack. Get to know the consultant first and take it from there. If you are dead set on a counter the only one i can strongly recommend is Bobbi Brown.
DO have a trial run
I always suggest having a trial at least 4-6 weeks before the wedding date. You need to know who and what you are dealing with. Take along examples of make-up you like and talk everything through before you start your application. After your trial check in natural light and take pictures before you give the OK.
DON'T keep quiet
If you don't like it, say so. That's what a trial is for, trial and error.
DO judge a book by it's cover
Look for a make-up artist with good taste in make-up. Bridal is generally about looking like yourself so look for someone who looks fresh and natural.
DON'T be sweet talked
If it's not you on your trial it definitely won't be you on your wedding day and your groom may question who exactly it is walking down the isle!
DO come fresh faced
For your trial and wedding day. It makes the make-up artist's job a lot easier and you will look fresher because of it.
DON'T Try crazy things before your wedding morning
I've lost count of how many brides have turned up red raw and in tears from a new fad exfoliating facial  or looking rather surprised from a bad threading session cause their usual woman was busy. I know wedding planning is stressful and it makes us go a little crazy, but this is one of those times you really need to hold yourself back from anything unknown in the beauty world unless taken for a test run months in advance!

DUO Shoot looks: Norway

So i am sorting through some of the beauty shots i took from the DUO Boots Norway shoot. Our lovely model Lisa who i work with a lot makes my job easy, her skin is flawless and she has a great look. These are a couple of looks from one of the days out in Norway.
I made sure to keep the skin hydrated and protected with Bobbi Browns Extra moisturising balm with SPF 25 which doubled up as a super rich hand cream to avoid chapped skin and i couldn't get enough of Rimmel's "Spotlight Beige" Lipstick for a dewy nude lip teamed with a Barry M smokey eye. I changed the hair slightly between shots when we had time. I used Babyliss curling wand for tousled curls and changed it to a voluminous twist towards the end of the day. As you can see my hat proved quite useful, as stylist Hilary Owen loved it! Keep posted for more pic's!