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The Beauty Pioneers - The History of Rimmel

Blog - 19th Jan 2014 - Comments - Read →

As you know from previous posts, I love to delve into the history of make-up. Be it discovering original formulations, fabulous packaging, pioneering founders (my 'Biba and Beyond' post) and how this all relates to social history, I never tire of exploring the world of beauty, past and present.

Following on from my Helena Rubinstein post, I’m going even further back in time to take a look at another industry pioneer and the origins of a beauty brand who are celebrating their 180th birthday this year – none other than Rimmel, London. We all know Rimmel as the brand that symbolises “cool Britannia”, represented by London’s fashion glitterati - Kate Moss, Lily Cole and Georgia May Jagger, so it maybe a bit of a suprise, to find out  that the originators of “The London Look” were actually from across the English Channel! It’s hard to believe that the founder of one of the world’s most iconic “British” make-up brands, was the flamboyantly named Hyacinthe Mars Rimmel, later joined by his son, Eugene and that the pair came from Paris, not London.  Rimmel was a highly celebrated French perfumer, trained under the legendary Pierre-Francois Lubin, the personal “nose” to the Empress Josephine.  But in 1834, he left his Parisian life behind and set up shop in London’s exclusive Albermarle Street, with his wife and teenage son, Eugene, in tow.

His exclusive perfumery and cosmetic boutique in London’s gentrified West End became the “in” destination for London ladies looking for luxury and innovation in skin care preparations and fragrance.  And judging by early images, he was much admired for his good looks, as well as his perfumery skills and Baccarat crystal bottles into which his fragrance were decanted!  There’s no doubt that Hyacinthe was a bit of a maestro of fragrance, but the Rimmel that we know and love today doesn’t owe its huge success solely to him.  It was his dashing young son, Eugene, then just 14, who turned out to be the real genius, and even more of a perfume pioneer than his father.  With his father’s charm and looks, Eugene was not only a natural when it came to fragrance, he was a determined and innovative entrepreneur.  After just a few years under his father’s wing, he opened his own business, The House of Rimmel, at 96 Strand Street, in Westminster, and in 1842, he took over the family business, lock, stock and barrel.  This bold move launched him internationally and helped build his reputation for being a creator of unique beauty products and fine fragrance.

The young Rimmel was unstoppable, chalking up a hefty list of beauty breakthroughs, before he had even turned 30. From the introduction of mail order catalogues, a brand new idea in the world of perfume and cosmetics, to scented fans for ladies to use at the opera, theatre and ballet and perfumed Valentine’s cards, his piece de resistance was a fragrance fountain created for the Great Exhibition in 1851. Perfumed jets of eau de cologne were dispensed by the fountain which could be used to scent the handkerchiefs of delighted visitors. Even by today’s standards, this was a fairly audacious publicity stunt and it certainly didn’t fail. His fragrance fountain brought him to the attention of Queen Victoria who not only became Rimmel’s patron, but she appointed him her official Royal perfumer, an accolade that spread his name and fame across the globe. In his lifetime, he collected 10 Royal Warrants, not just from Victoria, but from heads of state throughout Europe.

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My Makeup Tutorial Channel Trailer for YT

Video - 16th Jan 2014 - Views - Comments - Watch →

Stay In And Have A Bath - It's January!

Blog - 10th Jan 2014 - Comments - Read →

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.” - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Depending on where in the world you are, it feels as though there's no better time of year to soak in a tub than post NewYear, when the holidays are over and we settle into the quiet, dark months of January and February. If you were lucky, you may have received some delicious bathing goodies over the holiday that can be put to good use now. Whatever the time of year I love nothing more than to sink into a hot bath - and relax. I rarely have time for pampering treats, like massages or days at the spa, so if I have any free time (night or day), and want to really switch off and de-stress, I light a candle, run the bath and unleash some of my favourite bath-time treats.

Being someone who really feels the cold easily, luxuriating in a hot bath after a day on location when I just can’t seem to warm up, is my idea of heaven. It does the trick for total body warming in a way that a hot water bottle never could. I don’t necessarily see taking a bath as a way of 'cleansing', for me it’s much more about the delight of dimming the lights, putting music on and soaking up something deliciously scented.  If I want a refreshing, exfoliating, cleansing experience, I opt for a shower instead.

As a make-up artist I spend a lot of time contorted in odd positions with my right hand held up for extended periods and as a result get a lot of tension around my neck and shoulder area. When I'm in the bath I like to do some gentle stretching as the combination of having the time to do them slowly and the water makes it feel more effective. Nothing strenuous, just simple things like pushing my elbow gently across to the opposite shoulder with my opposite hand (always make a very satisfying loud crack) and pointing and stretching my feet to relieve calf ache from standing up all day. I also like to massage my neck and shoulders once the hot water has done its thing and softened the muscles an connective tissue. Lots of small, firm circular movements on relaxed muscles feels just great!

Take care you don't have the water too hot. Hot but not scorching is the way to go as research shows that an overly hot bath can actually have the opposite effect and cause insomnia. If you notice you start to look like a boiled lobster and your feeling light headed, reach for the cold tap! After a long, hot bath glug down a large glass of water to avoid dehydration.

You can use anything you have to hand to soften the water (or just go au natural) but here are some gloriously, blissed-out bath treats I think are great for different skintypes and tastes, including some of my personal favourites. Enjoy!


New For New Year - Eve Lom Launches Colour Cosmetics

Blog - 6th Jan 2014 - Comments - Read →

Devotees of Eve Lom's award winning facial products and cult cleanser are going to go gaga over her first foray into colour cosmetics.

Starting with foundations, tinted moisturisers (so glad she called them that and didn’t spin the marketing with a JJ or GG cream!), concealers, primers and powders. All the products are skincare/makeup hybrids and work in synergy with her hugely popular and successful skincare range. Featuring botanical stem cells and advanced skincare ingredients, all of the products are radiance boosting, easy to apply, simple and effective. I’m on holiday in the Maldives at the moment so haven't been wearing much in the way of make-up but I have tried the tinted moisturiser which has great coverage, correcting and evening out the skintone to perfection. The formula really reminded me of the early Korean BB’s. I’ve also tried the concealer which is pretty generic as concealers go but does the job. Not as opaque as Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage, Vichy Dermablend or some of the heavier duty Mac ones but it covers minor imperfections and shadows seamlessly. Its light to medium coverage and hydrating formula will suit drier skins without any major flaws or pigmentation.

My favourite so far is the portable translucent powder – just wow! It's so light and inpercievable on the skin and mattifies beautifully leaving a soft velvet glow. The handy travel-friendly pack with brush allows just enough powder through and the whole process is clean and simple. There is also a bronzer available in an identical pack.

I haven't had time to fully test everything in the line yet but anything I love will no doubt be popping up in my tutorials in the next couple of months so look out for them. Judging by the ingredients and price point this range is really going to appeal to a slightly older market of discerning skincare junkies.


The full line up goes like this:
Light Illusion Concealer £30 – a light reflective concealer in a pen format. Available in 6 shades (love it when a brand produces a good variety of shades for this type of product)

Radiance Perfected Tinted Moisturiser £48 – A reassuringly weighty but not heavy formula with a good level of pigment, glides on easily to perfect skin naturally without emphasising fine lines. As the coverage is quite substantial you will need a good colour match from the 15 shades available. Contains SPF 15

Radiance Lift Foundation – £50. Available in 15 shades. I haven't tried this yet but I'm intrigued as the ‘Lifting’ element suggests its aimed at mature skin but the finish claims to be matte. At £50 a bottle it's way ahead of Chanel, YSL etc (more in the Tom Ford arena) in terms of price point so I’m expecting great things! I know her cult cleanser is very pricey but it was revolutionary at the time of launch and became the benchmark for all the balm style cleansers that followed. This is a lifting foundation …. I’ll get back to you.

Natural Radiance Mineral Powder Foundation £45 - I'm not a fan of mineral powder foundations but as they go this is up there with the best. Finely milled, soft and sheer its 100% natural and comes in 6 shades.

Sheer Radiance Translucent Powder £42 – Pricey for the amount you get, what this product lacks in value it makes up for with sheer dreaminess. The finest, softest, hydrating powder and one of the best portable packs I’ve used. A good sized practical brush and chic pack, this one is firmly in my personal handbag for the foreseeable future. Considering I’ve only road tested a few of the products so far it's impressive to have something in my handbag already. I’m not easily impressed. Don’t forget, I’ve been receiving free make-up to try for over 20 years now … the novelty wore off a loooooong time ago. So for me to promote something to my pro kit or handbag is MAJOR.

Golden Radiance Bronzing Powder £45 - this will appeal to anyone who likes to bronze on the go. I’m personally not a bronzing powder addict so I can't see it making my bag but, again its quality light weight, finely milled powder that glides on smoothly. Available in two good shades.

Flawless Radiance Primer £40 – a skin strengthening and radiance boosting primer. It very light textured and doesn’t feel oily on the skin at all whilst providing a good level of hydration. With my oily skin i found it too shiny but it  would perfectly suit a more mature or normal to dry side skin.


The #MyLisaLook winner is... oops I've actually got 12!

Blog - 22nd Dec 2013 - Comments - Read →

It’s the second #mylisalook giveaway, and once again the response has been, in a word, overwhelming! I've had hundreds of entries with so many of your fabulous getting-ready-to-go-out looks for the holidays. You’ve been super-busy with your brushes this time around, and I've absolutely loved looking at all the looks you’ve created.

It hasn’t been easy to pick just one, I was spoilt for choice. Some people deserved to win because the make-up was just so well executed, others because they have been posting a lot over the past few months and I've noticed a huge improvment in their skills and others because they adapted the look so well to suit their faces! So without further ado, the overall winner of this giveaway is Emma (above), with my 'Easy, Effortless Winged Eyeliner' Look.  I've been admiring Emma's #mylisalook 's over the past few months and have to say she is getting so good at interpreting the looks to suit her face and own unique beauty. Her make-up skills are getting better every time too, she is becoming soooo ridiculously good at foundation and eyebrow application... really fresh and modern in her approach. If it hasnt happened already Emma, I'm sure friends are now asking you to do their make-up for special events! So you are the deserving winner of a Limited Edition Alexa for Eyeko Set, Benefit, Whole Lotta Lovin' Set, Nails Inc Nail Polish Diary, Lancôme In Love Christmas Cubes and a Topshop Lip and Cheek set! Congratualtions!

Now heres the ooops bit... I couldn't actually pick one winner, so I've decided to choose two more winners and nine runners up!!

Second place goes to Francesca (below) who recreated my 'Easy Dramatic Smoky Eye With Colour Technique' I just loved how perfect her application was of this colourful yet smokey look. The shades compliment her dark eyes so well and the blending is excellent! Again, it feels very modern and clean, a make-up which is dramatic but which allows her natural beauty to really shine through. Its emphasising and highlighting beautifully what she naturally has. Congratulations Francesca, you have inspired me with your gorgeous interpretation of this look.

Third place goes to Julia (also below), who was inspired by my 'Baby Bardot Fresh Spring Makeup'  The finished look is just so fresh and suits her face and personality so well - of course I dont actually know her but I can sort of feel her personality through the sparkle in her eyes in the picture ... if you know what I mean. Well done Julia, I love your make-up! 


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Colourful Glitter Party Eyes

Video - 20th Dec 2013 - Views - Comments - Watch →

A great look for the holiday Season or New Years Eve, you can recreate this in any colour you like. Have fun! X 

Follow my beautiful model on instagram @aleksandragilli

Keeping It Fresh!

Blog - 18th Dec 2013 - Comments - Read →

It’s almost impossible to get through a long day without a little bit of maintenance. You might start the day with a flawless face, but by mid-afternoon, usually around 4 o’clock when our energy dips, things have begun to slip. Add to that the impromptu get togethers straight from work that often happen at this time of year and quick fixes are essential.  The area under the eyes and around your mouth are usually the first places to go so here are my three favourite rescue remedy tips for transforming tired make up and restoring a fresh face in no time at all.


Tip 1: The Clean Up
Erasing smudges, creases or flakiness is key to maintaining a polished look.

  • Take a good look at your face, particularly under your eyes, and double-check your make-up. Has your mascara flaked, or your foundation or concealer become creased or patchy? Pay attention to your T-zone - nose and chin - which are prone to oiliness, and therefore more likely to need touching up.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in a tiny amount of make-up remover, gently tease the cotton wool and use it to gently blend away uneven or patchy areas and to sweep away any mascara flakes. Keep a mini bottle of make-up remover in your bag at all times - you can buy tiny portable bottles from most good chemists and drugstores. One of my favourite removers is Bioderma Sensibio H2O - Micelle Solution, designed for sensitive skin and to use around the eyes, but effective enough to remove waterproof mascara. 
  • Or invest in ready made cleansing Q-tips such as DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs , make-up bag friendly and the ultimate portable quick-fix. The swabs are pre dipped in sweet olive oil and wrapped individually. Apply directly to the crease or smudge (also good for correcting mistakes as they happen!) and lightly stroke.
  • Once the cleanup is complete, re-apply your concealer or touch up with a compact foundation. Don't forget to top up blusher too, nothing brings a face back to life quicker than a pop of pink on the cheeks!


Tip 2: Conceal
Blemishes can start to “reappear” as make-up coverage starts to wear thin and rub off.

  • Check your skin in daylight if possible, or in a good light source, and assess if you need to re-conceal.
  • Using either concealer, a stick foundation or a powder-to-cream compact foundation, carefully cover up patchy areas or blemishes with either your fingertip or a concealer brush. For shadowy areas go back in with a light reflective pen like Clinique's Airbrush Concealer.
  • Look out for formulations that are long-lasting and can be used to conceal under the eyes as well as blemishes, such as Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.    Shiseido Stick Foundation, has a creamy texture that works well for covering up blemishes and evening out skin tone. Finish with a sweep of powder or blotting papers to set and mattify if necessary.


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