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Effortless Beauty - Get Organised!

It's that back to school time of year again so lets get our pencil cases clean and sorted. The best thing you can do to look like an effortless beauty on a daily basis is to get organised in the make-up bag department.

I'm suggesting 7 categories of essentail, staple items that are useful for every womans capsule make-up kit. Whether you need one or more item from each category (or none from some!) depends on your skin and the type of look you usually do. When you take away the guess work and scramblng around in morning you'll save so much time and look great!

Harvey Nichols Paper Make-up

Blog - 31st Aug 2012 - Comments - Read →

I've been at it again with my paper make-up obsession. This time it's an advertsing campaign for Harvey Nichols. Once again, this is not a look I'd suggest you try out on yourself (unless you like to have a lot of people staring at you!!) but it's definitely something I loved working on.

Check out my Paper Makeup Pinterest Board here. There are also pictures on there of my lovely vintage ceramic head - known as June. June is a permanent fixture in my studio and she's very useful when I want to try sticking anything on a face to see how it looks. We love her!

Paper Make-up!

Blog - 30th Aug 2012 - Comments - Read →

Dont worry, I'm not suggesting you start shopping for make-up in your local stationery store (can you imagine!) but thats exactly what I did for this editorial shoot for the latest issue of Dansk Magazine. Doing nothing more than prepping the skin with a flawless base and the occasional statement lip, I made-up our model using only bespoke paper makeup (even the eyelashes!). All I needed was a good set of scissors, lots of coloured paper and a few paperclips. Each look was tested beforehand on my dearly loved studio model June (more about her coming soon on my Pinterest!). I enjoyed this shoot so much I repeated the paper make-up theme (different shapes and colours) for an advertising campaign which I'll post in a couple of days.

Discover Your Skin True Match

Blog - 28th Aug 2012 - Comments - Read →

As you've probably noticed, nothing on my blog or videos is ever sponsored. I pride myself on the fact that this website, my other platforms and my opinions aren't for sale and are always excluded from any on-going contracts I have. As you may also know, I’m the creative director of the Boots brand No7. I’ve never posted about anything entirely No7 before but today I really have to. Not because Boots has asked me to (they haven’t) but because I’m especially proud of what we have been working on for the past three years.

Three years ago we began work on the mammoth task of totally revamping the brand. If you go into Boots tomorrow (the 29th August) you’ll see new counters, new packaging, new colours, new products, new textures, formulations and even new consultant uniforms.

In addition to developing new colours across eye shadows, lips and nails etc we wanted to do something radically different with foundations. Enter US company X-rite, owners of the original colour brand Pantone, who develop state of the art colour technology. Using their cutting edge, scientific colour measuring equipment we began photographing and measuring the skin tones and under tones of real women (we even had a secret codename 'Rainbow' for the project). When it comes to testing any new ideas and products, No7 prides itself on that fact that all their claims are based on serious numbers. Often you see an advert in a magazine and the claim will read something along the lines of “87% of women said it made their skin look better” and you think that sounds good until you read the small print underneath “based on 100 (and often much less!) people tested” We know that’s pretty much nonsense and always endeavour to test on a reasonable amount of women. This project was no different - 2008 women of all ages and ethnicity took part.

The initial data was collated by Jo Watson, who headed up all the testing and worked 24/7 on the project along with Helen Bowering and their teams (shout out to both) up at Boots HQ and by the end of phase one, seventeen distinct skin tone ‘clusters’ were identified. I remember my initial thought two years ago on seeing all the different tones mapped out on a graph was how subtle the differences were. I know that skin is never just yellow or pink based of course as this is far too simplistic but the scientific evidence showed exactly how the mix of under tones within skin (red, yellow, blues, pinks greens etc) is, incredibly finely tuned, balanced and subtly nuanced. From there, phase two of the testing process started with 50 shades of foundation from across the 17 clusters until we finally arrived at the 17 shades launching across all seven formulations tomorrow.

One of the most exciting things about this re-launch is that the technology will be available in store in the shape of a small hand-held device. Each one of these devices has 8 led lights and 1 UV light. Each light enters the skin at a different angle and the cameras attached take 27 skin photographs with each click. The device can take up to 10 readings per analysis …227 photos! The best bit is that it works in any light so the results are the same if you measure in the dark or outside in strong sunlight. Ambient light doesn’t affect it at all – a welcome relief knowing how unrealistic and harsh shop lighting is!

Millions of women struggle to find the right shade of foundation because of many factors. In my experience here are a three of the main ones:

1. They truly believe themselves to be a certain shade – often lighter or darker than they actually are.

2. They are dependant on the skill of the beauty consultant. Whilst some are great, others may be new and inexperienced. It takes years to become good at matching people with the right foundation shade on sight – trust me on that one!!

3. The lighting in the store is so bizarre and unrealistic that any true matching is virtually impossible.

As someone who grew up in a house with an enormous drawer in the kitchen dedicated solely to foundations which hadn’t quite ‘worked out’ for my mother - (probably one of the things that got me interested in make-up artistry at a very early age!) - I think this service will be a godsend to many women as it takes away the guesswork. As a scientific instrument the device itself doesnt make a subjective judgement in the way a consultant might, it just reads the numbers so will tell it like it is!

Your skin needs to be make-up free for measuring so the consultant will remove your existing base along both sides of your jaw before using the device. If you are wearing fake tan it will measure its colour so can also be helpful for women who are trying to find a foundation to match their fake tan. Likewise if you have a much darker body than face you can have your face matched to your body. For this reason, the service is only available in stores that have a trained consultant present. Once you have your perfect colour match they can then advise you which of the seven formulations is right for you. This will depend on your skin type and texture preferences. The whole thing takes a matter of minutes and is completely free.

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A/W Make-up Trends

Video - 13th Aug 2012 - Views - Comments - Watch →

This editorial shoot I did for Vogue China features my take on 6 key make-up trends for the new season. A fun look at what's coming for A/W, all of these looks can be adapted to suit different face & eye shapes and skin tones. Hope you see something you'd like to try for yourself! X

All images appear in the September issue of Vogue China

Model - Ming Xi - Elite Model Management

Beauty Director – Kathy Phillips

Photographer – Liz Collins at D&V Management

Stylist – Jonathan Kaye

Hair – Christian Eberhard

Nails – Mike Pocock at Streeters

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Summertime Fresh - Bright Lashes & Lips

London blogger and make-up lover Bip Ling came over this week for fun make-up session. I decided to create a quick, fresh and sunny look. Bright pinky/violet lashes and a 'Wow' lip set off against modern glossy skin and brows! I asked Bip to bring her own make-up bag so I could have a nose through and chose her current favourite for this look mixing it with things from my kit I thought would look great on her. Hope you like this poppy look! ..... visit Bip's blog at www.bipling.com.

UPDATE: The mascara colour I actually used was ICONIC BORDEAUX, not the purple. Corrected now x

Gothic Make-up - Collections Story

Blog - 1st Aug 2012 - Comments - Read →
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