Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Do you know what you should never do?

You should never ever, ever put makeup on one side of your face, leave the other side bare then take photographs. That is what you should never do.

I decided -as I had had an exponentially long break from blogging - I would return with a bang and do a "half face makeup"...I sat happily working on one side of my face all warm and cosy on the sofa. Surrounded by makeup and cats and good lighting. I was happy. Then came time to take the pictures. 

Ladies and gents: If you ever want to feel both older than your years and extremely shallow all the same time then this is the exercise for you.

I've always been one of "those" people who proudly declare that they don't wear much makeup. After all I have good skin for a 32 year old, my freckles look nice when they aren't covered and I'm generally cool with being bare faced. 

NOT ANY MORE.

I've learnt two valuable lessons from torturing myself this way though. 1. If you don't look like one of the beautiful Chapman sisters then ALWAYS makeup both sides of your face and 2. The time has come for me to make the extra effort and wear makeup. For the good of mankind. 

I am now more thankful than ever for the gift of makeup application. From the bottom of my soul I am grateful as it means I can change my funny looking face.

And on that note I shall leave you with the results. Sorry about me.





And what I usually look like with lip balm and concealer




Sunday, 7 April 2013

Festival Beauty!

British festival season kicks off soon and with this in mind I thought I would give tips, tricks and product recommendations that have always seen me through 3-5 days of living in a field, drinking too much cider, with no showers yet still managing to look ok on the obligatory "look! we are having more fun than you!" photos that follow.

A couple of years ago my lovely fellow artist and all around gorgeous human, Aly Hazlewood asked me to do a review of some festival beauty products over on her wonderful blog The Truth About Beauty so take a look at this too. Her blog is wonderful so give her a follow and join in the conversations on her comment sections.

The Prep Work


There are so many things you can do in the build up to festival time to minimise what you have to do while you are partying away. Low maintenance everything will help you stay feeling fresh and look your best leaving plenty of time for hedonistic wonderment. I only get about 15/20 hours sleep the entire 5 days of Glasto and the last thing I want to do upon waking is worry about how I look.

Wax your hairy bits. 


This includes getting your eyebrows threaded or shaped a few days before you go. Shaving will do nothing because within a day or two you will need to do it again and for anyone who has tried shaving their legs with moisturiser in a tent, they will tell you it is not a good idea. Especially as (if you are like me) your blood alcohol level will never be at a safe enough level to brandish a razor. NEVER. My favourites are Nad's Hair Removal Gel and good old Nair. Both available at Boots or Superdrug!

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!


By getting your skin in tip top condition before you go and party, it will not only hold a tan better but it will also hold up better without being exfoliated every day. Normally you slough off all your dead skin cells in the shower of a morning but you won't have this luxury at a festival so the better condition its in before you go, the better you will look throughout the weekend/week.

Tanning


If you don't like being the pale and interesting type like me, then about a week before you go get your tan done PROFESSIONALLY. I cannot stress the importance of going to a good, well recommended salon enough. Its the difference between looking like Giselle vs Snooki. Good salons don't charge the earth for spray tans anymore and its worth spending a few extra pounds to not have orange palms and streaky legs.

Hair Care


As with your skin, the better the condition your hair the better it will stand up (not literally we hope!) against the elements. A good hair mask or treatment at your salon will keep the ends frizz free and make long hair less likely to tangle.

Nails


Paint your nails a dark or very opaque colour before you go. There is nothing more upsetting that seeing the amount of grime that gets trapped under there from mud and dust and general festival mucky shenanigans. Shellac colours done by a salon are great for festivals as they wont chip and your nails will look fabulous the entire time!

Tinting


Get your eyelashes and eyebrows tinted before you go so you dont need to carry any eyebrow pencils or mascara. This step is a time saving must! If you prefer you can do it yourself at home with Eylure's Dylash Kit available at Superdrug. Super easy to use with no mess or fuss. Get a friend to help if you feel a bit shaky!

The Festival


Ok, so now you are bronzed, smooth and utterly Venus like. You have your cute dresses, designer wellies and a special flower garland for your hair. What needs to go in the teeny tiny makeup bag you can fit in your rucksack?

1. Sunscreen


This is SO important. Even when its cloudy the high summer sun can burn you to a crisp without you even realising. I always take a spray lotion as you can apply it to your hard to reach bits when you are off exploring by yourself. Take a look at the Superdrug Solait range. Affordable non-sticky sun protection.



2. Dry Shampoo


This stuff is always my saviour. Spray some in the first morning you notice your roots looking a little greasy and it will sort your hair right out. I had always used Batiste until I discovered Klorane's version and now I am a convert. Its available for £3.10 from John Lewis amongst others!

3. Baby Wipes


Any kind, any price. I take two packs with me and use them for EVERYTHING. Cleansing my face, all over wash of a morning, cleaning my hands, cleaning the loo before you sit down etc etc. 

3. Tinted Moisturiser


Multi use products will save the day (and space) at festival time. After cleansing your face you can pop a tinted moisturiser on with no hassle and get a nice even complexion and soft skin all at once. My personal favourite is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. Its beautiful. You can build it up for more coverage if you need it and it lasts and lasts and lasts. Plus it has a decent SPF so no festival red noses! Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool and online at John Lewis. Another favourite is the recently revived (I cannot even put into words how happy I am at this) Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights. Beautiful shimmery shades that give a nice even cover plus light reflecting particles to make skin shine with radiance. For anyone needing heavy duty cover but still wants a multi-use product go for Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. Its pricey but my dears, you will thank me for introducing this into your life. A tiny grain of rice size blob will do your entire face. It will conceal and smooth and plump out your skin making it look totally flawless from morning until you pass out on your air bed/in a field/up at the stone circle.

4. NARS Multiple


These little wonder sticks have been a staple in my pro kit for years and years. Highly pigmented, easy to use chunky sticks of colour that you can use on your eyes, lips and cheeks. Gives a beautiful monochromatic look to your makeup and is foolproof to apply. They come in 16 shades so you are guaranteed to find your perfect colour. Nars describes them as "* Mistake-proof color; quick and easy to apply * Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks and lips * Enriched with Vitamin E and a├žai oil for antioxidant benefits" Check out my personal favourite shades in Orgasm, Laguna and South Beach. Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar and SpaceNK.

5. Lip Balm


Whatever your personal favourite is. Vaseline adds a nice glossy shine over the above mentioned multiple or my own favourite is Embryolisse Essential Dry Skin Balm. You can use it anywhere from dry patches on the cheeks, lips, elbows and cuticles. Its in a teeny handy little tin and comes everywhere with me. I always take a bright lipstick in the season's hottest colour for a bit of night time glamour too.
Available at Love Makeup for £12.50


6. Gas powered travel straighteners


I have short hair that is very, very wavy if it gets wet or exposed to any kind of humidity. If you have long hair these probably won't make much of an impact. They might help tidy it up a little but thats all. On short/fine hair however these are a must have. After the dry shampoo has gone in, running these over the front and back means I can go hat free the entire festival if I want to! For longer hair I recommend hair bands, cute hair accessories and clips for keeping hair looking groomed and gorgeous in all weather.
I use Babyliss straighteners available for a bargainous £20 at Argos!


7. Deodorant/Body Spray


I am loving the new eco cans that Sure have just released. Tiny cans that contain just as much sweat proof protection as the larger cans (or your money back apparently). I love the cotton scent as it keeps you dry and doubles as a body spray ensuring that you smell fresh throughout all of your debauched antics and gig bouncing fun times without the need for carrying your beloved glass encased perfume. Sure Cotton Fresh available at all major supermarkets for around £1.50.

8. Hand Sanitiser 


Pretty sure this is self explanatory...but if not you need this for every single trip to the loos. EVERY SINGLE TRIP. That is all.

9. Tissues


Travel packs of tissues are great for spills, nose blowing (you know who you are and I am not talking about the hayfever afflicted...) and also much needed loo roll because there is NONE. You have to have your own or suffer the very disgusting consequences.

10. Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Mouthwash.


Essential. Buy travel sizes of all your favourites in Asda, Superdrug or Boots.

Please share your tips and favourite festival products in the comments below!

Monday, 4 March 2013

More on Rates and Charging for your Skills...

Carrying on from my post on rates and knowing our worth my friend and wonderful fellow artist based in New York City, Victor Amos wrote the following post on his facebook page the other day and I had to share it. It illustrates exactly the kind of community spirit that needs to exist between artists and why it is so vitally important that we are all on the same page, connected and ready to challenge people that do not want to pay us what we are worth. You can see Victors beautiful work at www.VictorAmos.com and read his very lovely blog by clicking here.

"Session Artists: I'm going to let you all in on a secret, of how to get your money... You ready? Here goes: MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR COMPETITORS. Yep. I know it sounds crazy, but the only way you will earn the money you deserve is to stop trying to COMPETE with the people you should be COOPERATING with. Believe it or not, other hair stylists, makeup artists, nail techs, etc... are your friend. You have no reason to hold any ill feelings against them. In fact, OTHER ARTISTS DECIDE YOUR SALARY! Let me explain to you how this works... you need to befriend as many people, that do what trade you do, as possible, and work together. If producer A calls makeup artist A and asks them for their rate, and makeup artist A says, "$1000", and the producer says, "I can only pay you $600," then you need to tell them, "Can you give me time to check my calendar, and call you right back?" This is your time to think of a list of other makeup artists who are also qualified for the job, and let them know that you have quoted producer A a figure of $1000, and that you will be referring the job to them. Call back producer A and tell him that you are available, but cannot accept the rate, but will be kind enough to give him a few referrals to other artists who may be able to work with him. Do not negotiate. As producer A calls other artists, and he finds the solidarity, eventually, he will have to pay SOMEONE the rate. This is how you keep money in the industry. As long as there is someone out there willing to accept less, you will never be able to ask for what you deserve. This is what agencies do for their artists, and there is no reason that we, as freelancers, cannot stick together and do the same thing. I encourage you to repost this, no matter what your freelance trade, and make an effort to stop working AGAINST your fellow artists, and yet, work together to ensure the prosperity and longevity of our trade as a career, and not a hobby ♥ -Victor"


For more words of wisdom and an insight into the makeup world in NYC go to his facebook page and click "like"...Victor Amos Facebook

Thursday, 21 February 2013

These things are not OK. OK?

With the dawn of a digital age and the fact that the world and her wife have access to the internet, free website makers, url's being at an all time low price etc etc it can often seem like the universe has been flooded with "creatives" who woke up one day and thought "Oh I have loads of makeup already and I can do a mean smoky eye on myself...I must be a makeup artist!". Actually it doesn't seem like that, that is exactly how it is.

Like anything this has pros and cons for our industry. Pros being raised awareness of what we do, more market choice and my favourite, the freedom and availability of information to do with our trade. The cons are so numerous I almost feel sick thinking about it.


What happens when lots and lots of unqualified, inexperienced people suddenly decide that what we do isnt really that difficult? Well the biggest thing I see is that ethics go out the window. Morals disappear. The hunger for a tiny slab of success or the ability to say "oh I became a makeup artist once, it was easy" literally make people go insane.


With all this in mind I thought I would write about the top "no no's" that I see on a daily basis. They started when the internet became the most viable and instantaneous way of marketing ourselves and our work. It is not exclusively reserved for makeup artists either. I think most of these faux pas apply to freelance creatives as a whole. Its a community issue!


Number 1: Image theft.


Here's the scenario. Someone leaves college. They don't want to have to graft to the top like the rest of us because you know, that would mean working. So they get themselves a web designer, hand over a load of photos that they have plucked from different artists and photographers sites and get them to make a pretty little portfolio for them. A portfolio which contains absolutely none of their handy work. When caught out, said web designer provides them with a cover story. "It wasnt me, my web designer did it and it went live before I could stop them!" Yeah...thats not how things work.


The sad thing is that the first part of that last paragraph is inaccurate. Its not just newbies that do this. Over the course of 10 years I have come across top level, serious award winning artists that have thought a good way of filling a gap in their portfolio was to simply take it from another artist. The most recent was a woman who has half the internet (including professional organisations) convinced she is some Lisa Eldridge level celebrity makeup artist who has worked on everyone from the Spice Girls to U2. Done every event, award ceremony, festival. You name it. She even has a show reel full of clips from films she never set foot on. Before myself and another artist uncovered her lies, her whole online portfolio and professional branding was chock full of stolen work. Estee Lauder campaigns, magazine covers and celebrities she has never so much as glanced at from across a room. The scariest thing is that people believe her because "the internet" says so. You put up a website, throw the word celebrity around and gather some pictures up from wherever you like and people will buy it. Terrifying huh? This particular person now has no online portfolio. Once the relevant artists were informed that she had stolen from them and she was flat out told to remove the work she literally had nothing left.


This is NOT ok. There is such a thing called copyright and intellectual property rights when it comes to the legal aspect but what about the moral aspect? Ripping people off for what? Once these people get found out their reputation never recovers and their career is over. Simple as that.


Number 2: Lying on your resume/CV


I can keep this short and sweet. If you claim to have been published in "Vogue" or say you have worked on a number of celebrities and you haven't  people can tell. They can tell by the quality of your work. So you look ridiculous and you can bet your life that people will be talking about you behind your back for all the wrong reasons.


Number 3: Constant tweeting and retweeting of praise...(includes facebook and blog posts)


Now don't get me wrong, blogging in any form always has a certain level of self involvement. The very act of starting a blog usually means you think someone is going to read it. The difference lies in the content. I will skip over the sheer horror of the grammar I see on some popular blogs and just concentrate on what I like to call "Ego Bloggers" or "Daily Mail Bloggers".


I love seeing people succeed. Especially when they are lovely, and talented and generous and humble. What I don't like is people who do nothing but gloat and brag and retweet sycophantic tweets ALL day and night. Why do these people think we need to read it 20 times in the space of an hour? We get it, you've done something mediocre that the world MUST know about or human kind will die out.


What these people don't realise is that real working, jobbing artists don't have time. People who are successful and working simply cannot spend that much time on social media. These little things called actual jobs get in the way you see. Real, working pros also think that the above type of people are hilarious pillars of amusement. They might not come out and say it. They may even follow these people because its funny but behind the scenes we pass them off as amateurs who are in it for an ego boost. Don't believe me? Go and look at the twitter pages of the top top artists. Alex Box, Val "The Queen" Garland, Alex Babsky, Jane Bradley etc. then compare that with post for praisers and you will get my point.


Can I also just add that if you ever see me doing any of the above, please stage an intervention. Thanks!


Number 4: Sticking the word "celebrity" in front of makeup artist when you have done one Z lister/reality star.


NO. Just stop it. Its embarassing. If you actually look at the artists who work on celebrities for 99% of their career, even they dont call themselves that! STOP IT.


This post has turned out far more ranty than I orginally intended but its better out than in. I would LOVE you to share some of your industry pet hates in the comments! Let it out guys and dolls...let it out.