bare skin

Skin Transformation Care of Avon!

I have always had a soft spot for Avon. Not just because of their great products but the fact that they are all about (and always have been about) supporting women.

Last month my skin had hit an all time low. It was dehydrated, dry and full of blemishes due to eczema. I had tried pretty much everything (including Eve Lom and Creme De La Mer) to no avail.


Then I discovered some Avon gems. If you saw my last post with the before and after picture I am sure you were expecting the creams to have cost a fortune and be from some fancy "Botox in a Bottle" type company. Trust good old Avon to come up with the goods!


Here is the before and after again so you can see un-retouched,  shamefully true examples of my skin 4 weeks ago and my skin now. I might have sobbed a little at the "before"...Maybe. You also have to excuse the brows. I am growing them out completely so I can get them threaded and looking a bit fuller.



Before.............................................After 4 weeks use
And now without further a do, here are the three wonder products responsible!


The first is Avon Clearskin Professional Clarifying Toner Pads and while I was looking for a link to buy them I have discovered they are now no longer available so I am ALL KINDS OF GUTTED! You can see the customer reviews about just how great the were here. They may still be available from a representative though as I am not sure if this is just because they have sold out. I am going to substitute them for the Clearskin Blemish Clearing Deep Cleansing Cloths and hope for the best. Especially brilliant as all the Clearskin products are half price at the moment.

Even though these little pads are meant for toning, I find they are wet enough to clean and gently exfoliate my skin leaving it very clean and fresh. They dont leave a residue or any oil behind and while my skin is still slightly damp I smooth on my moisturiser.

Rose moss calms sensitive skin

During the day I use Solutions Sensitive Botanicals Gentle Day Moisturiser SPF20 as my skin does have a tendency to break out and just be generally all over the place. This contains rose moss which is really good at helping sensitive skin stabilise and you can feel the cooling effect of it right away. It smells like cucumbers, but it isnt over powering and goes away really quickly. The SPF 20 is great for extra day time protection (you should still be applying a sunscreen with UVA (ages) and UVB (burns) to get the best protection).





Skincare GOLD...
Of a night I am using (and I personally think this is the main cause of my skin turn around, its just amazing!) Anew Ultimate Gold Emulsion Night Cream. The jargon from Avon says: 
"Intense moisture to help your skin replenish its vital moisture reserves. Use nightly. Day 1: Immediately, skin’s moisture levels surge by more than 400%. Day 5: 86% of women agree, skin feels uplifted, stronger and more elastic.* Day 10: Skin looks supported and more resilient. Day 14: Skin looks up to 5 years younger. Pro-Sirtuin TX Technology formulated to stimulate sirtuin youth proteins and activate remodeling proteins to repair advanced signs of age damage. Gold Polypeptide Complex engineered to help replenish skin’s moisture and maintain its youthful structure. Gel formula. 1.7 fl. oz. "

I say: "ITS FREAKING FABULOUS! GO AND BUY IT!" Ahem. In all seriousness, it feels funny when it goes on the skin. Its gel texture almost melts and feels a tiny bit grainy. It leaves a film on the skin, but it isn't unpleasant and you can instantly see and feel a difference. It does contain some AHA so I have been taking extra precaution with sun protection. AHA gently removes the surface layer of the skin so can make you more prone to sunburn.


Its also worth noting that I do cleanse once a day in the shower by using Embryolisse Lait-Creme Fluide (not the concentrate). I use one pump, rub it all over my skin then rinse with water. However, I have been doing this for a good while and it wasn't until the above routine that I noticed any difference in my skin. So there you have it. The steps that have genuinely changed my skin for the better. 

Creating No Makeup...Makeup.

 The first skill every new artist should master

When I was starting out as a makeup artist, all I wanted to do was use colour and stick things to models faces. Feathers, rhinestones, petals...you name it. From watching new makeup artists emerge over the years, this seems to be a right of passage we all go through and looking back at the shots when you have been working for a few years is pretty funny. Take this old shot of mine as an example. This was from my first proper test shoot. 


At the time, I was so unbelievably excited about this shoot. My friends and family raved over it as they are obliged to do and I thought I was great. It was a fun shoot and at the time it really showcased my skills but it put me in a certain category of artist. An Internet Artist. A hobbyist. An amateur. Not because of the photography or style but purely because I created a look that would date before I left the shoot!

I didn't realise that then, obviously. Had I used that shoot to develop my skills in doing a beautiful, flawless natural look I no doubt would have been booking clients much earlier. In the real working world, clients (the guys with the big bucks) would have been terrified of this look. They want -and need- to see an artist who can make a model look flawless, save them money on retouching and ultimately make it look like there wasnt a makeup artist involved at all. This is how new artists should be spending their testing time at the begining. Sure its boring. Its not creative etc etc but it is the biggest skill you can show as an artist. The skill of restraint.

With all this in mind here is how I create a "no makeup" looking makeup.

Photo by Keith Clouston. Model is Vanessa @ Premier


Products you will need:
  • Simple Cleansing Wipes
  • Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate
  • Make Up For Ever HD Primer in Blue
  • Benefit POREfessional
  • Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer in #1
  • Make Up For Ever Face and Body Foundation in #20
  • Yaby Pink Corrective Concealer (Cherry Blossom) as a blush
  • Benefit HighBeam
  • Make Up For Ever Waterproof Brow Corrector in #0
  • Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Bone
  • Vaseline Lip Balm in Rosy Lips
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix

Step 1: Prep


I started by wiping over the face with cleansing wipes and smoothed on a tiny, pea sized amount of Embryolisse. (Note: I always allow the moisturiser to settle a little before going right in with a primer or a foundation and usually do some hair prep (if I am doing hair) or hand the model over to the hairstylist.) Once the moisturiser had worked its magic, I then used a small, flat foundation brush to apply the primer to the middle of the face and blended outwards. I used the blue toned primer in this case because it brightens the complexion and Vanessa had been travelling so much with work she was calling herself a "Fashion Gypsy" so her skin needed a little pick me up.

Step 2: Skin Work


Stila Brush in #2
I added a little POREfessional to any areas that looked like they had larger pores. In this instance, Vanessa's skin was beautiful on its own so it was just a little around the nose and chin. Using a precision concealer brush -the one pictured by Stila is my favourite- I used Lift concealer on any blemishes, redness and under the eye. I let it set a little then pat over it to blend any edges. 

I then used Yaby concealer in Cherry Blossom as a blush. I applied this quite heavily BEFORE I applied her foundation. This gives the appearence of the blush coming from "within" rather than being an obviously applied product. 

The Face and Body shade I chose for Vanessa, matched her skin perfectly so I didnt have to mix. When doing a "no makeup" look, it is extremely important to match the foundation exactly to the colour of the face*. This means you only have to apply it where it's needed rather than all over the face. I started at the centre of her face using a flat foundation brush (Benefit's in this case) and blended out over the cheeks, a little on the chin and between her eyebrows. Then I buffed over it with the Real Technique's stippling brush to really sheer it out.

To enhance the natural highlights on Vanessas skin, I tapped a little HighBeam onto her cheekbones and used a small brush to apply it to her cupids bow. I love doing this, its so flattering!

*Most of the time I match to the chest so both face and body look a uniform colour but not when doing a makeup as natural as this.

 

Step 3: Finishing Touches


Perfect neutral...Bone.
I swept some Bone eyeshadow over her lids to absorb any oil and even the skin tone then filled in any gaps in her eyebrows using a stiff angled brush and MUFE's brow corrector. The #0 is so perfect for redheads, as you can see. To bring out Vanessa's eyes a little I felt the look needed her lashes to be slightly darker but I didn't want them to look like they were loaded with mascara, so I used a small fan brush and more of the brow corrector and painted her lashes from root to tip then combed through them with a clean spoolie. Lips were just a sheer flush of Vaseline. Finally, I spritzed over the whole face with some Mist and Fix and also sprayed some on a brow comb and set her brows in place.

I would love to hear your tips and tricks for creating a flawless natural face, so feel free to share them (and any questions) in the comments below!