natural makeup

In My Kit: The Things I Cannot Live Without.

I was asked by a lovely reader to do a post about the essential products in my kit. This was hard because I am a complete makeup junkie and love everything I currently carry. There are some products -such as my beloved Face and Body foundation that I reviewed in a previous post- and tools that I will be forever faithful to though and maybe surprisingly, they aren't all makeup. I have chosen 6 products that I simply couldn't work without.


Number 1

Make Up For Ever Flash/12 Colour Case

The Makeup Artist's Dozen


Where to start with this wonder palette?! Well lets use a scary imaginary situation.

I rush out the door to a shoot, kit in tow. A few steps from my front door I realise I have left my brushes and my flash palette behind, so I run back and pop the two in my handbag rather than open my kit up. Between my home and the job my kit spontaneously combusts (typing that made me feel a little sick, I cant lie to you) and after I am done sobbing I realise I still have a job to do. I reach in my bag to grab a tissue and see this beautiful little wonder shining back at me and I realise that even though my entire kit is now in ashy pieces all over a Liverpool Street....all is ok. I have my Flash Case. The End.

Seriously dudes, its THAT good. You can do an entire face of makeup with this little baby alone. If you understand colour theory (and newbies this should be something you learn first and foremost. Teach yourself to mix foundation from primary colours plus white and black and you will thank me when you realise you can now match foundation to anyone pretty much by sight alone) you can create a foundation. It can be used for blush, eye shadow (the blue on my summer beauty shots is mixed from this palette) and lips. You can even use the black as a mascara at a push. For the latter you would have to be careful of it transferring as its a grease but you still could technically do it.  If I forgot this on a job I would actually panic and its the only product in my kit that would provoke such a reaction in all honesty. Buy it! Available at www.preciousaboutmakeup.com


Number 2

Stila All Over Blending Brush #9

Superior 217? Maybe.
I have had this brush for going on 8 years. It has never lost one hair and its fibres are still in perfect condition. Its not just the longevity of this brush that makes me love it so much though. It blends like no other brush I have tried. Whether you use soft circular motions or simply swipe across a shadow line it always delivers.

It can also be used to dust power over under eye concealer for precision setting power and to apply light coats of shadow if you want to layer.



 Number 3

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate

Plumped to perfection
Put simply this is the ultimate moisturiser. From flaky to fabulous in minutes, it plumps and softens the skin to make foundation application flawless. Considering its so rich it sinks into the skin in seconds and doesn't leave an oily residue. The new lotion version comes in a very large pump dispenser and is a lighter consistency which makes it perfect for body application.  Also available at Precious About Makeup



Number 4

Parian Spirit

Lemony Goodness
Citrus based with no harsh chemicals, it smells delicious and is gentle on even your most delicate brushes. Can be spritzed over brushes in between looks to instantly sanitise alternatively you can soak brushes for 5-15 for a deep clean. It evaporates quickly so you aren't left waiting around to be able to use your brushes for an eternity. I like to keep some in a little bowl on my workstation so I can instantly rid my favourite brushes of colour, ready for the next look. Buy now at Precious About Makeup

  
Number 5

Costco/Kirkland Baby Wipes

Cheap n Chic
"Baby wipes?! What the deuce?!" I hear you say....I don't know how any artist manages without a baby wipe to hand. I use them to wipe over surfaces, clean my palette (the back of my hand), cleanse and remove makeup, wipe brushes...You name it, these bad boys get used for it. The reason I like Costco ones so much is because not only are they cheap (huge box of 6 packets for about £7/8) but they are so, so gentle. They feel like a wet cloth and have no horrible scent. They are soft and efficient. I couldnt do a job without them.


Number 6


Rimmel Extreme Definition Clear Mascara


It doesn't necessarily have to be this brand but clear mascara has become a firm staple of my kit.  I use it not only to give lashes definition when I am doing a really natural look but also to hold brows in place.  My favourite way to use it is to mix in pigments (Make Up For Ever are my faves!) to create coloured mascara. I pour some out onto a palette, tap in some pigment and use a small brush to paint the lashes. I usually paint them white first, then add the colour over the top to make the colour really pop. I have also used it to create coloured liquid liner as it dries to a liner like texture. It saves me carrying lots of different coloured mascaras and liners and as we all know, the smaller we can get our kits the better! On the following shoot- from about 4 years ago (oh how time flies!)- I used it with some neon eyeshadows (Stargazer I think) to colour the eyebrow and once on a film, the director wanted a single tear last minute, with no glycerine to hand this stepped up and saved the day!

I would love to hear what some of your kit favourites are. What can't you live without?

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!