LFW Experience

I know it was a while ago, but my first ever experience working at London Fashion Week A/W16 still resonates with me. I assisted the great head makeup artist Ciara O'Shea at the Alexander Lewis presentation on February 23rd 2016 – there were five makeup assistants plus Ciara's first assistant. It wasn't as manic backstage as I imagined it would be, it was actually fairly chilled until about ten minutes before showtime. All I can say is that it was a pretty awesome experience. 

The makeup look Ciara created for this show was inspired by Japanese girls in arcades who stay up all night, so the look had a slightly lived-in feel. Skin was kept fairly matte and flawless – all blemishes were meticulously concealed. A strong pop of baby pink blush was applied to the very tops of the cheekbones; lips imitated the 90's trend and had a light brown tone; eyes echoed the brown hues and maintained a matte rusty orange colour with a squared-off black gel liner. 

Hair, designed by Mari Ohashi, also conveyed a lived-in feel, and was swept across the girls' foreheads with a slightly wet, disheveled look. See images below for snapshots of backstage.

8am call time for hair and makeup

8:15am briefing demonstration from Ciara for makeup look

8:30am hair and makeup is underway for the 12 female models; Alexander Lewis and stylist Tamara Rothstein grab models for fittings

10:30am rehearsal for the show

11am final touch ups and models get dressed into Alexander Lewis' a/w collection

11:20am everyone is running around getting ready for showtime; makeup touch up in the line-up, frantically moisturising models' legs and touching up lipstick and powder

11:30am models go out and get into position on stage, in amongst the impressive metal structure designed by Robert Storey

The collection was inspired by the Japanese Pachinko parlour and girls in arcades. The designer asked the models to stand with an air of nonchalance, as if they're waiting for their boyfriends to finish playing pinball. The a/w 16 collection consisted of feminine skirts and dresses, wintery floral prints mixed with chunky knitwear.

An example of the Japanese Pachinko parlours. Source: Wikipedia

An example of the Japanese Pachinko parlours. Source: Wikipedia

I feel so lucky to have been part of this amazing experience; Ciara was a pleasure to work with, she's so kind and genuine. It was so cool to see how a show at LFW comes together and all the people involved, from start to finish. I will definitely be going back next year.

 

 

 

 

My top five MAC lipsticks

MAC has got to be one of my favourite brands for lipsticks, not just because of their amazing pigment and wide range of colours but because of their smell. I swear they smell like white chocolate – irresistible!

1. Verve

Verve is from the Satin range of lipsticks, which means it's ultra smooth and highly pigmented. This is my most recent purchase – it's a deep chocolatey colour with a hint of dark pink and mauve. I think I've been slightly influenced by the 90s trend that's huge at the moment! I'm loving all lipsticks with a brown or mauve tone. This one is nice for daytime but it's perfect for evening looks as it's quite a dark tone. 

Verve is from the Satin range of lipsticks, which means it's ultra smooth and highly pigmented. This is my most recent purchase – it's a deep chocolatey colour with a hint of dark pink and mauve. I think I've been slightly influenced by the 90s trend that's huge at the moment! I'm loving all lipsticks with a brown or mauve tone. This one is nice for daytime but it's perfect for evening looks as it's quite a dark tone. 

2. Brick-o-la

This one is a rich pink hue with a slight blue undertone to it. It's from the Amplified range so it's creamy and has a strong colour, perfect for daytime as it lasts for a good couple of hours!

This one is a rich pink hue with a slight blue undertone to it. It's from the Amplified range so it's creamy and has a strong colour, perfect for daytime as it lasts for a good couple of hours!

3. Hang-up

This lipstick looks a lot darker in the packaging than on the lips, in reality it's a deep berry tone that gives a you a more vampy look. Great for nights out, but because it's a Cremesheen formula, I find that it wears off a bit quicker than the other ones and it's a little shinier. 

This lipstick looks a lot darker in the packaging than on the lips, in reality it's a deep berry tone that gives a you a more vampy look. Great for nights out, but because it's a Cremesheen formula, I find that it wears off a bit quicker than the other ones and it's a little shinier. 

4. Capricious 

I love this one for a beautiful daytime lipstick. Because it's a Lustre formula, it's a bit more sheer and the colour isn't as intense but sometimes it's nice not to have a really bold lip on, yet still maintaining that plum tone.

I love this one for a beautiful daytime lipstick. Because it's a Lustre formula, it's a bit more sheer and the colour isn't as intense but sometimes it's nice not to have a really bold lip on, yet still maintaining that plum tone.

5. Mocha

Like the name suggests, it has a mocha/ brown undertone with a hint of burnt orange and red. Perfect for staying on trend with 90s lips; it is a very similar colour to MAC Spice lipliner! 

Like the name suggests, it has a mocha/ brown undertone with a hint of burnt orange and red. Perfect for staying on trend with 90s lips; it is a very similar colour to MAC Spice lipliner! 

From left to right: Verve, Brick-o-la, Hang-up, Capricious, Mocha. 

From left to right: Verve, Brick-o-la, Hang-up, Capricious, Mocha. 

Hair competition makeup look

Last night was the Fellowship hairstyling competition semi-finals for the FAME team 2016. I was the makeup artist for hairstylist Vic Stevens, and had to create two looks on her two models. The competition and judging lasted all day, from 9:30am till 7pm, and then there was a show after that where the contestants presented their looks, and the 8 finalists were announced. Unfortunately, Vic didn't make it through to the next round, but she did an amazing job! The task on the first model (on the left in image below) was to recreate an image that the hairstylist had sent in to apply for the first stage of the competition, and this is the makeup look I'll explain in this post. The second model (on the right) had to have an up do hairstyle of the stylist's choice. 

The two models and their final hair and makeup looks.

The two models and their final hair and makeup looks.

Vic and the models.

Vic and the models.

The first look had to recreate an image that the hairstylist had already provided, which meant I had to create the makeup as identical as I could based on the picture. The model was wearing a feathered neck piece which had blue and green tones, so this was to be reflected in the eye makeup. The focus of the makeup was the eyes, which revealed a vibrant blue winged eyeshadow look. 

Whilst the attention was on the eyes, the rest of the look was kept fairly minimal and the lips were a pink nude colour. I contoured her cheekbones slightly but kept the cheeks free from blush to put all the emphasis on the eyes. I used a variety of eyeshadows and products to create this strong eye look, to try mimic the look in the reference image. 

The products used.

The products used.

Above are the eye products I used to create the look. First, I applied a layer of the Kiko Infinity High Pigmented Eyeshadow in '275' (£2.80) all over the lid with an Illamasqua eyeshadow brush, and began tracing out the basic winged shape with this base colour. This eyeshadow really does live up to its name and so much pigment comes out in one brushstroke. Next, I started layering Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 hour eyeshadow in 'Tenacious Teal' (£4.99) on top to create the vivid turquoise colour. I also took this colour along the bottom lash line to bring the whole look together. 

In the outer corners and along the lash line I applied the other Maybelline Colour Tattoo eyeshadow in 'Everlasting Navy' with a MAC 219 pencil brush, and alternated these two Maybelline gel-cream eyeshadow colours until I had the right intensity. I also used MAC Eye Kohl in 'Blooz' (£14.00) to create some definition around the top and bottom lash lines. For some depth, I added the Bourjois Intense Eyeshadow in 'Noir Fusain 10' (£6.99) to the outer and inner corners of the eyelids. To blend all the eyeshadow together I used a MAC 224 brush, and I used countless amounts of cotton buds to clean up the eyeshadow and create a crisp edge and winged shape. Finally, some mascara and false eyelashes completed the look and made the eyes really stand out. 

Vic adding the finishing touch to the model's outfit.

Vic adding the finishing touch to the model's outfit.

This was a very cool experience and it was exciting to be a part of it. Throughout the day it got slightly manic at times and there were models, hairstylists, makeup artists and judges everywhere, and it felt like we were all tripping over each other to try get all the looks done. It was also quite a tense environment as the judging was commencing pretty much all day, and especially in each hour the hairstylists had to complete their hair looks. Trying to do the makeup in between all of it was tough but I liked the pressure and it was really fun!  

Get the look: Golden eyes

For a recent shoot I created a shimmery, golden eye look on one of the models. I layered a few different products onto her eyelids to achieve a sunset- inspired wash of eyeshadows. Here are the products I used to get the look...

 

I applied a layer of Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24hr cream gel eyeshadow in 'Eternal Gold' (£4.99) all over the lid with my fingers as a base colour, which would hold the rest of the eyeshadow products in place. This cream shadow creates a sheer yellowy-gold shimmer, perfect as a base layer, as it doesn't give a whole lot of pigment. I then used a Topshop Chameleon Glow eyeshadow in 'Shuffle the Cards' (£9.00) over the top with an Illamasqua blending brush (£22.50). This eyeshadow is simply beautiful and creates an vivid, pigmented shimmer over the lids. The type of shadow, Chameleon Glow, is fitting as the effect is a multicoloured glimmer of golds, pinks and oranges.

To intensify the golden eye look, I dabbed MAC Pigment in 'Melon' (£16.00) in the centre of the lids and blended it into the rest of the eyeshadow, using a MAC 239 brush (£21.00) sprayed with Fix+ spray to hold the pigment in place. Lastly, I ran some MAC eyeshadow in 'Star Violet' (£13.00) through the crease to create some depth. For the black eyeliner, I applied Bobbi Brown long-wear gel eyeliner in 'Black Ink' (£18.50) with a MAC 166 small angled brush (£16.50) to get a precise line and flick. This look was more about the golden eyeshadow, though, so I didn't make the black liner very thick, just to add some definition to the lash line. On her lips, I used MAC lustre lipstick in 'Capricious' (£15.50), a soft, plum colour that complements the gold tones perfectly. 

Bobbi Brown Foundation review

This liquid foundation has been perfect for the summer months as it feels lightweight on the skin. It is an oil-free formula, meaning those with oily skin (like mine) won't look too shiny under the heat of the summer sun- although, right now in England it feels more like October than August! I love the way this foundation sinks into my skin and creates a natural glow. It claims that it's full coverage but I think it has a medium coverage as some of my freckles and blemishes still show through. This isn't such a problem, though, because in the summer it's nice to look more natural than caked-on with makeup. It makes my skin look like a much better version of itself without looking like I'm wearing much foundation.

The price tag, £31.50, may seem too expensive, but I think it's worth it for the fresh, even finish. It sets pretty quickly into the skin so blending it as soon as it's applied is essential for a smooth look. I wouldn't recommend this to people with dry skin as it has more of a matte finish and may cling to dry patches if you have any. 

To add more glow to your look, I suggest using Benefit's Watt's Up stick highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones and brow bones to accentuate the dewiness this foundation gives to the skin. I love this foundation, and recommend it to anyone with oily or combination skin types, who are looking for a natural finish foundation with a medium coverage that isn't too heavy. It won't necessarily cover all your blemishes but it will leave the skin glowing without a hint of greasiness.