I was recently asked to give my opinion both professional and personal on a cult makeup item that is probably the most sold product on the market. And whilst at the meeting, I realised that most people own this product, but few actually know what to do with it. What am I talking about? The highlighter.
One of the many things discussed at said meeting was the evolution of the whole idea of highlighting since it was first introduced into women’s makeup. It started out with the highlighter being used to enhance and ‘bring forth’ features you’d like to show off, or to lighten darker areas on your face. Then, the introduction of shimmer changed it all.
It’s another behind-the-scenes at another of my recent shoots. This time the focus is on hair! Charlie Le Mindu hair to be exact. We’ve been asked to do a beauty shoot for ZOOT magazine, a Portugal-based fashion magazine that is both online and printed. I love doing beauty shoots, as there’s no distraction from clothes or accessories it’s just all about the hair, the makeup and the beauty of the model(s).
Just a quick note about my observation on doing beauty shoots: The fact is, sometimes it’s such close-up shots that what looks amazingly beautiful when seen as a whole face is sometimes (not always) quite boring. I’ve personally had to train myself through experience to detach the features and to focus only on the specific feature when shooting close up beauty shoots. However, today it’s about hair.
My nose is sniffy, my eyes are watering, and I'm constantly sneezing. I think spring’s here, and hay fever’s back to haunt me! Maybe the short days and long nights are truly over again for a few months. I always find this to be the best time to do many a thing. Besides cleaning and clearing out accumulated makeup and equipment, it’s also just after show season - so with a fresh mind, it’s a fantastic time to look at what’s new on the market and go shopping.
The mission? It's POP magazine’s first online editorial shoot and I'm assigned to makeup. Am I excited? You have no idea! I was given the brief a few days ago. The words that popped up were sheer, sexy, vulnerable, delicate and, wait for it: dominatrix, sadomasochistic, schizophrenic and powerful. You just know that’s going to be an interesting shoot.
I try to find out what we’re shooting prior to the shoot so that it gives me time and opportunity to have a think about makeup and mood. I don’t want to sound overindulgent but it’s not just about whacking on makeup for a night out. When you get a room or studio full of creative people, with a little bit of luck and when the elements click, something special happens. Everyone brings his or her expertise, and the initial brief usually evolves into something quite different, but almost always better.
I’ve landed in Singapore, and the first thing that strikes me about the difference in the women folk of the East and West is build and, of course, skin tone. The women here are fashion-conscious and as part of an affluent society, many women spend both money and effort following the trends depicted by local celebrities. It’s been many years since I’ve worked in the region, so I’m slightly rusty as to what counts as beautiful and what doesn’t.
So 2010 begins! As of January 3, I've been really swamped with work and shoots. It seems that this year is off to a great start! As many of you will remember, I was very busy till the eve of Christmas, but let’s not dwell on the past. So once again, it’s no rest for the wicked. I have two days left till I go on a respite before the madness of London Fashion Week. And I cannot wait - for both the holiday and the shows.
I make it a point to do a few things before I go off on trips either for work or play. The tightening of airport security has made it quite inconvenient when it comes to carrying the tubes and bottles that I’m used to. That’s not just for work, as I can check it all in. I’m referring to my travelling skincare bag. All right, all right, I have my idiosyncrasies I admit, but it’s pretty much what I prepare for the celebs I travel with. Whilst many of us cannot afford to fly via private jets or even in first class, there’s no reason why we can’t indulge in the simple practices of a travelling celeb to ensure that we arrive at our destination looking all refreshed and gorgeous for the paparazzi (friends and relatives in the arrival hall, really!).
Oh goodness, it’s 2010! Happy New Year everyone! Is it just me, or can everyone still remember what they did on the eve of 2000? The parties, the excitement of the new millennium and the promise of a new decade and time. Well, the world didn't end, computers didn't crash and life just carried on as usual. I could do a whole recap of the past decade, but I won’t. It’s about looking ahead and anticipating all that 2010 will bring.
Hangover? Thought so. I personally don’t drink but have witnessed many of my friends suffer from the morning after. I am, however, suffering from lack of sleep and over-indulging on food and rich deserts so favoured during the holiday period. I will share with you, dear readers, that as a lactose-sensitive, small-eyed Chinese person, puffy eyes and over-active sinuses is definitely not a good look. So while I don’t really know what a hangover feels like, I can offer a few remedies, I suppose. So let’s keep it light and easy, shall we? It is, after all, New Year’s Day.
Wow, what a fortnight I’ve had! I thought I’d settle into a quiet spell, which is usually the norm before the holidays when I can indulge in the festive spirit, do a bit of Christmas shopping and write out my cards. Well, all that went out the window. For the past two weeks I’ve been busy doing the make up for celeb after celeb on a fashion shoot for a major charity campaign soon to be released (I’ll fill you in on details soon, promise!), and at the same time juggling a mad schedule of shooting some of the most important women in the U.K. for British Vogue. All this leaves me in kind of a predicament: Christmas shopping.
Now I’m sure this isn’t a problem exclusive to a busy celeb make up artist (just teasing about the celeb bit, but busy, oh yes!). Every year I struggle to think of ideas for presents for the people in my life. So seeing that it’s less than two weeks to the big day, let’s sit down and have a think on what to get!
Oh gosh, is it really that time of year again? As much as I hate to admit it, yes, the dreaded season of tinsel, presents and general indication that the year’s almost gone is upon us. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about Christmas. I’m in slightly two minds about the holidays. It’s great having the time off and eating and merrymaking and all that nonsense, but where’s the year gone? So many things that I’d thought I’d get done but now run out of time. However, rather than going on like a grumpy old man, let’s embrace this upcoming period of dressing up, great food, presents, friends and parties!
I must admit parties must be more fun for the ladies, as it usually means the chance to dress up in gorgeous outfits and try adventurous new looks for your make up repertoire. As for myself, it usually means a great opportunity to observe drunken people make a fool of themselves and more importantly a great way to see how make up and fashion trends translate into the general public. I do use the term ‘general public’ quite loosely, as the Christmas parties that I go to are usually fashion ones thrown by magazines et al, so the ladies who attend know how to make a statement! What I’ll do is to let you in on what can help in getting you from the office to glamorous with a few cleverly chosen looks.
It’s official: Winter’s here! Blustery winds, rain, uncomfortable freezing winds on your face whilst you’re out commuting - but cosy fires, toasty central heating in your homes, staying inside in the warmth, ahhh lovely. Wrong! Well, yes, lovely and cosy, but it’s all an assault on our skin. The elements outside plus central heating does a fabulous number of drying out our skin.
So we spend a lot of money on a new wardrobe for winter, don’t we? New coat, thermals, scarf and lots of layers to keep us warm during the chilly months. So why, ladies and gentlemen, do we not have the same approach for our skin? I proposition that we do! And with haste! With the holidays coming up and work Christmas dos aplenty, there’s never a better time to spend a little effort and time on our skin to look our very best. And it’s simple: It’s all about moisture.