Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Beginnings, Change and Serendipity

Change is good for us right?

Those of you that know me will have seen me move homes, states, jobs more times than could be considered humanly possible. For those that don't know me, you may be slightly curious about the back story.

The simple truth is it's just the life I seem to have chosen. I much rather not fill in another Australia Post Mail Re-direction Form - but whether it's been to take up a travel or job opportunity or to support my husband's career - that's the life I lead. 
Final shift CH7 Perth with Paula

And as for change? Well, I can say that although I've resisted it intensely at times, change has made me resourceful, resilient and more courageous than I otherwise would be.

The segue into all things makeup is that my Bio would look distinctly different and my skill set far less rounded than it is today.

Just days into settling into my new home of Canberra and I'm delighted to say that I've reconnected with an inspirational woman, Amanda Whitely from my last stint here 4 years ago. Amanda was responsible for the look and feel of my current website and her advise and guidance then, has helped steer my career for the past 4 years in Perth. 

Soon after I arrived in Perth I was provided amazing opportunities and I am eternally grateful. In particular to the incredible talent such as Emma Bergmeier-Varian and past members of All Of The Above Creative, Barbara MordiniNicole FordeNola PearceHendra WidjajaKristen AshtonTamzin Mulder, Rebecca Collins, Narcisa Music, Megan Osler and Christine Kopti.

A few of my LoVeLy Perthies

The lack of blog content in the past 4 years? Well, re-establishing a business is damn hard work, but as I sit here on my balcony in Canberra I'm thankful for the life-education that constant Change has given me and I'm excited- and yes, a little anxious - about the next phase.

And so to get back to Amanda. Swings and roundabouts has, to my sheer delight, landed me in the lap of Amanda again. Amanda is well know in Canberra circles as the founder of HerCanberra. In Amanda's words, 'At HerCanberra we live and love local. Our website is designed to connect women (and blokes) with their city and each other.'

Exciting things are afoot for HerCanberra and I'm looking forward to giving back to Amanda all that the past four years have taught me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not Creative??  I bet you a Megan Nielsen Design you are!!

Perth based Megan Nielsen is the creative light behind Megan Nielsen Designs. A fresh, fashion forward label you can easily sew yourself (beginners included). Megan has made making breezy summery clothes simple and with loads of online tutorials - you'll be making sustainable, individual designs in no time. Did I mention affordable too? Individual patterns are just twelve dollars available on her online store!

I had the pleasure of working with Megan and her stunning model Ashleigh on this shoot and the images just make me want to dust the cobwebs off my sewing machine.

So why not try something new in 2014 and discover your creativity?

Ali xx

Monday, April 1, 2013

Finalist 2013 AHFA Australian Makeup Artist Of The Year

Feeling a little bit happy to see I'm a finalist for 2013 AHFA Australian Makeup Artist Of The Year .
Will it bring Vogue or Harpers scrambling for my services? I can but dream - but I'm still extremely delighted because I can tick the box on a goal I set last year; a goal that seemed very unattainable. Second, it was challenging both technically and creatively and I believe this always makes for a better makeup artist. Third, the effort put in by the team of model Megan, photographer Christine Kopti and myself now has a wider audience which is nice. 
So what's this Makeup Award all about? The Australian Hair Fashion Awards (AHFA) is Australia’s largest and most successful independent hairdressing awards program. And to the organisation's credit, it recognises the inextricable link between our two industries and includes a makeup artist category.  
(You could also argue that our colleagues in photography, styling, modelling and fashion design do exactly the same. We all influence and inspire each other and together our work becomes so much more than the sum of the parts).
Some good news for the makeup industry, is that we are getting better at organising and promoting our own makeup specific competitions; with the inclusion of Sydney on the IMATS world circuit, the introduction of the ABIA awards last year and the Face2Face Makeup Awards coordinated by the clever and forward thinking Becca Gilmartin.  As a vehicle for developing skill and raising our professional profile I believe nothing is as effective, and I'd like to see more of us bite the bullet and start submitting in 2014.
I'm not a supporter of the controversial Nike quote, 'Winning Takes Care Of Everything' per se, but it sure makes for a good start to the day. Stay tuned. Winners announced Monday, 15 April 2013.

The Submission on it's way
Iphone snap of the mounted images before they're packed and mailed

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Spreading Our Wings To Guatemala 's Non Magazine
This beautiful collaborative shoot by Mary Parker Photography, featuring styling by Bridget from Dapper Zorse, model Kylie Board and hair & makeup by yours truely, was picked up this month by Guatelmalan online magazine, Non Magazine.It's a gorgeous publication.

I loved this shoot because it captures Mary's style perfectly - beautiful, dreamy and feminine. It was the first time I used my new volumising crimper too. I picked this up from the Sharon Blain Hair Bootcamp recently and had all hands on deck, including Mary's, getting hair crimped before our lighting disappeared.

Kylie proved a tough and courageous model, braving the Herrison Island mosquitos. A passing german tourist had repellent thankfully, so bites were limited to 100 or so!

Bridget from Dapper Zorse did a beautiful job styling this shoot as usual. Though we did loose her while she went off to search for a glove. Someone should invent a 4WD clothes rack for her.

Enjoy the images. xx

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Splash Of Colour - Worried?

Julia's eyes have warm brown, gold & caramel higlights with a dark brown rim - Inglot Pure Pigment 55 over MAC Fluidline in Brassy
I often wonder why makeup houses release splashes of colour into their new season ranges without instructions...

As a makeup artist I love colour because it provides me with inspiration. However for the average makeup user, it seems those pretty coloured pots appear like delicatable lollies - pretty to look at but you're probably worried that they're not so good for you, right?

Well, I'm here to encourage you to sample and sample some more. Whether you're 16 or 116, you can enjoy the delights of colour.

My makeup lessons always have an easy to understand session on colour technique - especially for eyes. I recommend four simple techniques for colour confidence with eyeshadow. The first of these is one we all know - browns/neutrals suit everyone. But imagine if that's what our wardrobe consisted of. No people - I will not stand for it, I won't!

So as a guide to get you thinking, have a good look at your iris - and I mean a really good look. There's so much more than brown, hazel, blue or green. I challenge you to find at least three colours in there. And this is where the magic of techniques two to four start.

If you just take one of those colours that you see (and brown, blue, green does not count) and add it to your usual base of neutrals you'll find technique two - a soft compliment to your eye colour. You might see lime or gold or rich caramel or milky blue. Have a look at the makeup on Julia above and let me know how you go.

If you're interested in learning more, follow the link to my contact page. Ali x

Monday, March 21, 2011

L’Oréal Paris Runway Looks - Vogue Australia

The eyes are the focus in this powerful and sleek makeup look, with a pared back nude lip and deep violet tones creating a new version of the sultry, smoky eye.

Keeping on-trend with the latest looks can be tricky for the everyday girl - but that's why you turn to your makeup artist for help. We make sure that we have our finger on the pulse and the products and techniques to sweep you into the present. So to inspire you, here are the latest looks from L'Oreal Paris - perfect for brides or balls.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Makeup As Art and IMATS Sydney 2010

After seeing various manifestations of makeup at the International Makeup Artists Trade Show (IMATS) in Sydney recently, I felt inspired by the many different genres on show. Australian and international experts in special FX and prosthetics showcased injuries and creatures from other worlds while other artists used bodies as canvases to create incredibly detailed art.

As a makeup artist whose working week consists primarily of beauty, bridal and special occasion looks, I am reminded of the importance of keeping alive both creative expression and artistic development.

I used to say "but I just like doing beautiful, wearable makeup". But after getting a firm shove out of my comfort zone during formal makeup studies by having to produce more creative looks, I realised makeup artists that push themselves creatively develop confidence, skill and bravery – something every good makeup artist needs.

IMATS is not just for the professional makeup artist, it’s open to everyone. This year it was held 18/19 September in Sydney and well worth the airfare if you’re interstate. Keep your eye on the website for next year’s event to be held 24/25 September. It’s been running internationally for 13 years and is produced by the internationally acclaimed industry magazine Makeup Mag

This year I competed in the beauty/fantasy themed competition ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Although I didn’t place I was very happy with my achievement of reaching the finals. The winner, the lovely Caitlin Betts was well deserved and at just 20 has a great career ahead of her. It proved to me again that pushing personal boundaries always results in growth (and I admit some sleepless nights) and I look forward to finding ways to encourage others to participate in future shows.

Special thanks for Vicky at for designing my costume

and Tara my fabulous model. Also credit to and john weston photography for the images.