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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Makeup Shopping in the USA

My makeup kit is overflowing with the spoils of New York and Las Vegas.

It's a makeup lovers dream with a Sephora on every corner it seems - and according to my husband I took far too much advantage of it.

It reminded me of how savvy we need to be in Australia when buying makeup. We pay a premium here for makeup compared with our overseas counterparts and who wants to waste money on products we don't like and won't use?

My favourite buys included some fabulously pigmented lip products for Makeup Forever which are also water resistant and a cute 12 colour greasepaint palette which includes silver and gold. It's one brand we can't buy in Australia unless you head off to IMATS in Darling Harbour...more on that later...

But in the main I bought up on my MAC staples and fell in love with the MAC penultimate brow liner. It's so subtle and fills those little gaps in brows by slightly staining the skin - perfect!

Friday, July 23, 2010

You're More Than Just A Face

Yes, you are more than just a face girls. But I'll move quickly on from the obvious to my point.

You also have a body and it's a little miffed at the way most of us ignore it when it comes to makeup.

* Goddess Fact * If you're preparing for a special occasion and have skin exposed anywhere, it too needs to be made up in some way.

The first area to lavish attention on is your neck and decollatage. Check to see that your foundation blends well with the colour here, particularly if you've had a faux tan. If you've ever noticed yourself looking a little pale faced in a photo - your foundation colour needs more depth **HINT add a sweep of bronzer to your temples, outer cheek bones and chin too**

You've probably noticed how celebrities and models have glowing skin from head to toe? Glowing skin comes from good health but also from products that are designed to reflect light and there's fantastic artificial light at nigh to benefit from. Apply a light shimmer dust or cream to highlight areas including shoulders, collarbones, and arms and legs. Instant radiance just like my model Rachelle! (photo courtesy of

To achieve this look, try Natio Body Gloss, Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Body Gloss, MAC 'To The Beach Lustre Drops' or 'To The Beach Bronze Body Oil'. You don't necessarily have to be faux tanned either though a beautiful light tan does lift a pale winter skin and add instant glow.
Stay Fabulous ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inspired by Corals...

Super keen to start creating with my new Inglot pallette, I asked my friend Terence Mann from Spark Photography HKG to help me produce an image with a soft, contempory fashion edge. Terence and his assistants Brian and Kev delivered with amazing results.

Coral (Inglot matt shadow #361) can be used to add colour with an etheral warmth. A great alternative to pink browns and tans.

I think you'll agree that most of the time we stick to colours we feel safe with, but in the same way you experiment with your wardrobe, why not try something new on your face? Just one new season colour added to your everyday eyemakeup can be the lift you need on these cold winter work days.

Special thanks also to model Megan Osler and stylist Lauren Boyle.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fantastic, Affordable Makeup - My Latest Purchases

So come on, admit it -are you a makeup snob? I confess to bragging about that new luxury brand purchase just as much as the next girl, but I do try very, very hard not to be a makeup snob. As we all know - expensive doesn't necessarily means better!

I'd like to introduce you to a great little brand, relatively new to the Australian market - 'Inglot'.
You've probably seen it, it's that very colourful stand in the centre of your shopping centre. For us here in Perth, they're at Karrinyup and Garden City. The range of colours is one of the most extensive on the market and the quality is excellent.

One of the big attractions for me as a makeup artist is the ability to purchase a custom made palette - and the new packaging is devine. My new 10 eyeshadow Freedom Palette pictured above cost just $85.

So next time you're out shopping, drop by and say hi to the Inglot staff. They're friendly and will happily guide you through their delicious selection of makeup.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Does Makeup Go Off?

Take a closer look at your cosmetic container - a really close look...

You may notice a little symbol that looks like this one to the left. It's the symbol used by manufacturers to let us know how long a product can be used after opening.

This jar shows that your product is safe to use for up to 3 months from the date you open it.
Of course, we're not always going to remember when we've opened a product for the first time, but if you're still using a product with '3M' marked on it a year later, then it's time to let it go.

Here's a list of what some products might show:

Mascara - 6M
Liquid Foundation - 24M
Eyeshadow - 18M
Lipgloss - 12M

Depending on where a product is manufactured and where it's sold, labelling is not mandatory. As a makeup artist, hygiene is queen so I'm here to remind you that to get the most out of your product always:
  • Use a clean spatula to remove product from a jar
  • Screw the lid/cap on tightly after use
  • Keep products in a cool, dry place
  • Avoid sharing products that come into direct contact with lips and eyes.

Time for a new mascara ??

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"I've only ever used soap and water..."

Have you ever been told by your mum, friend, sister or grandmother that their beautiful skin has only ever required a quick cleanse with soap and water and a bit of basic moisturiser to keep it looking fantastic? And yet when you've tried this simple routine, your fickle skin just ends up even more blotchy, dry or spotty!

From my experience and talking to the experts I'm here to help you solve the riddle...your skin is not like anybody elses (even your mum's). You have a unique skin that lives your lifestyle and has it's own rules. So if you are one of the lucky ones that can get away with the basics - fantastic - but if you're not, go with what's best for you.

Here are some simple steps to help you get started:

  • Make sure you have a correct skin diagnosis,
  • What are you're own personal concerns,
  • Work out your budget,
  • Select your products.
Some of my personal favourites for when I'm getting serious are Circadia and Danne Montegue King. If I'm looking for something gentle then Janesce or Natio. But there are many, many great options out there. Start your own personal mission...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Complexion Perfection

Looking for beautiful, youthful skin? The queue is long and the cost can be quite high, unless that is, you've been blessed by the good gene fairy.

If we all want to look stunningly flawless at some point, where do we start?
I've discovered that we all have an interpretation of what great skin looks like but one study cited in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology had something very interesting to say. That is, the singular most important thing that we can do to give an impression of perfection is to reduce uneven skintone. That is removing signs of uneven pigmentation (so not necessarily those lovely freckles ladies) often caused by sun damage, hormonal fluctuations and/or scaring from blemishes.

We are offered countless solutions today, so here's a quick guide to finding one to suit your purse. At the affordable end, there are foundations, concealers and illuminisers that offer light reflecting properties, fuller coverage and colour correction. Some of my personal favourites are MAC Studio Fix Fluid, MAC Strobe Cream, Inglot Creme Foundation and Clinique Superbalanced Makeup. If you're prepared to spend a little more for a longer lasting result, you can venture into the world of laser technology with IPL or combine it with microdermabrasion and/or professional peels.

...but at the risk of sounding like a recording - always remember your daily application of sunscreen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If you've been holidaying over the Easter break, chances are you spent a little less time in front of a mirror applying makeup...or did you?

Is it a human failing to want/need to wear makeup all the time? Although I rarely go out the door without some cosmetic applied to my face, if I'm camping I don't (my husband considers it contraband) and I must admit I do feel a bit self conscious for the first day.

For most of us, it's standard procedure to present ourselves in a package fit for work, meetings, socialising etc and makeup is just part of this process. It's nice every now and then to just pull on something comfortable and just relax - and even though my makeup is usually the last thing to go - it's nice sometimes to let this stay at home as well.

One thing I do try to remember is to 'slip, slop, slap'. Some of my favourites are Clinique's Super City Block SPF 30+ and the Cancer Council's Everyday Sunscreen Spray SPF 30+.
But regardless of whether you were as glamorous as ever or enjoying a break from your mascara - I hope you enjoyed your Easter break.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What does interior design have in common with makeup?

OK - perhaps I'm stretching my areas of expertise a little, but from my experience if you can muster up abit of creativity in one area of your life, then you absolutely have the capacity to transfer it into another.

I have this theory that if you can match bed linen, then you have the ability to select makeup colours that look good on you.

Is your home practical, flamboyant, colourful, earthy, sparkling with shiny surfaces, on trend? How much does this translate into the way you dress and the way you wear your makeup?

I've found this great website about colour and design. I'm a 'Sleek New Earth' hmmm, yes perhaps I am today...

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Art of Eyebrows

I admit I am completely obsessed with eyebrow shape and colour. Eyebrows do maketh the woman (or man). With so many techniques available to tame eyebrows: waxing, tweezing, threading, laser, sugaring, trimming - which do you choose?

In my humble opinion, the best method is a combination, unique to you. But ulimately perfection depends on the skill of the technician. I favour tweezing with fine point 'Tweezerman' tweezers, combined with precise trimming. Lines, symetry and shape are best achieved with methods that allow individual (not indiscriminate) hair removal and shaping.

I'll talk about colour another time, but if your eyebrow colour is significantly different to your hair colour - then perhaps it's time for an appointment with your favourite eyebrow specialist.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Heated Eyelash Curlers - What?!

They exist and I lOVE them...they're perfect for people who flinch at the approach of the standard metal curlers but still want to achieve a gorgeous length and lushness to their lashes.

Dont, get me wrong, metal curlers are great and I carry the revered 'Shu Uemura' metal lash curler in my kit - however I find that my clients are much less confronted by the gentle touch and warmth of a heated lash curler.

My favourite (and one of the least expensive around at $7.50) is the 'EyeCurl'. Not easy to track down but I've located an Australian supplier at

Canberra: 'tired and tame' or 'eclectic and creative?

Having lived there for the past 2 years, I've changed my mind and I'm definitely putting in my vote for the latter. Let's clear our nation's capital of it's reputation for being...well, abit on the snoozy side. Just have a look at the wonderful products of local creatives at