I am completely obsessed with grey hair. I made the choice to stop colouring my hair a couple of years ago, and after the initial confrontation of watching it turn grey and feeling like it would age me - which I don't feel it has - I absolutely love it and would never go back. There seems to be more of a trend nowadays of women allowing themselves to go grey and owning it. I have found some women have even started their modelling careers once they have done this and modelled for top designers…. looking as hot as ever. There is so much pressure as women for us to stay looking young instead of being able to look great, and even sexy, while ageing gracefully. I know from my own experience that my hair is now shiny and healthy , no longer falling out in clumps from the constant bleaching and colouring that I felt I had to do in order to hide the greys…. and most of all my age.
It is a process to allow your natural colour to come through and I did it by highlighting my dark hair with blonde so the change was not so drastic. Then cutting it off short once it had grown about 6 inches to finally get it long again. A process that was a little tedious at times but well worth it.
I have found a group of women that look amazing , and contemporary, for inspiration…….even young girls are dying their hair grey.
It rocks. :) x
My son Marlin and I
This is one of the first tutorials I made on how to do a natural everyday makeup in under 10 mins - for all those time poor women. Don't be put off if you're older by the fact I used a young model, this look is great on any age - I made it that way… and it's so easy to do. The model is my friend, Eili ,btw who is now modelling in NY and doing really well :) . I'm reposting this as I have been asked for more tutorials.
Because it was one of my first , I was a bit nervous about being in front of the camera ( much prefer being behind it! ) and I haven't made the products very clear sometimes in the video so am listing the products used below. As I mentioned , you can use a primer under your foundation to give your skin a more velvety finish and I will list a couple of my favourite ones below too. Also some alternatives that I like too for some of the other products. x
Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation " Bamboo Beige"
By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Primer or Hourglass Veil Primer
Mac Prep & Prime powder or By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder - love this one. Does not build up on the face and keeps the moisture in your skin.
Bobbi Brown concealer
For eyes , an alternative palette to the one I used (which I can no longer find ) Nars " all about eve" over the eye and Kalahari for lid and in socket
Stila Convertible Colour on cheeks or Hourglass Illume blush " Sunset"
Maybelline volumising mascara
Nars Velvet gloss pencil" More"
Nars gloss or Chantecaille lip gloss "Modern"
Mac dark brown pencil or Kevyn Aucoin " Dark Brown" pencil
Kevyn Aucoin brow pencil " Blonde" or Hourglass brow pencil ( two of my favourites)
I made these videos awhile back with my friend , Susie, showing how to do a smokey eye for women over 40. At the moment I am working a lot with women - many over 40 - and am constantly being asked to show them how to do their makeup for evening so thought I would post them on my blog for anyone interested. It's a look that is easy to replicate and looks great but not overdone. The main concern I find with women is they say they don't want something too heavy that is going to be ageing. The colours I have used are softer than going for harsh greys and blacks so creates a more softer look to the face. The finished look is gorgeous and sexy. Enjoy. x
DID YOU KNOW…..
pic courtesy of Woman Issue
Most of us are guilty of it - we come home from a late nite, one too many drinks and all we want to do is remove our clothes and crawl into bed and go to sleep. But DID YOU KNOW that leaving your make up on while you sleep ages
you by up to 10 YEARS!! Yes 10 years!! ( I'm guessing that all of you are doing the math on how many years you might already have taken off! )
It appears that by leaving your makeup on while you sleep you dry your skin out. And the side that you sleep on is much worse because you deny that part of your face oxygen. The makeup also prevents normal shedding of the skin cells , slowing down the usual renewing process. Which inevitably results in dull , uneven skin. The damage is also compounded by environmental pollutants during the day that stick to your makeup and create free radical damage. These free radicals attack the collagen in the skin which we need to keep it plump and youthful.
Sleeping in makeup also locks in the irritants too , so if you have sensitive skin you become more prone to allergic reactions. Your pore size also becomes larger by around 5% due to the trapped dirt , which over time, can actually stretch the pore. I need no more convincing that this is no longer an option!!
It's not all bad tho….. if this is only something that you have done on a few occasions you have not done irreparable damage. If you go back to cleansing and moisturising every nite your skin will hydrate again. For those that make it a regular occurrence you might want to make time for this ritual no matter how bad you feel after that nite out :) x
Organic makeup …. Ilia
I love organic. I have loved organic long before it was fashionable …. but I haven't paid much attention to organic makeup. There are a few makeup brands out there and I usually pass them on the shelf at the health food store I visit every week without paying much, if any, attention. Until now. Because finally there is one that has fashionable colours and packaging that makes you take notice. And it is sold in cool places all over the world like Harvey Nichols, Colette , Net-a-Porter and Mecca Cosmetica here in Australia. The brand is called Ilia and was created by Sasha Plavsic from Canada. She has come up with a range that is not only funky and fashionable but diverse in the way you can use it.
There are 3 ranges - tinted lip conditioners , lipsticks and multi-stick + illuminator . They can be mixed together to make your own colours to be used on eyes, cheeks and lips. The key ingredients are Cocoa butter, shea butter, sesame seed oil, essential oils of orange and jasmine and all products are made with up to 85% certified organic ingredients. And the coolest thing of all is she has named them after song titles ……Bang Bang, Crimson & Clover, Iko Iko….. so damn cute! The packaging is also made of recycled products - another plus for corporate consciousness.
My favourite colours are the lipstick crayon Come Undone - the perfect nude with lasting power… and the multistick in Sway - great for bronzing the cheeks and eyes. Iko Iko looks great on the eyes and can be mixed with one of the lighter shades like Blossom Lady to give a soft lip colour, or left on its own.
There is also a range of tinted moisturisers and concealers with the promise of more to come….I'm excited :) x
Primed for Beauty
We put a serum , moisturiser and an SPF under our foundation everyday but how many of us use a primer? Do we know what one is? Do we even need it?
Well if we are going to do things properly and make sure our make up looks great and remains that way for the rest of the day then the answer is yes. The role of a primer is many things, depending on the one you use, but the primary role is to aid in applying the foundation more evenly and increasing the longevity of your foundation.
There are many different primers - some act like moisturisers, whilst others contain salicylic acid to absorb oil from the skin and give the face a matte look. Some contain antioxidants Vit A, C & E to boost cell growth and promote collagen production. There are water based or silicon based primers depending on your skin type…. and you firstly need to determine that. Then you need to know what you are trying to achieve from the look of your primer… do you want to use one to brighten the skin and make it appear luminous or do you want your look to be matte?
Here are some of my favourite primers for whatever look you may choose…..
Hourglass Mineral Primer is a great oil free primer with an SPF15 . The look is matte and perfect for oily skin, but suitable for all skins. It minimises pores and softens the look of fine lines. This brand is fragrance , paraben and sulfate free (Yay).
Nars Pro-Prime is another oil free primer with an SPF!5. This smooths pores and contains Vit A, C & E to fight free radicals. This gives the skin a velvety smooth look. Suitable for all skin types.
Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer is great for illuminating the skin. It helps even out skin tone and diminish the look of fine lines. It also contains sodium hyaluronate which restores hydration to the skin (yes please). Suitable for all skin types .
The By Terry primer is gorgeous. It contains hyaluronic acid mousse that plumps the skin and reduces fine lines and gives a beautiful matt finish to the skin. It can also be used on the eyes and contour of the lips to plump them. Suitable for normal to combination skin.
Stila's Stay All Day beauty balm is another great primer for illuminating the skin. It hydrates , reduces skin inflammation and stimulates collagen production. Oil free and paraben free with an SPF 30.
Foundation Faux Pas
I see a lot of women in my line of work that have been given a bum steer at the makeup counter re: their foundation. And since they are relying on the expert advice of the person who served them, it is not their fault that they have committed foundation faux pas. Too often they are sold a product that is wrong for them in either the colour choice or texture…. so here are the sins and how to make a better choice next time you are at the beauty counter.
1. USING A POWDER FOUNDATION
Most times when a women says to me that she is using a mineral powder on her face I notice that her skin is not so good. It looks clogged and spotty. It seems that mineral powders have been touted as the safe , natural way to beauty but not all mineral powders are created equal and can contain harmful ingredients like bismuth oxychloride, dimethicone and talc to name a few. But besides all of that , mineral powders and powder foundations in general do not give good even coverage. If you have dry skin it tends to get caught in these patches, and if you have open pores it gets stuck in them and creates an uneven look. And worse still if you have fine lines it gets caught and accentuates them. I tend to stay away unless you have an immaculate, dewy complexion that can take a fine dusting and look amazing ( a rare few!) Cream foundations are much easier to blend onto the skin and even out skin tone, leaving your skin looking youthful and dewy.
2. USING AN OIL FREE FOUNDATION WHEN YOU HAVE DRY SKIN
Quite often when you go to buy a foundation the person serving you will forget to ask what skin type you have so they can determine which is the correct formula for you. Using an oil free foundation on oily or oily /normal skin is fine because it balances out the skin but often I see women wearing foundation that is too dry for their skin, and usually it is an oil free one they have been sold. This will only accentuate the fine lines and wrinkles leaving the skin looking flat and aged…. something we are trying to avoid. Make sure when you try the foundation on in the store that your skin looks slightly dewy and there is no crepey look .
3.TESTING YOUR FOUNDATION ON YOUR HAND OR JAWLINE
When I test someone's foundation I like to test it all over the face , not just in one spot. The back of your hand or the inside of your arm is never a good place because that is not the colour of your body. It is always best to let the sales assistant sit you down and apply the makeup to your whole face, matching the colour to your neck and your décolleté - since our face is always lighter than the rest of our body. In this process you need to determine whether your skin colour is a pink base or a yellow base. This is a common mistake women make too getting this wrong. Sometimes your skin can be a mix of both pink & yellow. My favourite brands to use if this is the case are Ellis Faas or Chantecaille who both do shades that fall into this category and the texture of both of these products leave the skin looking like silk. Their colours in their respective ranges swing neither too far pink or too far yellow but fall somewhere in between.
The picture below is quite a famous one of the gorgeous Emily Blunt who clearly did not get her foundation matched that day and is a prime example of what NOT to do. It should be the perfect colour blend all the way from you face right down to your chest.
4. NOT USING A PRIMER
Most people look so much better when they use a primer. It lays down a really smooth base by filling in the pores and allowing your foundation to last much longer. There are a lot of different primers available now that soften the appearance of wrinkles with serums, mattifying to control shine and boosting radiance. The difference of applying a primer before your foundation is noticeable. A couple of my favourites are Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer with SPF15 and Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer which hydrates the skin.
5. APPLYING YOUR FOUNDATION WITH YOUR FINGERS OR A SPONGE
Not that there is really anything wrong with using a sponge or your fingers but using a sponge is a costly way to apply as most of the product is left in the sponge so you will find yourself going through your product a lot faster and using your fingers just doesn't give you the same silky look as using a makeup brush designed for applying foundation. The foundation glides on smoother and less cakey, using far less product than both fingers and sponge. When looking for one make sure it has synthetic bristles, not animal hair - that combination does not mix well at all!
And don't forget to wash it regularly in warm soapy water to keep it clean and free from bacteria.
6. APPLYING TOO MUCH FOUNDATION
Foundation really should be about enhancing our skin , not camouflaging. I see a lot of young girls who have the most amazing skin who should be making the most of the fact they still have it , and yet they have sooo much foundation on ( and usually 3 shades darker than their skin tone ) and I want to scrape it all off and show them how gorgeous they can look with just a fine veil over their skin that would make it look like velvet. We don't need to plaster it on with a trowel and especially as we age - less is definitely more. For older women I like to just put a small amount on the forehead , each cheek and the chin and blend it out to the edges then down the neck to give the illusion of a full face of makeup , with only minimum applied. You are really only looking to even out skin tone and give the skin a dewy look.
So use this as a guide next time you visit the beauty counter armed with more knowledge :) x
Dark Smokey Eyes
Pic courtesy of shop.nordstrom.com
Happy New Year :) . Time to get back into work mode after relaxing and sunning ourselves at the beach for the past couple of weeks. ( heaven !). I found this great how to for creating a dark smokey eye that is super simple and all you need to take you from work to the eve. All that is required is a good kohl pencil - faves being Nars Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Veneto or Kevyn Aucoin eye pencil in Basic Black , a black eyeshadow and mascara. I am loving By Terry - Mascara Terrybly in Black Fiction with lash lengthening serum at the moment. It comes in other great colours too if you want to be adventurous. The trickiest part is getting the pencil inside the entire upper and lower rim of the eye for maximum effect. Simply glide the pencil along the lower rim and then lift the lid up gently to run the pencil along the inside upper rim near the lashes. Super sexy eyes in under 10 mins. x
I am a huge fan of Nars and he never fails to disappoint with new products. ( I look forward to seeing what delights he has come up with every time I visit the makeup store). His latest line is the Audacious lipstick range. Named after different film stars , there are 40 shades of fabulousness with the colours going right thru the spectrum. The pigment in these lipsticks is rich and the look is a satin creamy look that really lasts. They're bold and sexy….. And to top it off he has used my favourite actress of all time for the campaign - Charlotte Rampling - who is still as gorgeous and hot as she ever was. Thank you Nars for celebrating older women :)
My favourite colours for summer are Greta , Catherine and Barbara …..available @ Mecca Cosmetica if you live in Australia. x
I thought this week since the sun is out ( yeah! ) I would put together my favourite bronzers that I like to work with…NARS because he always gets it right and it dusts over the skin beautifully, - LAGUNA is the most popular. Perricone MD because the Dr gets it right too - this one contains Vit C Ester which is great for sun damage. Bobbi Brown - great natural glow, Marc Jacobs - great colour and Stila because its a lotion and gives a gorgeous glow. I prefer mine without too much shimmer and more brown than orange which is another reason to have these all on my favourites list…. Dust lightly on the face or use as a contour. x
I have been a makeup artist for over 20 yrs and am passionate about beauty and helping women to look the best they possibly can. I believe that women are beautiful at any age , and being older myself, am constantly on the look out for products that will help the skin retain its glow and beauty. From a very young age I have paid attention to my skin and have always gone looking for new, innovative - or even tried and true products that make a difference. I take inspiration from my friends and women I meet in my work. These women are the reason I started this blog , so that I can pass on my knowledge and help women to keep looking, and feeling amazing . I love finding new looks that inspire and you can adapt to your own style . I am also a mum with 3 boys which keeps my life very busy ... and never dull as anyone who knows me will attest to! All items posted on this blog are chosen because I have personally tried them and like them. I hope you find something here that you will love and will work for you.