Monday, 24 June 2013

Model Makeup #2

This is the second in my series about makeup looks I have done on recent photoshoots. 

Today's model is Abi Green. It was great working on Abi because she is an agency represented model, and had a face that just comes alive with makeup (and the most perfect baby soft, blemish free skin I have ever seen!!)

Instagram: emilylaurenbeth
I was shown the outfit (it was all from Urban Outfitters) and was immediately drawn to the gorgeous neon coral colour of the top. I knew I wanted to reflect how fun and beautiful this colour was in her makeup too. For her lips I mixed two Illamasqua shades together, a bright matte orange called 'Flare' and a bright neon pink 'Immodest'. I used Bobbi Brown Foundation Sticks for her base and contoured with MAC 'Harmony' blush to accentuate her amazing cheekbones and then added a sweep of pink blusher to add some warmth and colour  as contour alone would have looked quite severe.

On her eyes I primed her lids with Urban Decay's matte primer potion, which is so good I have to say. On top I created a blown-out, soft wash of colour using the pink and copper shades from the Paranormal Palette from Illamasqua's latest collection. Using MAC's soft kohl eyeliner in 'Smoulder' I lined her waterline and finished off with lashings of MAC Opulash mascara. Her eyebrows were very fair so I added some definition with MAC 'Omega' eyeshadow. 
The finishing touches...
I painted her nails with the brightest pink I had on me, which was one by Maybelline. I wanted to keep her amazing skin quite fresh and glowing so I didn't add any powder until just before she was photographed, and only to her T-Zone.

The shoot was in preperation for an exhibition which has been on show in Urban Cardiff for a couple of weeks now. It's nice seeing some of my work on the walls, makes me remember why I love doing makeup so much. And I would love to work with Abi again!

Here's a final shot:

Lewis Hughes-Evans photography, Abi Green model.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Nails: Little Hearts

I've said it once and I'll say it again, I don't do nail art!! But my sister was visiting last week and asked me to do her nails, and I couldn't resist popping a little heart on her ring finger.

The main colour I used was In Style Coral from Nails Inc which I don't think is available anymore. The beige base colour on her ring finger was Essie's 'Sand Tropez'- one of my all time faves. With a bit of help of some cotton buds soaked in nail varnish remover and a steady hand I managed to whip out two little hearts pretty quickly. Perhaps not the neatest of jobs, but maybe not bad for a first timer ;-)

We used a Nails Inc basecoat and topped the final mani with my trusty Sally Hansen MegaShine. 

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Shopping for foundation and knowing your skin tone!

I thought it might be helpful to provide a few tips to do with determining your skin tone and how to shop for foundations. Hopefully this will be useful to a couple of people :-)

What is skin tone?

There are three types of skin tone. By skin tone, I mean the underlying tone in your skin, not whether somebody is white, asian or black. Despite their shade, people are cool, warm, or neutral toned.

Neutral skin tone is a balance of pigment, but neutral foundations can be harder to come by. Many brands don't put enough research into tone and their foundations sometimes sway too yellow or pink throughout the whole line as a result. A neutral foundation is a great choice if you're really not sure what tone you are, or if pink based foundations and yellow based foundations alike just don't work on you.
Neutral foundation is also an option if you want to balance an abundance of either pink or yellow in your skin, because the foundation has yellow and pink pigments running through it and will act as a happy medium.

Are there ways to spot what skin tone I have?

If you use fake tan regularly, then you will probably want to a buy a foundation that matches your tanned skin colour. From my experience, 9/10 fake tanned people will automatically be changing their skin tone to warm, which means yellow toned. (Some could also wear a neutral toned foundation if they are very pink naturally and fake tanning on top)

To make a sweeping generalisation, knowing your skin tone can be deduced to whether you tan naturally in the sun, or if you burn. 
If you burn, like myself, you are more than likely pink (cool) this often means you may be pale, freckly or naturally fair in hair colour (arm hairs, lashes and eyebrows can be included in this!) 
Those that will automatically tan in the sun, are warm toned, with more yellow pigment in their skin, you may have been called 'olive' in the past if this is you, you might be naturally dark haired, with dark features such as brown or hazel eyes in comparison to cool toned people who often have blue/grey/green eyes. 
However this is a generalisation and not everyone will fit in to one category unfortunately. If only it was that easy!

Take a look at the veins on your wrists and arms. In natural light, do they look more blue or do they look more green? If they look blue then you probably have a pink undertone and are therefore classed as 'cool', if they are green, you're probably more yellow therefore 'warm'. That is how your skin will be considered in makeup terms- warm or cool.

Tips and advice on shopping for a foundation.

Don't forget the bigger picture when shopping for a foundation. While it is important to match the colour of your face, you have to take a step back and look at the colour of your neck, chest and even hands. The most visible parts of your body.
Example: Some people have very pale necks but high colour on their face. In this case, it may be best to foundation match to their neck so that the foundation evens out the high colour on their face, so that they look more uniform. i.e. one colour all over.

Think of how many times throughout the day we lift our hands to our face, if we have a super tanned face and pale little hands we will look crazy. Think of the bigger picture and try and match the correct foundation accordingly.

There are advisors at beauty counters to help you with stuff like foundation matches. The only advice I can offer is take a bit of time to research before you hit the shops. It makes both yours and the advisors life easier if you can be clear on what it is you want. Look on the brands website, what factors are most important to you? Shade range? Long wearing? Matte or dewy finish? Full coverage or a BB cream? And do they sell a foundation that seems like it includes the qualities you're after? I can't tell you how many times I had customers approach me, who thought they wanted a particular product but when asked about their skin type, their wants and needs from a foundation, needed the total opposite. 
Don't buy DoubleWear Maximum Cover if you love your freckles and want a fresh faced finish. Don't buy a tinted moisturiser if you want a matte, long lasting finish, etc.

I am going to be very general again, but look at the girl on the counter. Do you like how they have done their own makeup? As they are likely to follow the same rules when putting makeup on you. Do they have foundation lines, an orange face and pale neck? Then don't ask them for a foundation match. Ask the girl who's face skin matches the rest of her body. If you are super pale, try and shop with the super pale beauty advisor, because they will understand what it is like and are more likely to match you to the right colour as well as offer the best advice for complementary colours for blusher and lipstick etc if you want it.

I know this is a long post, but stuff like skin deserves a lot of attention! Shopping for something as important as a good foundation can be a baffling, confusing or stressful experience, so it helps to have as much knowledge as you can before putting yourself out there as it is an expensive mistake to keep making.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mini MAC Haul- 'All About Orange' Collection.

I'll be honest and say I had gone off MAC a bit. After working for a short while for Illamasqua and getting to work with such strongly pigmented products, anything I swatched at MAC just seemed watery in comparison. Alas, when I saw they were releasing a collection dedicated to orange I knew I would cave. I love orange and coral. They are without a doubt my go-to colours in the summer, give me an orange lipstick over a pink one anyday.

Afer a bit of deliberation I knew I could sort of justify a MAC splurge if it was for my kit. I've got enough MAC lippies to last me a life time.

I originally thought I wanted 'Sushi Flower' lipstick as it such a 'me' shade but I opted for a slightly more wearable 'Razzledazzler' as it would have more of a universal appeal, would suit more people and would be perfect for bridal. It's a milky coral. By no means is it bright or neon-esque, the lustre finish means it has an underlying 'sheer' quality about it and a glisten-y finish. It very much reminds me of the permanent lip glass Pink Lemonade with it's mid-tone yet brightening qualities. This will suit pale and tanned girls alike though I probably wouldn't advise it for asian skin tone or deeper. It's pretty long lasting considering the slip of the finish, 2-3 hours wear and leaves a pretty coral 'just bitten' stain behind. Easy enough to top up on the go though.

After thinking one of my MAC blushes was faulty due to it's absolute lack of pigment ('Pink Swoon' FYI) I was dubious to spend money on another. Unlike 'Pink Swoon' which is a sheertone blush (which may explain it's lack of colour when swatched) 'Immortal Flower' is a satin finish which means it's not totally matte, but there's no detectable glitter or shimmer present either. It's very peach in the pan which doesn't come across in my photos unfortunately. On me, a light dusting gives a soft peachy glow, but it can be built up a little more intense. Again, this will look simply gorgeous on a bride because it hasn't got that disco ball shimmer in it and it makes you 'glow' rather than look too blusher-y. It photographs beautifully.

Both 'Razzledazzler' and 'Immortal Flower' compliment one another when worn together. I do wish I had a bit more money to spend as I would have caved into 'Sushi Flower' any way and would have probably picked up 'Neon Orange' for the hell of it too. Unlike the other MAC collections released this year, this one has impressed me.

Thankyou for reading,


Saturday, 8 June 2013

My Jo Malone Collection.

It won't come as a surprise to some of you when I tell you that I adore Jo Malone fragrance. It's the pairing of two (often unusual) scents to create a beautiful, sophisticated final perfume with an elegant bottle to match. I appreciate packaging, and most of all on fragrance. Bad packaging can put me off buying a fragrance completely (hi Marc Jacobs)
I remember my friend Jade telling me that she thought Jo Malone perfume bottles looked like room spray, and I replied telling her that's the reason I like it. Non fussy, just simple. 

My collection has grown slightly over the last few months. It began with Nectarine Blossom and Honey back in September, you can see a full review of that here. This remains in my top two favourites. It is so gorgeous and sweet, but not in an overpowering way. It lasts all day on me, as all Jo Malone colognes do, and I love it from the top note to the base note. 

Second and third to make it into my collection were sort of hand me downs from a friend. She works for Clinique and often blindly buys fragrance on the staff discount site, which always results in new presents for me! She herself has well over 80 perfumes at home so if she buys something that she doesn't love, she passes it on. Orange Blossom is very floral, not one I pick up all of the time as it isn't really 'me' but it is a gorgeous smell non the less. It's just a bit mature for my tastes if that makes sense.
Vanilla and Anise is a deep, rich scent which I used a lot through winter. Again, it's not one I would choose but I do enjoy wearing it a lot. It's quite mysterious and one spray is enough to last hours. It definitely packs a punch!

The same said friend knew I had been harping on about Blackberry and Bay for ages! I kept nipping in to the Jo Malone shop and spritzing it on myself, and decided that it was the scent I was going to get married in. My wedding isn't until September 2014 but Jenni bought me this as a surprise. Instead of letting it fester and potentially go off in that time, I've decided to crack it open and use it anyway. To me it is the perfect late summer/autumn scent. It's fruity, and it truley does smell of blackberry (one of my favourite fruits) but is balanced by aromatic bay. It's a really nostalgic perfume, as the website states; 

"Childhood memories of blackberry picking... stained lips, sticky palms. A burst of deep, tart blackberry juice, blending with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods. A vibrant and verdant fragrance."

Next on my list is Earl Grey and Cucumber, without a doubt. 

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 3 June 2013

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick, £28 for 9g.

If I am honest, I had always steered clear of Bobbi Brown foundations because all of the cosmetic range has yellow undertones rather than yellow and pink like other brands offer. I understand that Bobbi feels that yellow undertones flatter everybody, however I do believe that you cannot deny that some people are pink through and through and would benefit from a pink toned foundation. 
Over my time on make up counters I experienced lots of people who didn't want to look 'too pink' and those who fake tan will also immediately have a yellow undertone, but for somebody who is pink, I personally was scared to try a Bobbi foundation.

Bobbi Brown foundation sticks were provided in my basic kit when I completed my makeup course. A bit dubious of these at first as I was so used to using liquid (I couldn't help but have thoughts of the dreaded 'Pan Stik'), my opinion completely changed within a matter of minutes of picking these up, discovering that they are gorgeous and creamy and so much more versatile than you might originally think. 

Depending on how much you apply, this foundation can achieve anything between a light coverage (or you could mix some with a moisturiser to make the coverage very sheer), to a full coverage. Using a concealer brush and dabbing it in the necessary areas, it can also double up as a concealer too. 
The best method is to sweep a flat foundation brush over the top of the product, allowing control of how much you apply and how much you blend it on the face (rather than using the 'stripe' method and ending up with excess product/making it harder to blend.) 

Since using it in my professional kit I have been so impressed by it's performance, it seems to work on every skin type, whether it be dry or oily, and the shade range is one of the most comprehensive available. It photographs flawlessly because it has no SPF in it.

I've been testing it out on myself and I am completely converted. I use the shade '00 Alablaster' which is the palest in the shade range and it matches me well. As it is in stick form it is quite a stiff product so it does take some time to work into the skin, and I'd definitely recommend a firm brush to do this with.
I have been using Illamasqua's Hydra Veil as a primer with this on top and my face stays in place for the entire day, with no touch ups needed. As a 'pinky' person, this yellow toned foundation doesn't look off balance at all, you cannot tell a difference and it helps balance any redness in my skin.

All in all, I think this is a very good product and I would recommend it for makeup artists and consumers alike. It performs well and there is bound to be a match for you.

Thankyou for reading,


Saturday, 1 June 2013

Model makeup #01

Evelyn so kindly included my blog in her '5 Blogs To Follow' feature earlier this week and in it she mentioned that she hopes I do more makeup artist related posts. I'm not sure whether many people are interested in this but I thought it couldn't hurt to do a 'trial post'. I thought a small behind the scenes type post about photoshoots I work on could be of interest to some of you if I tell you about the look I was going for and the products I used to achieve this. It's something a bit different and a lot more personal in one way, than I have included on my blog before. I try and keep work/blog/life as separate things but inevitably they will overlap at times :-) 
Anyway what I am getting at is feedback is appreciated! Let me know if you do or don't enjoy this post.

Instagram: @emilylaurenbeth
On Thursday I organised a beauty shoot with my photographer pal Lewis. One of the models, Naomi, is who I'm showing you today.
The vision of the shoot was just to experiment with vivid, vibrant colour. It was going to be beauty focused, (so mainly head shots with no attention to clothing or body poses) with a mainly editorial approach.

For one of the looks I decided to go all out. A test shoot is a perfect time to experiment with new ideas or techniques as it is a safe environment to learn. I decided to keep Naomi's skin fresh because she had these amazing freckles all over her face, so I made a tinted moisturiser just to even out any redness she had. I used Illamasqua Sealing Gel on powder eyeshadow 'Fame' to turn it into a liquid paste. Using an angled brush I filled her brows in with solid green colour!
Eyebrows have been 'on trend' in various forms (bushy, filled, feral) for a few years now, then there was the time Chanel hit the runways with amazing embellished brows. Many catwalk trends are unlikely to filter down to 'real people' but the element of the brow being a feature in day to day makeup definitely has. I love eyebrows and knew it was something I wanted to include in this shoot, so why not colour them in?

I created a simple contoured eye using NARS eyeshadow 'Abysinnia' and the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, with eyeliner flicks using MAC gel liner in 'Blacktrack.' In hindsight I would have made them a bit bolder and thicker. 
At first I kept the lips bare and then for a few more shots I put MAC 'Vegas Volt' lipstick on her. You can see both looks in the instagram images above, let me know which one you think looks best.

I put her hair up in a bun and placed some fake flowers that I found in the studio in, I think it really helps make the photo and ties the overall look in together well. 

So there we are, a little behind the scenes summary of a recent test shoot. I think that Naomi did a great job considering she doesn't model very often, and Lewis did a good job of capturing my vision! Here is a final picture:

Lewis Hughes-Evans photography, Naomi Shalom model.
Thanks for reading,