Friday, 19 October 2012

Assisting A Make Up Artist

So WOW. I haven't posted on here for aaaages because I've had a bit of a nightmare with my laptop but I'm back, and I'm so happy I can post because yesterday I got to assist Andrea Perry-Bevan on a photoshoot at Nemesis Modelling Agency. Considering I'm totally untrained with zero experience it was so kind of Andrea to let me help out and I am really grateful for the opportunity.

The day started early, getting the train from Liverpool to Manchester at 8.22am! I had faffed around majorly on what to wear and what make-up to use - of course - but settled it by going simple with a plain dress and leggings (which is pretty standard for me) and smoky eye with my lucky lipstick, YSL Vernis a Levres in Orange de Chine. I'm going to be honest, I was so so nervous and didn't have a clue what to expect - I had a certain image in my head of a modelling agency and didn't think I'd quite fit put it lightly. As soon as I got there I settled right down, everyone I met, from managers to models to staff to photographers, was warm and polite. I got offered cups of tea straight away and generally really well looked after. But of course, I was there to work and not there to get petted...
Being inexperienced, I knew I might make mistakes but decided from the off that I would be as polite as possible and smile a lot so that even if I didn't really do well, I could be pleased with myself that I'd taken the right attitude.

It was a really busy day, with two separate shoots for Andrea to do make-up for, and for the first shoot I was mostly asked to get specific items out of Andrea's kit. This was - let's have it right - really exciting. What aspiring MUA doesn't want to have a look at someone else's kit? As an example of something I was asked to do, Andrea asked for a nude lip pencil for a 60s look. Seeing a working MUA on a shoot was definitely the best part of my day, and it was so good to see what the job is actually like. It was a lot more hectic than I had assumed, and so much more physical. Sitting in front of my webcam at home putting eyeshadow on is totally different to the atmosphere at a shoot, and reflecting on it today there were a lot of people around, all wanting to look at the make-up before it was finished. I'm still inexperienced enough that that would creep me out a little! During this shoot I was kept busy sharpening pencils, finding scissors and tweezers, gluing lashes, and curling the model's hair. All during this time, we were in the kitchen of the modelling agency and it was humming with activity. If anything, this part of the day really had the vibe most similar to doing your make-up for a night out but with a lot more 'industry' talk. The shoot was going to be a kind of 60s model in Manhattan, using Manchester sights, with lots of movement. Straight away this 1962 Vogue shoot (original Jean Shrimpton image on left, recreated by Karen Gillan on right) popped to mind. Turns out this shoot is going to be featured in Vogue Italia (!) and here's a look at it.

The next shoot was a video of Andrea applying make up to three different models. First up was Jess (who doesn't yet have a profile on Nemesis' homepage) who had the most amazing red curly hair. She got treated to a gorgeous bronze and shimmery eye look with a matte nude lip. Some of the products I could spot being used were Illamasqua Berber pigment, Urban Decay Naked Palette and NARS Hungry Heart as well as a Miners matte lip cream. During most of this look I was in the kitchen starting to curl Kit's hair - she had a lot of it! Once this got done Kit then got her makeup done by Andrea whilst being filmed by Adam Al-Sened. Her look was to feature some beautiful Paperself lashes. Here are a couple of sneaky pictures of her:

After this was done, Kit and Jess then worked with the rather wonderful photographer JK Green, who took some amazing pics of them with all kinds of light projections and - weirdly enough - a sheet of plastic. Here's a sneaky look at Jess

After lunch - for which Andrea had made me some sandwiches! - I was back on hair curling duty with the very lovely Laura Gallagher who then went to get some insane blue and green make up done on film with Andrea whilst Kit came back to get her hair re-curled. It was actually really nice to be in a quieter room doing a relatively relaxing job yet still called in to help Andrea with different bits every now and then. Obviously this wouldn't be the case with every shoot but for my first time I really did appreciate it! Laura and Kit then went under the plastic sheeting and light projections for some more creative shots and videos, which when previewed later on looked amazing - kind of as if they were swimming or being born!

Final job of the day was catwalk shots - and whilst I was helping Andrea tidy up Alex Leigh, a preternaturally gorgeous human being who made me a cup of tea and was generally lovely, came and gave Kit and Laura some catwalk lessons. I may or may not have listened in for tips. 

All in all I had a ridiculously brilliant day. BIG thank yous to everyone involved! xxxxx

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Shit Happens

Sometimes, shit happens. And in my case, this is usually in the form of acne. I suffered with really bad acne when I was younger: I had to use lots of really harsh products, usually on prescription. I took antibiotics for a long time, used face cream that was 10% peroxide and in the end put pure lemon juice on my face for twenty minutes a day. That was the only thing that worked on and really balanced my skin out. However, it does sting like a bitch.

As I've got older (and given up drinking!) my skin has settled down quite a lot. It's still pretty oily, but I comfort myself by saying I won't age as quickly if this is the case! I always experiment with lots of different skincare routines and change about every two months or so unless I find something I really love. Products that have worked in the past include Clarins' Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind coupled with their Hydra Matte Lotion. This is pretty expensive but truly amazing for my skin. The best thing I've ever done for my skin as well as the most expensive skincare routine I've ever had was Chanel: their Mousse Exfoliante Pureté and Pureté Idéale Serum.

But we know - because I discuss it ad nauseum - I'm on the dole and I cannot afford this. My skin hates me for not listening to careers advice in final year. So I'd like to introduce you to a MIRACLE. That costs FOUR POUNDS. And shrinks spots. Introducing:

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment promises clearer skin in just one day. Normally such promises are bullshit. Not this time. 

It's amazing. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Batman Joker Look

Face/Hair: Asda Hallowe'en Cream Paint in White and Green (£1 per tube) 
Illamasqua Debauch Cream Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Omen mixed with Perversion
Eyes: Urban Decay Perversion covering eyebrow and blended down to cover whole lid and under eye
Urban Decay Grifter blended into lid
Fake eyebrows created with Urban Decay Roach and Ransom
Mouth: Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Temper (KNEW I would find a use for this some day) applied heavily to lips and then blended outwards using a sponge
Shadows/details added with Urban Decay Roach 

I used sponges rather than brushes for the majority of this look. Layering the paint on thick then sponging away at it really helped create the texture I was going for. I've tried to incorporate certain 'fashion' elements of make up into this - such as the glossy lip, shimmer eyeshadow and - though it's difficult to make out - I mixed the green and white to create a kind of 'mouldy' contour effect! I also sponged the green paint through my hair to mimic Heath Ledger a little further. Obviously this is full-on scary and not something you'd wear to look pretty - but don't worry, I'm going to do a more 'prettified' version too! I'm actually really pleased with myself with this look - I have never ever tried anything like this before and it certainly makes me feel more confident with doing characters. Hope you enjoy!

And because the contrast REALLY made me laugh, look what's next to these pictures in my Photo Booth:

At least I've convinced myself I'm mildly talented now I've seen that difference. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

MUA Going for Gold Palette - Review and Swatches

This is the Make Up Academy Going for Gold palette from Superdrug. It's normally £4 but was available for £3 yesterday. It was released for the Olympics and contains bronze, silver and shades along with some oranges and yellows and neutrals. It's a lovely palette and really reasonable for the price. There's ten shades here but sadly no shade names - just numbers. Top row is 1-5, bottom is 6-10. The texture of these shades is almost insanely soft, just placing a sponge applicator or a finger into the pan creates a lot of kicked-up product and a definite indentation in the product. This means it's a pleasure to swatch and play with though - and I can imagine these to be beautifully blendable. I have used these in a look today and really like them so may make a video out of it. I'm very sorry about the audio and visual being out of sync on my videos but iMovie is being a right pain so when I get a fix I will update what's happened.
 So here is the palette opened, you can see that there are two very bright colours in with a stack of neutrals. I have honestly never seen a colour like 5 before. It reminds me of sunflowers or egg yolks. In fact  - definitely egg yolk, a very very orange yellow with beautiful shimmer. There's one matte shade in this palette (6) which is majorly outperformed by the shimmers. As I was doing a look with the palette this evening I discovered that my original theory about its lovely application and blendabiity was spot on: it was honestly a pleasure to apply. They layer on beautifully and change colours as you layer them. 

Swatches after the jump!