Thursday, 21 July 2011

Paris trip

Last week in a studio on the outskirts of Paris, a treasure trove of amazing couture gowns were being unwrapped and carefully handled by men in white gloves. Jewellery, within the region of a million pounds, was locked in suitcases with personal bodyguards at their side and small little me was unpacking copious amounts of make-up, in preparation for an amazing shoot with some particularly beautiful models (not sure I can say who!!)

Haute Couture is an exclusive market with less than 300 people worldwide purchasing these amazing creations. The expense is insane, with dresses costing in the region of £50,000 and above. At these prices you would think the fashion houses would be raking it in, but apparently not. The commercial success of a fashion house is now based around the sales of accessorise and perfumes. Haute Couture is a platform for the designers to express themselves artistically. Flamboyant creations and masterpiece designs, that (let’s face it) are often unwearable, are used as a marketing tool to create headlines.
Some say Haute Couture is slowly dying, so I was so excited to take part in a shoot that really was a one-off. Despite the late night (or should I say early morning) finishes and a lot of waiting around for everything to be perfected, it was a pleasure to be part of such a creative team. It was a theatrical experience watching the amazing hair stylist at work with his seven assistants. Hair extensions of all different colours were piled high on the heads of the models and formed creations that resembled something you might see in the window of Patisserie Valerie. The make-up was less crazy with beautiful skin and perfectly arched eyebrows being one of the briefs.

Brows are a feature most often forgotten about when people do their own make-up. Whenever I bring out a brow pencil in front of friends, their initial reaction is always one of fear, but after a little tweak with the right tools they're always pleasantly surprised. Your brows frame your face, so it's essential to have them well groomed and not over plucked. You can use a shadow or pencils to fill in any gaps and lengthen, but it's really important to get the right shade - I find a lot of them are too red.
I think the Clinique Brow Pen in Soft Brown and Soft Blonde are the best out there colour wise. They're not hard pencils so give a more subtle finish. They won’t be right for everyone but I tend to use them a lot on various different models.
I also really like lingering and stud brow pens by Mac.
If you prefer a shadow then sometimes you can find an eye shadow out there that will be a perfect match to your brows. I really like to use Laura Mercier brow shadows and Mac also do good ones.
I always finish with a brow gel to keep them in place. A clear one is best but I also really like Indian Chocolate brow gel by blink

As soon as the pictures from the Couture story get published I will post them on my blog. Can’t wait to see them.....

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Festival Feeling

This year I am venturing to my first ever festival. They have never appealed to me, personally always opting for a spa break in place of camping and communal cleaning! However, with one last summer before the big three zero, my checklist is in need of some attention. I have chosen well I am told; a small festival in a beautiful setting and not too far from home if I chose to escape.
I will be kitting myself out with some beauty essentials. A festival survival kit which will include quick fixes to feeling fresher.
1. Baby Wipes - There is no point in spending lots of money on face wipes, baby wipes are just as good and half the price. My favourite are Simple baby moisturising wipes with soothing chamomile.
2. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - Inspired by the "elixir of youth" used by Queen Isabelle of Hungry, a spritz of this refreshing aroma and I instantaneously feel revived.
3. Sun cream - I always invest in a good sunscreen for my face with a high factor. Sun damage is the main cause of premature ageing. Beware when face creams say they are anti ageing. Don't be fooled into thinking there is some amazing new chemical ingredient which will get rid of those wrinkles, sometimes it is simply a sunscreen. I love Origins A perfect world SPF 35 - I know this is high but I can vouch after three days in the sun I got a great tan without burning.
4. Batiste Dry Shampoo - This is an age old favourite with many hair stylists and is an essential for boosting some life into dirty, age old hair
5. Clarins beauty flash balm - I have probably already mentioned this on my blog. It is my all time favourite and a life saver for tired and dull looking skin.,default,pd.html?cgid=102
6. Blue - There is a blue theme at this festival so my favourite blue nail polish may need to make an appearance

I have a week to prepare before the festival and I'm sure two nights without my Egyptian cotton sheets can be done. It can't be worse than my cow milking experience last weekend!!! But that's a whole other story!