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The Molotov pigtails guide to skincare for sensitised skin. Part II- moisturisers

This is the second part to my list of reviews of various skincare products I’ve used on my dry, sensitive and breakout prone skin. Enjoy!

Moisturisers

  

Clarins daily energiser cream-gel

As mentioned in my previous post, I used to work under the clarins group, but I actually bought this when I was repurchasing the cleansing milk to qualify for a gift with purchase (I’m not the only one who has done this). It was recommended to me on counter as it was within my price range, targeted for my skin type and age group and I quite liked the consistency.

This product is available as both a cream and a gel cream, and I opted for the gel as it was more lightweight for summer. 

I had no issues with sensitivity or breakouts, but it wasn’t as hydrating as I would have hoped and I found that it made my skin feel a little sticky after application, but that would fade away after half an hour or so. It looks beautiful under makeup, but it wasn’t fantastic for my skin. It’s probably better for a normal skin type than my dehydrated skin and it’s nice and lightweight. The price is also right as it was around $40AUD.

  
Kiehl’s ultra facial cream

I was given a deluxe sample of this by a friend who works at kiehl’s who was concerned about my sensitivity. 

This product was really hydrating and very gentle. It feels beautiful on the skin and looks great under makeup. I had a mild breakout, but this was also during my first few weeks of trying my clarisonic and when I tried it again later, I didn’t have that issue so I think it was more of an issue with the initial breakouts you get with a clarisonic and less to do with the formulation. This is a product I would use again as it’s economical to buy and a good all rounder.

  
Clinique dramatically different moisturising lotion +

This is another old faithful of mine. The consistency is very lightweight and it smoothes out and soothes the skin almost instantly. I prefer it in the summer as I need a more heavy duty moisturiser in the cooler months, but I can’t really fault this product except for the slight sheen that it leaves on the skin for a couple of hours afterwards.

It’s beautiful under makeup but I honestly would only use this with the rest of the Clinique 3 step products, where I feel it works best.

  
Creme de la mer moisturising cream

I was given a couple of samples of this by the beautiful girl from la met after we got talking about my quest for the perfect moisturiser.

This moisturiser was amazing on my skin, but it’s very rich and I realised quickly that a little goes a long way. The consistency is quite firm initially and it sort of melts onto the skin once it’s warmed by your body heat, so it’s better to leave on the back of your hand for a couple of moments before applying unless you’re having a mid winter dry skin crisis and really need the extra product.

The price made my eyes water though, so I never repurchased it and, while it was lovely, it isn’t lovely enough for me to justify the price tag when there are a lot of other wonderful moisturisers on the market.

  
Laura Mercier infusion de rose nourishing creme

I fell in love with this moisturiser when it came out. It’s very rich and heavy, but feels feather soft on the skin and is incredibly hydrating. It also smells divine, just like rose water. 

I had no issues with my skin whatsoever using this product as it’s designed for all skin types and marketed towards “stressed” skin. It’s not cheap, but a wonderful moisturiser to have in your arsenal.

  

Laura Mercier infusion de rose nourishing oil

This, on the other hand, hated me. The fragrance made my skin irritated and sad. I broke out, I got a rash on my cheekbones and it added an unwanted sheen to my skin. I was devastated, I really wanted to love this product but it simply wasn’t meant to be.

I would recommend this oil for more mature skin, or dry skin which isn’t sensitive or even a combination to oily skin type instead of a night cream. A cool feature of this product is that you’re able to add a few drops of it to any other moisturiser to turn it into a night cream or treatment, just make sure you’ve checked your skin for irritation first.

  

Natio badescu hyaluronic day cream 

I trialled this recently as I needed a new moisturiser, but didn’t have a huge budget for it.

This cream is hydrating, but not overly rich. It’s lightweight and absorbs in quickly, which is great under makeup, and it also smoothes out the skin slightly. Your skin will be natural, not dewy, after it settles into the skin, which is great for those who have more combination skin and don’t want to look shiny.

I like this product, but I don’t love it. It does it’s job, but doesn’t improve the skin by any means. It doesn’t irritate or break me out, which is fantastic, but it’s an ok moisturiser, not a great one.

  
Mario badescu seaweed night cream

I bought this with the hyaluronic day cream. It’s nice and affordable, which is a plus when buying a night cream as they can be very expensive.

Again, this cream is probably better for normal or combination skin, even oily skin. It mattifies slightly and while it’s moisturising, it starts off sticky and takes an effort to really work it into the skin. It stops being sticky after a few minutes, then settles to a natural matte and smoothes the skin.

Again, no irritation or breakouts but, like the hyaluronic day cream, it was ok. It’s something I would buy when I have a lower budget, but not something I would buy if I was more cashed up and had better options available.

  
Laura Mercier repair eye serum

This is a game changer for eye serums. It’s super hydrating, non irritating and has an optical brightener so it actually slightly counters the appearance of dark eye circles and brightens. 

It’s made with argan oil as a key ingredient, but it’s not too rich or oily. It’s actually surprisingly light weight and I love using this.

  
Lancôme hydra zen neurocalm soothing anti-stress moisturising cream

I’ll give you a minute to recover from the ridiculously long name.

Ok, still there? Good. Stick around for this review.

This was the holy grail of moisturisers for me. It’s a beautiful consistency, not too heavy but not too light. It isn’t shiny, but gives a naturally dewy finish which glows under your makeup like you’ve been eating well and have an adequate amount of sleep. As I see the statistics of who views my posts, I know you’re not sleeping well because you guys are on my blog at 2am. You probably need this. 

A little goes a long way. The moment I applied it, I could almost hear a chorus of angels  because it starts soothing the skin straight away. It’s so comfortable and does everything it’s meant to do and more. I won’t start raving, but I would like to. 

What’s your favourite moisturiser? Leave me a comment!

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I also have a personal Instagram for those of you who feel like viewing my non makeup related antics!

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The Molotov pigtails guide to skincare for sensitised skin. Part I- cleansers.

I’ve always had difficulty finding skincare which works for my skin as I have very dry, sensitive skin but I’m also prone to hormonal breakouts (fun!). As a result, I’ve tried a lot of different cleansers, moisturisers and serums, oils and toners to see which works for me. Here is a list of products which I’ve used and some short reviews to accompany them, as you may find them helpful. I’m not sponsored by any skincare brands, so these are either products that I’ve bought myself or have been sampled by various counters. I’ll be breaking this segment into a few parts, so this is part I.

Cleansers

  

Clarins cleansing milk

I was working for a brand who was owned by the clarins group, so I was able to buy clarins skincare at a discounted price for a short while. In this time, I bought myself a small bottle of the cleansing milk and repurchased it again at a department store a few months later at the full size as I really liked it.

This cleanser is very gentle, quite moisturising and really smoothes out the skin, however I found better results using it with my clarisonic as I found that it didn’t really cleanse away leftover makeup or dead skin without the buffing motion of the clarisonic brush. 

In my opinion, this cleanser would be fantastic for extremely dehydrated skin, especially more mature skin, but if you wear a lot of makeup (like I did when I was working on makeup counters), you’ll need to invest in a heavy duty makeup remover or use a cleansing oil beforehand.

  
Shu uemura cleansing oil

I had some friends working at the shu uemura counter who were kind enough to give me a sample bottle of the cleansing oil (the green one, as they said it would work well with my skin type).

I have always loved shu uemura cleansing oil, but this was definitely more gentle than the original formula which I used a few years ago. It works beautifully to remove all traces of makeup and hydrates as it cleanses without making drying out the skin or adding a sheen of oily residue. I found I still need to moisturise quite a bit afterwards, as I have quite dry skin, but I encountered no sensitivity or breakouts as a result. 

  
Josie Maran argan cleansing oil

I bought a bottle of this product from MECCA around a year ago as I was searching for the perfect skincare. It was more hydrating than other cleansing oils I’ve used, but it was so sticky. The texture really put me off, especially as it’s really hard to rinse off because it’s the consistency of honey. It tastes foul and, unfortunately, tends to run onto your lips because it’s really sticky. 

However, it did a beautiful job of cleansing off all makeup and debris and also left my skin very hydrated, so I didn’t need to use heaps of moisturiser afterwards. I also didn’t have any issues with breakouts or sensitivity.

  
Sukin sensitive cleansing gel

I bought this from Priceline a couple of months ago as I really needed a new cleanser and was on a bit of a budget. It’s very cheap (under $10), so I didn’t have an issue with buying it without any knowledge of how it would work because I  wouldn’t have felt bad if I had an irritation and had to give it to someone else.

I use this with my clarisonic and find it works really beautifully with it. It’s by no means improved my skin texture, but it also hasn’t made my skin worse and I’ve had no reactions for it. Definitely a good budget buy.

  
Clinique mild liquid facial soap

I was a devotee of Clinique skincare for years, as a result of buying the three step for ages, there’s always a bottle of this laying around in my house which I’ll use when I run out of cleanser or in between brands.

This is a product that I always go back to. It’s very gentle, it cleanses well and I never have any bad reactions to using it. It’s also not a ground breaking formula, so while it does the job, it’s nothing special by itself. it works better with the entire three step and is probably one of the products you can substitute easily when using Clinique skincare without messing up your results. Nonetheless, it’s not too expensive, it works well and I will always have some handy in my bathroom.
Which cleansers would you recommend for dry/sensitive/angry skin? Leave me a comment below.
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I’m available on Facebook and Instagram.

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Instagram giveaway

  
I’m doing a giveaway on Instagram!
One lucky follower will win a sugarpill cosmetics Edward scissorhands palette and their new liquid lipstick, designed by my favourite merbabe Bei Badgirl in the shade trinket (which launches on Thursday!)

To enter, simply follow me on Instagram at @molotovpigtails,  repost this image and tag #molotovgiveaway
Entries close on February 28th and the winner will be chosen randomly via a random number generator. Keep your fingers crossed, and good luck!

“Brows on fleek”- why today’s negative criticism of makeup is blocking our creative process in the makeup world.

  
Every day, at least one Facebook friend will share or be tagged in a meme like this and make some derogatory comment. Every day, I respect that person less as a result of that behaviour.

I’m a makeup artist, I run a beauty blog and I actually run lessons to teach people from all walks of life how to apply makeup. I could teach you fifty different ways to contour, to fill in your brows or overdraw your lips whilst covering any areas that you may perceive as flaws… But there’s a difference between educating somebody and bullying strangers on the Internet.

  
The Internet is unforgiving of perceived mistakes and flaws in others, this will be made apparent the moment you read YouTube comments. However, there seems to be an alarming rise in the amount of women and men who become ridiculed at a viral level because of a “basic contour” or “sharpie brows” or whatever people feel like picking apart from that person’s appearance at any given time.

This is not a vapid industry, this is an artistic industry. There is a science to each formula and how it works and a science behind how each colour and placement and texture can create an optical illusion or hide our battle scars, our tiredness or our need to embrace positive change on an outer level whilst we work towards the same on an inner one. It does take a scientist to figure out how to make something safe for your eyes or that will make your hair shiny. 

I believe educating others on how to achieve a technique they find challenging and to provide constructive criticism when it is wanted and asked for, but I’m disgusted with the public tarring and feathering that has been happening since contouring became a “thing” in the mainstream media and to consumers. Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t grab the torches and pitchforks when you see makeup you perceive as being “bad” in some way:
1. Everyone starts somewhere.

We are all learning ways to better ourselves and our daily routines as we go through our lives. Some people find it easier than others to learn with different mediums. Where your strengths may lie in making yourself over, other people have their own strengths that you may struggle with. Some people have different face shapes and skin tones to what is perceived as normal and some people have finally found the courage to try something new. Look at your pictures from high school and tell me you’re not cringing. If you’re in high school now, look at your parents wedding photos or candid pictures from holidays. See my point? Good. Sit down.

2. There is more than one way to look or feel attractive or have a sense of self worth.

We are not all cut from the same cloth, nor should we be. Enough said. We develop new techniques and formulas and trends based on the fact that we are diverse as a species and all strive for different things. We cannot progress if we are complacent with the status quo or if we never rock the boat… And how boring would that be?

3. Makeup has never been made to fulfil a singular purpose.

Makeup is a medium like any other. It can be used to turn people into monsters, to porcelain dolls, to caricatures or to a version of ourselves that we feel projects our inner selves. We have prosthetics and special effects makeup that we use for costumes and film, we have makeup designed specifically to hide roseacea, acne or scars. We have makeup to imitate or to hide tattoos, injuries or different shapes and textures on our bodies. It is a field that should be played with and embraced if you want to and left alone if you choose to. There is no law stating that we need to use it in a particular way except any instructions made by manufacturers for safety reasons (ie. Not tested for use with eyes). Don’t rob people of their artistic freedom.

4. How other people choose to present themselves is none of your business unless they make it your business.

Repeat it. 

And again.

Keep repeating this.
If someone wishes to learn, give them the gift of your knowledge or skills. If they don’t want your advice, it’s not yours to give.
5. A makeup artist will always find flaw with your own makeup, no matter how great you think it looks.

If it would hurt you to have a professional cut down the precious time and money you’ve spent on your own face (which we can do in an objective way), don’t do it to others. Don’t be a jerk, it hurts people’s feelings. You don’t get a gold star for getting the kylie Jenner look down quicker than the people around you. For every judgement you make about how someone looks “bad”, someone somewhere is judging you for being mean spirited and vapid.

6. Fashion changes.

Like most things in life, fashion is in a constant state of flux. The things that people covet now will not be relevant in fie years, let alone later in your life. Work towards feeling good about yourself now and being a decent human being, this is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life when the current look you’re aiming for has been irrelevant for a long time, possibly forgotten entirely.

So please, can we try to do no more of this:  

 
And more praise for each other in general. It’s makeup. It washes off. We will all look back at this current trend with a sense of nostalgia and embarrassment, just like every other era.

Behind the scenes photo diary of today’s shoot

Today I was doing hair and makeup for a student of the Melbourne institute of fashion. For something a little different, I’m going to show you a behind the scenes look at my day.
  
I travelled very light today as it was a single hair and makeup look and I only ever pack the tools I need. 

    
 The makeup look was meant to be very clean and glamorous with a bold lip and the hair was a loose wave with a nod to old Hollywood.  

  
I curled all the hair with a wide barrelled tong and pinned up the curls while they were warm to keep the curls in place and then started on the makeup.

  
While we were shooting in a bar on Brunswick st, the preparation was done at the Melbourne fashion institute. The view was amazing and i was very grateful to have good natural light to use for once.

  
Then we travelled to the shoot location. My client had booked out the lovely polly cocktail bar on Brunswick st. After setting up the equipment, it was Showtime.

  
Throughout the course of a shoot, there’s lots of fiddling involved to touch up the clothing and makeup for each look and to make sure it looks fresh.
Today was a lot of fun and I’ll be looking forward to seeing the finished product soon. Hope you guys enjoyed my little photo diary of today’s hard work.

  

The last year in a single shot

Photographer in all five shots is Kynan O’meara

Samantha Morrison is the model in the featured image, with hairstyling, wardrobe styling and makeup by MOLOTOV PIGTAILS hairstyling and makeup.

Models appearing on the bottom (left to right):

Annika lammers (styled by hair self, hair and makeup by MOLOTOV PIGTAILS)

Dylan peck

Laura Kinross and Laura Rose, with wardrobe styling and accessories by Michelle Chorny from Pokkerdot Lane.

Yana martens. Hairpiece by lady petrova.
Please follow me on Instagram for more regular updates: @molotovpigtails

Also, find me on Facebook

I’ll endeavour to update this blog more regularly now that I have a little more time on my hands.

What’s in my bathroom

So today for something a little different, I’m going to tell you all the products I use on a regular basis. I don’t like shameless plugs for particular brands, but I also use a variety of products for my skin, hair and makeup that vary depending on season, the condition of my hair/skin and depending on where I’m working at the time.

I think there’s a real problem that people have with product loyalty. There are so many fantastic brands out there, but each usually has one or two strong points. It’s always better to experiment and find a variety of things that work for you. Ask any makeup artist (when they’re not behind a counter and forced to promote the brand they work for), and they’ll rattle off a list of several brands and products that work for them.

Hair care

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At the moment, I’m big on using Redken products. My hair has taken a beating this year due to a lot of bleaching and colouring, so I’m alternating between the diamond oil range and the extreme shampoo and conditioner (for added protein). I find that Joico’s KPAK range can be quite drying, but a lot of people swear by it.

Post bleach, I always follow with a hayashi “emergency 911” protein treatment, which I mix with a few drops of Argan oil. It’s a godsend for damaged hair.
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My favourite toning shampoo is by NAK, it contains Argan oil and it’s quite nourishing and I buy it in a big pack with a toning leave in conditioner.

When my hair is a vibrant colour, I like to use Shiseido “Tsubaki Shining” products as coloured hair can be quite dull and lustreless.

I love Argan oil to add shine and softness post styling and I also do DIY coconut oil treatments once every month when my hair is especially dry, frizzy or damaged. It works wonders and it’s cheaper than any store bought treatment.

Skin
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I keep alternating between the Clinique 3 step and the Kiehl’s non detergent foaming cleanser followed by a Mario badescu oil free moisturiser in the summer or if it’s especially humid.

Although my skin is quite dry, I’m probe to breakout due to sensitivity so I avoid fragranced skincare or any moisturisers with an SPF.

Occasionally, I’ll use a few drops of Estée Lauder advanced night repair serum before bed in the cooler months or if I’ve dried out my skin by going to the beach. I rarely have any at home, so it’s really up to when Estée Lauder are giving out samples (ha!)

Makeup

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I always use a primer before my foundation. My favourites are the Smashbox photo finish primer (the colour correcting one), primed and poreless or a cheap face of Australia primer that I pick up at Priceline… It’s surprisingly moisturising to the skin and gives a great finish to the fuller coverage foundations.

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My current favourite foundation is Illamasqua Skinbase. Perfect medium coverage, a nice flawless finish and perfect for autumn and spring when you need a balance in products.

In the winter months, I gravitate towards MAC studiofix, which I blend with the Napoleon Perdis “beauty boosting balm” to get a nice dewy finish. They work so well together that it’s actually ridiculous.

On nights out, I wear studiofix alone for the fuller coverage.

In the summer, I wear Clinique super balanced foundation or their anti blemish solutions foundation as they’re nice and light and don’t make my face feel disgusting when I get sweaty.

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My good friend Holly gave me the “by terry hyaluronic blush” for my birthday last year (in blushberry, a nice cool pink) and I adore this product. It’s really blendable, highly pigmented (a little goes a LONG way) and has an amazing finish.

I also love the Illamasqua cream blush in “rude” and MAC blush in “peaches” and “pink moon”.

I use a Kryolan concealer wheel, illamasqua gleam in “aurora” or MAC “soft and gentle” as a highlighter (depending on how dark my skin is at the time).

I set my base with Kryolan translucent powder, as I do with all my clients.

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My favourite lipsticks are the NARS semi mattes and Napoleon Perdis matte-tastic lipsticks (above). I only use Napoleon, MAC, Kryolan or rimmel lip pencils.

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For eyeshadows, I stick mainly to Kryolan and Inglot because of the great colour payoff, affordable price tag and the convenience of the large palettes. I also but individual shadows from MAC and a few other brands if it’s an especially interesting colour.

I almost exclusively use gel liner and usually go between Napoleon Perdis or Kryolan because they’re quite soft and easy to apply and blend and also quite affordable. I like Napoleon, MAC and Stila kohl pencils as they’re the perfect consistency and don’t end up all over your face if it’s hot outside.

As far as brows go, I alternate between Bobbi Brown pencils and the smashbox brow crayons (they come with a clear gel and it’s AWESOME). For a more graphic brow or when my hair is dark, I’ll use a dark brown shadow with an angle brush.

Fragrance

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I only wear four fragrances: Estée Lauder “beyond paradise” (above) and Marc Jacobs “Lola” in the summer; Thierry Mugler “angel” and Jean Paul Gaultier “classique” in the winter.

So thats it. A boring list of what a pro makeup artist uses on a daily basis to look, feel and smell nice.

What are your favourite makeup/skincare/hair products? What do you think I should add to my routine?

Giveaway reminder

Just a quick reminder that my giveaway ends on Monday, September 3rd.

The winner will receive a free, 90 minute makeup lesson either face to face or via Skype (for those interstate or overseas).

To enter, you must “like” Molotov pigtails on facebook and share the giveaway picture.

You may enter as many times as you please, but the more entries you make, the greater your odds of winning. Winners will be informed via facebook and will be randomly selected.

Thanks and good luck.