Recently, I was fortunate enough to do makeup for Ryan brown from joey scandizzo salons and his entry for the wella stylevision competition. I am pleased to announce that our work was shortlisted to the top 10 nationally and, as a result, we will be going through to the finals to recreate this look again and hopefully onwards to overseas if all goes well.
You can find Ryan’s amazing hair work herehere.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I also have a personal Instagram for those of you who feel like viewing my non makeup related antics!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget to follow me on social media!
I also have a personal Instagram, if you want to follow my antics outside of the makeup world.
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.
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.
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)
Laura Kinross and Laura Rose, with wardrobe styling and accessories by Michelle Chorny from Pokkerdot Lane.
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.
The downside is that there are time like now where I need to give my hair some downtime or it really will fall out.
(Quick recap, in the last three month my hair has been dark blonde, light blonde, a mixture of pink and turquoise, pure turquoise, mint green, white blonde, hot pink and now it’s black again….. Whew)
I’ve got a great protein treatment that I work with to keep my hair happy and as healthy as possible during my madness, but they’re not nourishing enough to give your hair the dose of hydration it needs to keep it soft and shiny.
Enter diamond oil.
I originally bought the treatment
Which looks like this. I was hooked. My super thick, frizzy and frazzled hair would feel super soft and nourished after a mere five minutes with this baby in. The trick is to scoop out slightly less than you think you’ll need. It feels sort of firm in the jar, but it literally melts into your hair like butter. Amazing. Plus it smells great.
I’ve heard feedback from people with rather fine hair that this product is simply too heavy, which I feel is a fair response. I would avoid it if your hair is also naturally quite oily unless you’re targeting damaged ends as it will weigh your hair down and make the oiliness worse. This product is designed for dry, damaged, thicker hair… Otherwise I would recommend the conditioner instead. This isn’t a cheap treatment, but it goes a long way and it does wonders.
After being addicted to the treatment, I ended up buying the actual oil as well to care for the ends of my hair extensions. The oil is fairly lightweight but, again, a little goes a long way and a few drops is more than enough.
This oil is a jack of all trades, you can use it instead of your Argan oil to make your hair glossy and soft after styling. You can dowse your hair in if before washing to keep your shampoo from stripping it dry if it’s especially damaged. You can sleep with a double or triple dose as a nourishing overnight treatment, you can even add a few drops to your conditioner to turn it into a hair treatment.
It’s fantastic value and comes in a beautiful glass bottle shaped like a diamond with a glass dropper. The main negative feedback I’ve heard is that the button on the dropper eventually stops working and pouring it out is wasteful as you’ll always have too much. The other problem is, obviously, the fact the bottle is glass…. Being so breakable is not a great way to make this portable for overnight trips or for us stylists.
Overall I would give the products a 4/5. They’re fairly good value, work the way they’re meant to but the price is unattainable for some people plus the packaging could use a few tweaks. I would recommend only for people who need the moisture and have hair thick enough to absorb the oils, otherwise redken have some other great products like the “all soft” range which is less heavy going.
As I continue to reiterate in my posts, I have a real distaste for misinformation being provided to people about beauty, makeup and skincare. Most magazines and blogs seem to spurt the same few tips, ideas and how-to guides every few months… the problem with this is that some of the advice that is given to the public is not necessarily true (or at least not to everyone) and the makeup wearing public become afraid of using techniques that might actually be helpful for the look they’re trying to achieve or may be more flattering to them than the path most trodden.
I think it’s important to break down these tips that people follow that are actually doing them a disservice, so here are a few of the “pearldrops of wisdom” that my clients swear by, and are surprised by how great they look by breaking these rules.
1. You can only focus on eye makeup or lips, not both.
This is the number one most common “rule” that I keep hearing from customers and clients.
“Oh no, I can’t wear bright lipstick and have a smokey eye- I’ll look like a drag queen” is pretty much word for word what I hear. Here’s a quick newsflash for you: yes, you can.
You can wear a shade of lipstick that isn’t a “nude” shade with smudgey eyeliner and glamorous dark eye makeup. You can wear red lipstick with a black smokey eye. You can add more liner and some false lashes with a deep plum lip. This concept that it’s somehow “balancing” to only have one focal point is nonsense. If you really like dark mysterious eyes and nude lips, that’s awesome. If you really like bold pop lips and nothing but mascara on the eyes, that’s fine too. If you wish you could wear both, stop wishing and do it. Who doesn’t want their whole face to look great, not just one feature??
See in the above photo how the girl pictured doesn’t look like a drag queen? Notice how she still looks glamorous and not like she’s been shot in the face with Homer Simpson’s infamous makeup gun? It’s about balance. Not the balance that the beauty editor in some teen magazine told you about to sell magazines and perpetuate myths, actual balance.
If you want to have intense eyes and intense lips, you need to match the intensity between both. Choose colours that work well together instead of clashing- blue eyeshadow and coral lipstick looks garish and definitely over the top, but a brown/black smokey and a deep shade of plum or red does not. The reason being that you’ve picked a colour scheme for the whole face, nothing clashes, nothing tries to compete.
Here’s how you can pull this off:
– Pick eye and lip colours together and see that they complement eachother
– When applying your makeup, take breaks and look at your face as a whole and not just the feature you’re applying makeup to
– You only look as stupid as you feel. If you want to clash colours and don’t give a damn, you’ll look great. People will compliment you on being able to pull off such a daring look. If you look embarrassed, people will point out ways you could have done better- rude and embarrassing.
2. Brows need to be pencilled in darker or completely re-shaped to look good
Look at this picture of Miranda Kerr and hang your head in shame.
In fact, look at any runway beauty shots. Unless you stumble upon the Chanel statement brows from the last few seasons or an especially colourful collection by Galliano, most models, actresses, etc keep their brows looking pretty natural. They’re not pencilled in darker than they usually are, they’re not shaped to be perfect Marilyn Monroe shaped brows, they keep them the way they are.
Celebrities are meant to look like themselves, having an interesting mole on your face or straight brows instead of curved ones adds to their appeal. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you. Filling in lightly with a shadow the same colour as your actual eyebrows will show off your natural shape and keep brows from looking sparse or unruly.
Here’s how to live without a brow pencil:
– Fill them in with an angle brush and eyeshadow
– If you absolutely must use a pencil, pick one shade lighter than you think you’ll need
– Small, light-handed strokes will prevent you from looking like Malibu Barbie
– They’re seriously just eyebrows. They are literally pieces of hair that grow on your head, considering how much hair women actually remove from their bodies, it seems ridiculous to rave about 2 small patches of hair that sit above our eyes.
3. People with smaller lips should wear nude lipgloss (and not dark lipstick)
Notice how Dita Von Teese doesn’t have lips like a cod fish? She wears red lipstick every day without over drawing them to oblivion. Again, part of this comes under the “you only look as stupid as you feel” speech I made earlier, but realistically, if you’re filling in your lips correctly and lining them correctly, your lips will look no larger or smaller than they normally do.
I personally have tiny little lips like a cat’s bum. However, I over draw my lips just slightly. With a nude lip, it’s hard to actually see the genius correcting I do on my lip shape to give them a more Marilyn like appeal, but the second I’ve got a nice red, a deep plum or even black and the liner contrasts obviously against my face, my lips look huuuuuge in comparison to how they normally look. A lot of clients literally assume that I just have perfect lips (which I don’t)
Here’s how to wear whatever damn shade of lipstick you want:
– Find the colour that you want
– Fill in lips with liner to keep a cleaner colour and a longer lasting result
– Apply lipstick with your preferred method.
– Check your teeth a thousand times with a touch of paranoia
– With the same lip pencil you used earlier, draw in the shape of your lip line. Do this with your mouth closed once you’ve finished that precarious spot on the sides of your mouth where one wrong move means a clown face. The reason you should do this with your mouth closed is that you’ll get a more natural result and it’s easier to see if your lip shape is even on both sides. Symmetrical lips look fuller.
4. False eyelashes are for strippers and drag queens and look totally fake.
Katy Perry is pretty rad looking, so I can understand your confusion here, but bear with me. She wears out there outfits, not out there makeup. Her makeup is surprisingly demure for someone who shoots whipped cream from her boobs on stage. False eyelashes, when chosen and applied properly, will not instantly make you look like an extra from a B-grade porno. They won’t transform you into RuPaul if you weren’t already wearing drag makeup. They will, however, open up the eye a lot and make you look awake and alluring and super feminine.
Here’s how to overcome your fear of glueing foreign objects dangerously close to your eyes:
– Pick the right kind of lashes for the occasion. If you find strip lashes easier (most people do) then find some which have the hairs spaced out instead of compacted very tightly.
– Pick lashes which are not all completely the same length. These always look fake.
– Lashes which are soft and moveable will always look more fluttery and siren-like than rock hard, too-shiney ones cut into bizarre geometric shapes. These are the cheap party wigs of the false eyelash world- great for costume parties but not for convincing anyone that you’re just actually a complete fox.
– Go with your bad self and wear whatever the hell you want on your face.
I’m one of those people who never stops playing with their hair. I grow it out, get extensions or cut it super short without much thought as to why I feel a need to change it constantly.
Short hair is great and definitely not boyish when it’s cut well. It defines your jawline and lifts the cheekbones, plus it’s easy to still have a fringe to hide wonky hairlines or larger foreheads.
A lot of people are under the impression that short hair is low maintenance and easy to style, this is simply not the case. Anyone who copied Victoria beckham’s bob before will know what I’m talking about. It grows out quickly, meaning it’s easy to look messy, plus unlike longer hair which can be tied up off the face, it’s always hard to think of ways to style it. I’ve complied a guide of easy styles for my fellow short-haired women who are stuck for ideas.
1. Straight and textured
This is a fairly simple one. After washing hair, blow dry straight with a comb (pixie cuts), or a paddle brush (heading nearer bob territory). Straighten out any kinks or fluffy parts with your favourite hot iron and smooth through some serum or Argan oil to add shine.
Next, apply a pea sized amount of hard wax or styling putty to your fingertips. Rub your fingertips together to spread product to both hands and warm it up. Then run fingers through the ends and mid lengths of your hair to make the ends nice and piecey. If you want a messier edge, mess up your hair, literally scrunching and rubbing it in any direction you see fit. You’ve used too much product if you can see the product in your hair (it will look dirty, oily or hard) or your hair feels sticky.
Like the above style, your hair will need to be relatively straight to work. Depending on your hair’s natural texture, you will need to either blow dry or straighten the hair.
These styles work better on slightly dirty hair, so leave this for day old hair.
Using pomade or styling putty, palm through hair and then flip hair forward, back comb the section of hair from the middle of the front of your hairline using a teasing comb or tail comb if you’re desperate. Then, brush hair backward again, being sure to smooth the front of any visible teasing unless you’re after a more punk rock look. Set with a tiny amount of pomade/wax/putty/hairspray and smooth over.
This style is easy to achieve for growing our bobs or shoulder length hair. The less layering you have in your hair, the easier it will be to achieve.
First, blow wave your hair with a round brush. After blow drying each section, roll it into a Velcro roller (smallest at mid and bottom layers nearest face, small-medium at bottom layers, medium in middle layer, large at the top layers and crown). With your fringe/bangs, roll the hair backwards in the roller, towards your crown, for the vintage look.
Lightly spray the lot with hairspray. Once it’s cooled completely, gently roll (don’t pull or drag through the hair!!!) out the rollers. Run your hands through the curls to gently smooth and separate and mist with more hairspray. For a super 50s-60s style look, back comb the fringe and crown for extra height.
Alternatively, curl hair with tongs and brush out or use hot rollers. Too easy.
For a totally cool rock and roll look loved by Kate moss, debbie Harry (pictured) and pretty much every English “it-girl”, rough dry hair using your fingers to comb it relatively straight. Push the hair forwards slightly as you blow dry it to achieve semi straightness. Next (and this depends on length), add a texturising powder to the roots and scrunch hairspray through the mid lengths or simply scrunch in soft to medium wax through the hair. It will stop looking so crazy after about ten minutes and sit in a more straight style with a defined, messy edge to it. If you have ridiculously thick hair like I do, it’s better to blow dry with a paddle brush instead of your fingers before following the other steps.