Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Back To Black - Behind The Make Up

Back To Black

Behind The Make Up..

The Skin..

Great make-up starts with great skin, which is why NuBo's cosmeceutical grade products are a permanent fixture in my professional kit. Loved by celebrities including Kylie and Pixie Lott. I've used their products on pop star / style icon Sunday Girl aka Jade Williams and presenter / model Zara Martin. It's also a firm favourite of Lisa, the gorgeous model pictured above. I recommend clicking on her photo to see the shoot make up close up. I had used NuBo products on her at a previous shoot (including their miraculous White Diamond Ice Glow Mask), leading her to post me a message on Facebook asking if I'd be using the "amazing skin care" again for this shoot.

To prep her skin for Back To Black, I first cleansed with the Cell Dynamic Velvet Cleansing Cream. I always take a few minutes to really massage this rich, creamy, rose-scented cleanser into the neck and face, removing with disposable facial sponges and warm water to gently exfoliate. Containing a tri-peptide, wheat germ and coconut oils, it leaves skin peachy smooth and plumped.

I spritzed her skin with Shu Uemura Lavender Depsea Water to tone and refresh, then pressed NuBo Cell Dynamic The Essence over her neck and face with my palms. This serum works at a cellular level, encouraging healthy and efficient cell function, converting toxins into water, offering essential hydration. It also creates an instant lifting and firming effect.

I tapped NuBo Cell Dynamic Eye Focus around the orbital bone, this eye cream not only tackles the causes of ageing, it also lifts, reduces puffiness and diminishes dark circles - ideal for frazzled models, celebrities and anyone who wants to cheat 8 hours sleep (that would be most of us then).

Next I massaged NuBo White Diamond Radiance Cream into Lisa's neck and face. This product is so silky on the skin, a little goes a very long way. Containing pro-vitamin C, "micronized" diamonds and propionic acid, there is nothing quite like it for instant dewy, luminous skin. It's my go-to cream for shoots, red carpets, special occasions and bridal clients.

On Lisa's lips, I applied a slick of NuBo Instant Lip Perfection SPF15, a silky hydrating balm containing collagen boosters and natural capsicum for a "bee-stung" pout.

Lastly, I soaked two cotton pads in Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic and lay them over Lisa's eyes as a 5 minute mini treatment. Containing extracts of aloe vera, cucumber, calendula and chamomile, as well as vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5, Liz Earle herself taught me this trick for instantly refreshing weary and puffy eyes.


Cell Dynamic Velvet Cleansing Cream - £28
Cell Dynamic The Essence - £200
Cell Dynamic Eye Focus - £180
White Diamond Radiance Cream - £80
Instant Lip Perfection SPF15 - £38

Shu Uemura

Depsea Water (Lavender) - £16.50

Liz Earle

Instant Boost Skin Tonic - £12.50

The Base..

To achieve Lisa's luminous golden glow, I first primed her skin with NuBo Voile in Shade 5 Tan, smoothing over the neck and face.

For her base, I went a a couple of shades darker than her natural fair complexion. In Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free her natural match would be Nude, but for the shoot I used Fawn. I mixed it with a little Benefit Hollywood Glo (discontinued), a pearly pink liquid highlighter. A great alternative would be BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. After mixing together on the back of my hand, I buffed it into her skin with a synthetic foundation brush, starting in the central panel of her face, blending outwards, making sure I covered her neck, ears and decolletage.

Using a synthetic concelar brush, I applied Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC-3 where Lisa needed it, mainly around the sides of the nose, over the lips to neutralise her natural lip colour, and below the bottom lip. I mixed the concealer with a little NuBo Eye Focus to make a creamy concealer for under Lisa's eyes, gently pressing with the tip of my ring finger to blend seamlessly.


Voile (Shade 5, Tan) - £40

Laura Mercier

Tinted Moisturiser Oil Free (Fawn) - £33
Secret Camouflage (SC-3) - £26


Shimmering Skin Perfector (Opal) - £33

The Cheeks 1..

To enhance Lisa's cheekbones and create subtle warmth and luminosity, I buffed the NARS Multiple in Orgasm (peachy pink shot with gold) into the apples of her cheeks with a synthetic blusher brush. I contoured her face and created a golden glow by buffing the NARS Multiple in South Beach (shimmering golden apricot) below her cheekbones. To highlight her cheekbones, I blended Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Slink, an exquisite champagne shimmer, along the tops of her cheeks, using a synthetic highlighting brush.


The Multiple (South Beach) - £29
The Multiple (Orgasm) - £29


Powder Eye Shadow (Slink) - £15.50

The Cheeks 2..

I dusted a little NARS Blusher in Orgasm over the apples of her cheeks (over The Multiple in Orgasm) and swept a tiny amount of NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna (over The Multiple in South Beach) below her cheekbones. Layering the products helped create the sheer, luminous, multidimensional skin finish you see in the shoot image at the top.


Blush (Orgasm) - £21
Bronzing Powder (Laguna) - £25

The Eyes..

I started by priming Lisa's eyelids with the NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.

I wanted the eyes to be a neutral shimmery minky bronze, so I used the neutral bronze shade from the Dolce&Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Mystery, blending it with a natural bristle eye shadow brush from lash line to crease, smudging it beneath the lower lash line to create a halo of colour.

I pressed the Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore (rich russet bronze) over the centre of Lisa's eyelids with a flat synthetic eye shadow brush and blended a little Powder Eye Shadow in Slink on the inner corners of her eyes and her brow bone with a synthetic eye shadow brush to highlight.

Lisa has a feline eye shape, to open her eyes and really make them pop, I applied the NARS Eyeliner Pencil in Iceberg to her water line.

I filled in and slightly extended Lisa's brows with the NARS Eye Liner Pencil in Jodhpur.

I swept The Body Shop Brow & Lash gel through brows to groom and set.

To create a wide-eyed effect, I curled Lisa's Lashes with Illamasqua Eye Lash Curlers.

I finished her eyes with a light slick of Estee Lauder Sumptous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara in Extreme Black, wiping excess product on the back of my hand before sweeping through upper and lower lashes, zig-zagging at the root then sweeping through to the ends.


Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - £18
Eyeliner Pencil (Iceberg) - £16
Eyebrow Pencil (Jodhpur) - £16


Smooth Eye Colour Duo (Mystery) - £29.50


Powder Eye Shadow (Slink) - £15.50
Pure Pigment (Ore) - £15.50
Eye Lash Curlers - £18.50

Estee Lauder

Sumptuos Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara (Extreme Black) - £22

The Lips..

I had already neutralised Lisa's natural lip colour, pressing Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC-3 over them.

I used a natural lip brush to apply several coats of Dolce&Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Nude over Lisa's lips.

The finishing touch was a coat of Dolce&Gabbana Ultra-Shine Lipgloss in Caramel. The effect was a gloiously opaque, vinyl finish beigy nude lip, absolutely stunning.


Classic Cream Lipstick (Nude) - £23
Ultra-Shine Lipgloss (Caramel) - £21

The Body..

To fake a golden glow and highlight Lisa's body, I first massaged Illamasqua Illumine Oil in Pulse (golden tan shimmer) over her skin. Containing Passionflower oil to hydrate, the pearlised particles create a subtle sheen. The scent of this product reminds me of Marc Jacobs Gardenia, it's rather yummy.

Using a synthetic kabuki brush, I buffed Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Enrapture (molten bronze) over Lisa's limbs, to further enhance her glow.

The final touch was a light dusting of New CID Cosmetics i-glow in Sirocco (champagne shimmer) all over her body, using a synthetic kabuki brush.


Illumine Oil (Pulse) - £25
Liquid Metal (Enrapture) - £17.50

New CID Cosmetics

i - glow Compact Shimmer Powder (Sirocco) - £24

The Powder..

I pressed a tiny amount of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under Lisa's eyes to set her under eye concealer, using a flat synthetic concealer brush. This light diffusing miracle is great for tackling dark circles.

Throughout the shoot, I lightly powdered down Lisa's T-Zone with a tiny amount of Daniel Sandler's Invisible Veil Powder, using a large natural bristle powder brush to minimise shine in these areas. Finely milled, I love the barely-there texture of this translucent loose powder, plus it doesn't cake or flake.

Laura Mercier

Secret Brightening Powder - £18.50

Daniel Sandler

Invisible Veil Powder - £22.50




Daniel Sandler

www.beautique.com / www.danielsandler.com



Estee Lauder




Laura Mercier


Liz Earle




New CID Cosmetics




Shu Uemura


To view the Back To Black shoot in it's entirety, go to:


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Back To Black

Back To Black..

When my pal and co-collaborator (or should that be co-conspirator), the immensely talented photographer and post-production genius, James Burton called me up to do a high end lingerie shoot, it was only natural that Fred & Ginger London was the first luxury lingerie brand to spring to mind.

Launched in 2007 by Victoria Holt, I had been sent their first look book when I was style and grooming editor at GT Magazine. Though I couldn't make their launch event, my brain carefully filed the brand away for future projects.

Victoria held the position of senior designer at Jenny Packham for five years (a vintage-inspired and ultra-glamorous red carpet staple), which explains her affection for the finest silk, satin, Chantilly lace and Swarovski crystal trims in her own lingerie collections for Fred & Ginger.

Oddly enough my friend the couture milliner Louis Mariette has designed hats for a Jenny Packham show, styled by our mutual friend, the London/Milan-based international stylist Michael Dye. It's a small world.

It was such a pleasure working with the Fred & Ginger Black Label lingerie on this shoot. The pieces feel absolutely exquisite to the touch, so incredibly soft, yet robustly and intelligently engineered. They say the devil is in the detail and the brand wins hands down on this front.

Our gorgeous model, Lisa @ MOT, was absolutely mad about the pieces she wore. She wanted to know how much they were and where she could purchase them, which is testament to their allure. The female studio manager was also under the spell of the Fred & Ginger London Black Label lingerie, lured to the styling table, like a sailor drawn to his peril by the siren's call.

I'm enamoured of the fact that the collections are manufactured in the UK, which is brilliant for boosting not only domestic employment but also the global presence of a new luxury British lingerie brand.

The French have always been synonymous with the most sumptuous, sensual lingerie, but with the rise of Fred & Ginger London, the people at Kiki de Montparnasse are going to have to watch their backs (and their profit and loss accounts).

Top and below are the final shoot images, peruse the shots at your leisure, dream of the lingerie, or Lisa, or both - and simply click on the shots to admire them in all their glory.

Black Label Balconette Bra - £110
Black Label Satin Boy Shorts - £65
Black Label Suspender Belt - £70


Photographer - James Burton


Model - Lisa at MOT


Hair - Cinta Miller


Make-Up & Styling - Ian Brown