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WARPAINT*

"I love the smell of lipstick in the morning..."

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Some sort of disclaimer…

Hello lovelies,

Some of you may have noticed my absence from Warpaint over the past few weeks, the Godshonest truth is that I never wanted to be a “blogger” so to speak. The internet is so saturated with makeup artists these days in way that didn’t exist ten years ago, you feel you have to join in in some way, you have to have a Twitter, and an Instagram, and two hundred thousand followers. Bedroom makeup artists are considered superstars of the internet. You have to produce makeup tutorials and have a Youtube channel and a Vine and god knows what else. I really 100% do enjoy writing and putting together the posts I produce on Warpaint, but what I hate is feeling it has to be a once or twice a week thing, in order to remain “visible” or whatever the buzzword is for that kind of thing in the world of blogs. I want to write about what inspires me, as and when it does, and as it is I feel I’m churning out content I’m not particularly inspired by, just to keep up. Truly, what I love, is when I’m out there on the job, simply being a makeup artist and being in the moment, creating something beautiful. Everything else to me is just fluff and a little bit of a drag.

Writing this blog began to feel like a chore to fit in between jobs, and that was never my hope for it when it first began. I find it so odd that when I started out, being a makeup artist was that, and that alone. Now we’re encouraged to be some sort of celebrity, with an “on-line” presence and a “brand”. I never wanted to be the girl that everyone looked at, or the centre of attention. I never care how many twitter followers I have, it’s just not why I do the job that I love to do. Nor am I hating on people who do do that very successfully may I add, it’s just a case a different strokes for different folks! So maybe that’s why the drive to post content here week after week just isn’t there for me. I’m all for moving with the times, but I’m also all for keeping it real and doing what makes me happy, and that is creating the makeup itself.

I do intend to find a way to come back more regularly eventually, but for now I’m just going to leave Warpaint here to fend for herself for a while, and see what happens. Who knows, next year I may be back on a daily basis. I do have some ideas in the pipeline in regards to where I’d like to take the idea of a makeup blog, or more a kind of web-hub for working makeup artists, but they’re some way off being a reality just yet.

I’ve loved hearing all of your feedback so far, and this isn’t the end, but until I figure out the best way to provide you with the unending stream of great posts that I want to, without scrimping on content, it is going to have to be a ciao for now.

See you soon beautiful people!

…x

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Makeup Breakdown ; Neon Jungle - “Louder” ; Part One

Back in April the little ladies of Neon Jungle shot their fourth video, with utterly lovely director Colin Tilley (of Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown etc fame) in the stunning location of Chatham’s Historic Dockyards, Kent.  I’ve worked with the girls now for over a year, and have had the pleasure of seeing them change so much in that time, really coming into their own and transforming from a bunch of young girls into fully fledged pop stars, with an incredibly strong, nuanced and unique look to match.

Louder is an undeniably epic song, and after seeing the initial video treatment, all dark romantic shades and rock goddess performances, I knew each girl would need a powerful makeup look that could hold it’s own.  I worked through a variety of options with the girls to create each of their individual looks, and over the next few weeks on Warpaint I’ll be breaking them down, one at a time.

First up… the beautiful Miss Jess!

One of Jess’s makeup heroes, which I must say pleases me no end, is the bronzed diva herself, HRH Jennifer Lopez.  Sunkissed golden shades are a frickin dream on Jess’s rich olive toned skin, set against that honey coloured hair.  I wanted each of the girls’ looks to be expensive, with rich tones and textures, but Jess was embracing a more natural makeup look at this point, so we needed to find that middle ground, something striking and luxurious whilst still comfortable for her to wear.

To begin with I drew up one moodboard to illustrate what you could call, ahem, “skinspiration”, for all of the girls.  I wanted them each to have super polished ethereal skin from head to toe.  The lighting in the video showed this off beautifully, which gave me a slight makeupgasm when watching the monitors throughout the day.

The board below was for Jess’s individual look. Stylist Anna Hughes-Chamberlain had her rocking a beautifully simple, nude Tom Ford designed dress that would be perfectly complemented by the deeper nude and gold shades in the makeup.  Jess’s makeup design was all about a velvety, winged smokey eye in soft shades of brown, uber sculpted skin and dewy golden skin and highlights.

Below is the simplified face chart, along with Jess’s final look in the video itself, and a run down of products used. Such a beautiful girl, and such a wearable look!  Ohhhh Jess, you massive babe.

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Skin primed with Illamasqua Satin Primer

Foundation - Nars Sheer Matte Foundation, a mix of Stromboli and Tahoe

Concealer - Mac Studio Finish NC35 (mixed beneath the eyes with a little Benefit Ooh La Lift)

Light dusting of Ben Nye Banana Powder to the T-Zone

Cheeks contoured with Mac Sculpting Powder Pro Palette shade “Sculpt”

Additional contouring and bronzing work with Benefit Hoola and Mac Mineralize Skindifinish Natural in shade “Dark”

All highlights of the face amplified with Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in “Soft and Gentle”

Eyes - Basic wing shape applied and blended top and bottom with Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “Quite Natural”, socket line further sculpted with Mac Sculpting Powder Pro Palette in “Sculpt”

Browbone and inner corners of the eye highlighted with Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in “Candlelight”

Lashline smudged with Laura Mercier eye pencil in “Special Brown”

Mascara - Clinique High Impact Mascara in “Black”

False Lashes - Eldora lashes in M101

Brows filled with Bobbi Brown “Dark” Brow Kit

Brows set with Eyeko Brow Gel

Lips lined with Mac “Stripdown” pencil

Lips filled with Mac “Gel” lipstick

Highlight to cupid’s bow and centre of the lips with Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in “Corcovado”

Body made up with a mix of pure cocoa butter (I use giant tubs of Jesse from every London Makeup artist’s guilty pleasure, Paks! - All the glow of Egyptian Magic on the body but a fraction of the price), Mac Strobe Cream, Scott Barnes Body Bling in “Platinum”, Mac Face and Body Foundation and Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle!

…x

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Inspiration; Portrait Photography

I’ve become a little known, by the poor unfortunates that work with me on a regular basis, for my obsession with references, and finding inspiration in everything… I have files of literally THOUSANDS of images that I regularly trawl for ideas and to get the creative juices flowing.  I know I’m not alone in this by any means, but whilst there are many shots of beautiful makeups in there, I also often find myself presenting someone with an image as makeup inspiration, and seeing the look of frozen confusion on their face as they try to understand why this crazy woman is presenting them with an picture of a tropical fish, or a snap of some peeling paint, or a sweaty club kid, or… as was the case with the shot in my header there at the top of the page, an old albino woman on a stormy day.

This gorgeous shot from Paola De Grenet's “Albino Beauty" series

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was the inspiration behind the “White Light" beauty story I shot with Sarah Brimley, including the image below… those translucent pink shades on the eyelids, the gothic yet delicate colour palette.. luckily Sarah totally understands the inner workings of my brain and embraces those obscure references!

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Similarly this shot of nude dancers, painted gold at New York’s Studio 54 back in the 70s;

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Evolved into this shot from our “I Feel Love" disco-inspired beauty editorial…

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I’m constantly inspired by the thought process behind great editorials and makeup designs, and the references that, in turn, inspire them. I’m also constantly flabbergasted when I see a great makeup lifted from one artist and recreated stroke for stroke by another.  Inspiration should be the process of feeling passionate, and mentally stimulated to create something… not to pass off the creative process of others as your own.  Not to get all damn preachy but I do often wonder if the two get confused by a frightening number of artists these days.  Ahem, moving on…

This post in particular is about great portrait photography, and the inspiration we can take as makeup artists from real people, in real environments. Why you often find us trawling photography books and exhibitions, watching documentaries, and eying people up on the street.

Tim Walker's incredible “An Awfully Big Adventure” for British Vogue;

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Featuring beautifully inspired makeup by Petros Petrohilos seemingly based on the flushed complexions of the Kazakhs of Mongolia. The shot below is from Jimmy Nelson’s incredible book, Before They Pass Away.

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and Charles Meacham's “Mongolian Man” for National Geographic, beautifully showcasing the beautiful shades within the subject’s skin…

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At somewhat the opposite end of the spectrum, Gemma Booth's Virgin Suicides-esque editorial “Pretty Sexy” for Elle France;

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Where the barely there, youthful complexion and romantic makeup by Alexandra Schiavi could just as easily have been inspired by the adolescent beauty of the fresh faced girls in David Hamilton's book “The Age of Innocence”

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Sebastian Kim's “Tribal” editorial for Numero, featuring clay-like, textured face paint by Maud Laceppe;

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Most likely found makeup inspiration from so many beautiful images of tribal face paint (I feel another post coming on…) such as “Aboriginal Teen with a Mask of Mud” by Sam Abell for National Geographic.

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And could Peter Lindbergh's 1995 “Azzedine Arizona” editorial for Harper's Bazaar;

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and the raw beauty makeup created by Dick Page have been inspired by Richard Avedon's legendary "In the American West" series?

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Below are some favourite portrait images from the depths of my reference vaults (aka, my ipad), some of these have inspired my makeup work in some way already over the years, some have yet to make their way to a moodboard, but they certainly go to show that in these days of overly filtered instagram beauty pages and multi-million dollar cosmetic campaigns, sometimes the beauty of a moment in reality is better than anything we could hope to create, and is more inspiring than a thousand editorials…

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"Painted Boy, Bombay, India, 1996" by Steve McCurry for National Geographic

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"Two Female Impersonators Backstage, NYC" by Diane Arbus

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Carnival, Brazil, by David Alan Harvey

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"Afghan Girl" by Reza Dhegati

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"In the American West" Richard Avedon

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Maori Girl, “Before They Pass Away”, Jimmy Nelson

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"Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, 1934", Henri Cartier-Bresson

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"Rajasthan, 1996, Holi festival", Steve McCurry

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"Sub-Saharan Mali" by Joanna B. Pinneo for National Geographic

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"Girl, Pushkar", Ron Johns for National Geographic

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"Bennedetta Buccellato, Sicily, 1994", William Albert Allard

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Filed under makeup makeup artist makeup artists Vogue harper's bazaar elle albino beauty gothic studio54 gold gold body paint tim walker mongolia kazakhs jimmy nelson before they pass away charles meacham national geographic gemma booth virgin suicides alexandra schiavi petros petrohilos david hamilton the age of innocence natural makeup sebastian kim tribal tribal makeup maud laceppe

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On The Job; St Vincent

Last week I hauled ass, with great pleasure, to the depths of Kent for Later with Jools Holland, to paint the lovely visage of Annie Clark, better known as the kick ass front woman of St Vincent.

Behold this video for current track Digital Witness with your eyes.  It’s one of my favourite videos in a very long time.  Annie is a unique beauty, all doe-eyes and china doll features, and don’t get me started on the tunes.  She also plays the guitar like a female Prince. Heaven.

Annie has flawless porcelein skin, and the sort of features that really don’t need much makeup, if any at all. I’d seen her performance of Lithium with the remaining members of Nirvana at their recent Hall of Fame induction and commented on how I loved her acidic turquoise eyeshadow.  Turned out it was her own shade, a Laura Mercier gel liner that she produced from her bag.  I love that about working with musicians, the makeup always ends up a collaboration of my style and their personal tastes, and they never fail to surprise me with their ideas. 

We went for a graphic, matte eye, a shocking pop of colour contrasted in style and texture against her glowing, fresh skin.

Annie stole the show that night. Official St Vincent fan over here.  Full makeup breakdown below.  Enjoy.

Skin prep; Avene Thermal Water Spray

Skin cleanse; Bioderma Sensibio H2O

Skin prep; Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer

Lip Prep; Lucas Pawpaw Ointment

Illamasqua Satin Primer; buffed into high points of the face

Eyelid; Laura Mercier Creme Eye Liner in Canard

Lashes curled with; Japonesque Power Curler

Mascara; Benefit “They’re Real”

Brows filled with; Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit

Brows brushed up and shaped with; Eyeko Brow Gel

Foundation; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, Shade 3

Concealer; MAC Studio Finish, shade NC20 (mixed with a little Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre)

Powder; Light dusting of By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder

Contour to cheekbone and temple; MAC Sculpting Powder in Sculpt

Blush; MAC Cremeblend Blush in Brit Wit

Lips; MAC Lipstick in High Tea (applied with the finger, no liner)

…x

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Warpaint of the Stars…

The other day, I came across this awesome photo of Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, backstage, applying his own makeup.

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How good is that?! Look at the size of those cups of pigment. Really going for it.  As far as I’m aware, back in the day, access to fantastical, high pigment shades wasn’t what it is now, and as far as I can see those are artist’s tempura powder paints (a great addition to the kit may I add, totally non-toxic and great fun to mix or throw around)… I just loved the feeling that for a brief moment I was getting to nosey in the makeup bag of an icon, and that set me on a search for sneaky shots of other stars applying their makeup.  Often I’m more excited by what’s on the table in front of them, but as a makeup artist I felt like these images were a real treasure.  If you find any I’ve missed do send them my way!

Let’s start with a couple more of Bowie, as he’s such a babe.

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There’s something about seeing these stars doing their own makeup, devoid of makeup artists, propped on sinks and in bathrooms and dingy dressing rooms that makes them seem so instantly relatable.

Miss Marilyn Monroe for instance; love that mascara face.  And is that a cake mascara she’s using?  My God, I could not be doing with that.

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I love that some of the most iconic makeup looks in music seem to have been created and applied by the artists themselves… Of course Amy Winehouse had a hair and makeup team, but you just know she was rocking that mega cats eye graphic liner in her own time of her own accord.

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I wonder what liner that is… the packaging’s reminding me of YSL.. or Givenchy?  God she was gorgeous.

Another star creating his own iconic look, my childhood crush, Adam Ant.  Be still my beating heart…

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Yet another fella who knows his way around a makeup counter, Marilyn Manson.  I know Mr Manson used makeup artists throughout his career but again I can’t help feeling that the look was created by him first and foremost…  And is it just me or was Manson’s makeup always flawless?  Often purposefully rather screwed looking, don’t get me wrong, but in an utterly flawlessly applied way, and so unique in the shapes and ideas.  He would’ve made a great makeup artist if the God of Fuck thing hadn’t worked out.  I love the way he used colour, all those sickly bruise tones and the acid tones he used for a period in the 90s…  And is that a MAC lippy Marilyn?

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Now for some old school glamour… Miss Joan Collins.

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Eyebrow game slightly questionable there Joan, but that compact is beyond fabulous. I really need to get me one of these vintage compacts.  Look at Lucille Ball’s!  And those lips.  That flawless lipline..  And the nails… and the lashes! This pic is eeeeverything.

imageI’ll stop rambling and show you the rest of my findings shall I?

-Audrey Hepburn-

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-Dusty Springfield-

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-Debbie Harry- (and Heineken)

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-Elizabeth Taylor-

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-Twiggy-

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-KISS-

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-Dolly Parton- (CUTE AS A BUTTON!)

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-Elsa Lanchester, as the Bride of Frankenstein- (this photo is also, everything.)

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And last but by no stretch of the imagination least, my all time fave, Michael Jackson.  In the last few years I’ve met a few people who were lucky enough to work with or know Michael Jackson in some way, which blows my mind to begin with, but when I quiz them ceaselessly what they all seem to say was how normal he was.  What a sweet, down to earth guy he was behind the scenes. Which may seem hard to believe but I like the thought of it.  I feel like this pic kind of sums that up, at the height of his mega-stardom, grinning a mega-watt smile, doing his own makeup in a dingy backstage bathroom.  No airs or graces.  And I see that translucent loose powder there Michael, good call.

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…x

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I’m baaaaaack…

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Like some sort of online zombie, here I am, back from the internet dead.  The makeup equivalent of that sudden, grasping hand, shooting up from the grave at the end of … that well known horror movie (no spoilers here), just when you thought I was gone for good and you could all get on with your lives.  Nope.  Sorry.

A couple of years back I decided to take a little Warpaint hiatus, as I found regular posting was taking such a giant chunk of time, that I just didn’t have… especially with the stream of consciousness, image heavy type of posts that I like to throw out there. But frankly, I missed it.  I have a lot of thoughts, a lot to say, a lot to share, and to my constant surprise found that a lot of people were actually visiting my little corner of the internet, of their own free will nonetheless, and encouraging me to revisit it.

So here I am baby.  And ohhhh the things I have to tell you.  My intention is to post once a week, all sorts from behind the scenes shots to industry horror stories to treasure troves of makeup inspiration to Lord knows what I’ll be into in any given week.  I promise no pics of what I had for lunch, or tutorials featuring my Northern mug, but I promise to try and be honest and, fingers crossed, even interesting.

And do ‘scuse my tardiness on occasion while I get back into the swing of things.  These faces don’t paint themselves y’know.

Here’s a little selection of what I’ve been up to on my two year sabbatical.

Tis good to be back.

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Filed under makeup makeupartist theshining carrie london Phamous louiebanks sarahbrimley jeffhahn viviennewestwood editorial kelis miguel neonjungle

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The Many Faces Of…. Daphne Groeneveld

It feels like I’ve been shooting, shooting, shooting for about the last three months, and as of next week all the editorial I’ve been working on should be erupting in the space of a month, so I should get to posting a little more about what I’ve been up to…. buuuuuut, until then I get to keep  writing the sort of posts I like to read!  And this one if pure visual porn as it’s all about the present love of my life, the button nosed, painfully cute vision of perfection that is Daphne Groeneveld.

To those in the industry, this little Dutch beauty has been a big deal for a couple of years now, but it seems she could be just about to cross that threshold into modern supermodel territory.  Supermodels don’t really exist these days in the way they used to, we all know that, but you still have your Lara Stones, your Agyness Deyns, faces instantly recogniseable to the woman on the street, and with a face like Daphne’s both men and women will be falling in love left right and centre.  When I spotted her this week in the new ad for Gucci’s Addict fragrance, it seemed like a real “star is born” moment.  I practically got a lump in my throat when I saw this, SO BEAUTIFUL, and who could more perfectly personify that cute, mischievous, adorable little goddess character, than Daphne? I really am reigning myself in not to scatter this post with repeated heart emoticons.   Just watch, and feel your insides go all a flutter.  

I first cast eyes on Daphne in the Miu Miu FW10 campaign, with the now iconic sugar-bright eye makeup by Lucia Pieroni, alongside other cutie patooties Ginta Lapina, Lindsey Wixson and Siri Tollerod, and it seemed to usher in a whole new look for top models, moving away from the punky, edgy tattooed styles of Freja Beha Erichsen and Eliza Cummings, towards doll-featured, pillow lipped, angelic faces.  

But don’t get me wrong, angel-faced though she may be, Daphne can edge it up with the best of them, with one of the quirkiest, most striking and ticks-every-box-beautiful looks we’ve been blessed with in a long time.  Ohhh what a face!  Enjoy!

…x

Filed under makeup makeup artists makeup artist Lucy Gibson warpaint daphne groeneveld ginta lapina siri tollerod lindsey wixson freja beha ericson agyness deyn dior dior addict lucia pieroni miu miu lara stone eliza cummings

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Treasures from the kit… Newbies!

My kit weighs a tonne.  I don’t know what the weight of a tonne actually is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my kit weighed the same as it.  I try to downsize, but in my experience (and my superstitious brain), whatever I leave at home, will be exactly the thing I end up needing for the job I’m on.  As a result, something has to be seriously amazing to be added to the kit, as it often means something else coming out.  Either that or a slipped disc from lugging the extra weight (I don’t get cars booked for me on every job, and I’m far too tight and unfabulous enough to be paying for them myself).  I drag that shit around town myself!  And I have the callouses to prove it!

Over the past couple of months I’ve been sent some amazing products and I thought I’d take the time to present you with some of them.  I’ve used these on a fair few recent jobs and they’ve done me PROUD.  We may have some permanent additions in here!

The first couple of goodies are by supercute brand BeneFit.  I have to admit to having a bit of a soft spot for BeneFit, it was my first foray into makeup hall territory on my 18th birthday, and while their super perky salespeople may unfortunately put off some more chilled out customers, if you can brave the army of peppy faces they make a great range of hero products.  Perhaps more than any other brand (scary claim but could well be true).  BeneTint, High Beam, Bad Gal mascara and pencil, Lemon Aid, Dr Feelgood, the list goes on, but my two new loves are…

Erase Paste, a creamy super-high coverage, moisturising, brightening concealer that covers under eye circles like nothing I’ve ever used before.  It only comes in three shades at present but claims to suit all skin tones… debatable, there need to be some darker shades perhaps, but if you need a little extra help in the under eye area, give Erase Paste a bash.  You need the thinnest amount, buffed into the skin… no more dreaded cakey under eyes, sweet!  And secondly…

"Bathina - Take a Picture it Lasts Longer!"  Slight mouthful of a name there, but Lordy what a lovely product.  This is a body balm, not a lotion, not an oil or a shimmer, but a block of actual sented glimmering balm, that comes with an applicator pad, and it is beeeeeeautiful!  It feels moisturising, but looks just heavenly, I can barely even describe the sheen it gives.  Lets just say, if you want beautiful dewy skin that looks like this;

…but on your body, then this is the product for you.  It will make fair skin look all plumped up and creamy, darker tones highlighted to perfection, just gorgeous. (Hayden Panettiere there by the way, one of my skin HEROINES, just take a look at her perfect skin online, it’s unbearable.)  

Next up, Clinique Lid Smoothies.  These are no crease, longwear cream shadows, but with a luxurious, softly metallic texture unlike any I’ve used before.  They come in 12 shades, £17 each, and although most are on the natural spectrum, even the more funky colours have a muted edge to them which makes all of these very wearable.   They’re wonderfully blendable, help to smooth the appearance of fine lines on the lid, and look great worn just on their own if you wish, with a little mascara/liner.  I’ve used the more natural grey and beige tones on quite a few looks recently to go with a strong lip, it’s a great way of creating an expensive looking eye whilst keeping the look effortless and classic.  Love these.

Also getting me far too turned on for an inanimate object are the nude shades of Armani’s Rouge D’Armani lipsticks I’ve been blessed with.  To be honest, the whole range of Armani Cosmetics is frankly dee-lish.  High end, luxurious, beautiful shades, beautiful packaging, textures, just lush.  I’ve already waxed lyrical about their foundations, but these perfect, tonal beige shades, 100 and 102 in particular are moisturising, just the right side of glossy, sheer yet still highly pigmented enough to leave a tint the lip without becoming waxy or thick, in a dinky little magnetised tube (I usually transfer my lip colours into pallettes, I can’t bare to do that with these beauties!).  I’m not going to get into the world of swatches, but will borrow this shot to illustrate, from the lovely folk at www.thebeautylookbook.com

Look at those perfect shades!!  Want a luxurious Burberry stylee nude lip like the dreamy Cara Delevingne?  In the mood to treat yourself (at £25 they’re not the cheapest, but they just may well be worth every penny)… You need one of these bad boys.

And finally, just as an extra cheeky treat, because let’s be honest I ain’t no manicurist, I was sent some Envy 3D nail wraps.  Without sugar coating it at all, my nails are shit.  Weak, bendy, peeling useless things, and any polish, even the best I’ve found, is chipped beyond belief in a day.  I’ve used Minx nail foils before, and whilst they may last fantastically on my toes, they still tend to peel on my fingers.  For those not in the know nail wraps are kind of like nail shaped stickers that you use instead of polish, filed to fit your nail itself.  As such they can come in an array of kerrazy patterns and metallic finishes, as rocked regularly by the Jessie J’s and Katy Perry’s of the world.  With their 3D range, available in Superdrug in the UK for £6.99, Envy have gone one step further and created clear nail wraps with jewelled embellishments.  THEY ARE SO COOL.  And not only that, I have just removed a pair that stayed put for three entire weeks, and in the end I only removed them as my nails had grown so much in that time there was a great gap of bare nail at the base.  These are my fingernails new best bud, something that helps my nails grow and looks utterly badass?!  Erm, yes please.

Just don’t go buying them all at once.  Wink.

…x

Filed under makeup makeup artist Warpaint blog Lucy Gibson benefit benefit cosmetics bathina balm erase paste undereyeconcealer concealer hayden panettiere clinique lid smoothies eyeshadow armani armani cosmetics lipstick nude lip beige lipstick nail wraps nail foils mix 3d nail wraps benetint high beam bad gal bad gal lash dr feelgood lemon aid lemonaid

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Makeup Artists Hall of Fame… Charlotte Tilbury

I know I keep promising to write more product related posts, but one of the reasons I started Warpaint in the first place, was because I felt there just weren’t really any makeup blogs out there that I’d actually like to read.  The product heavy posts just don’t get me going as a reader.  Sorry product junkies, sorry sorry sorry.

For me, one of my favourite parts of this job is the research, yes I am a bad, bad nerd, and things like that get me very excited.  When the concept for a shoot comes my way, or when a client describes to me the sort of look they have in mind, I become the absolute undisputed Queen of Google.  The amount of files overflowing images that I’ve amassed over the years is ree-diculous.  I can pour over photography and fashion books, or become inspired by a texture, or perhaps a lip colour I see during a runway show, mixed with an eyeliner shape I’ve spotted on a 1950s movie star.  I’ve spent hours over the past couple of days amassing heaps of images of various stages of decay and buildings overgrown with flowers as inspiration for an upcoming shoot.  Research is your frieeeeend.  It inspires me, and that’s why I hope these more image heavy posts may get your creative juices flowing too.  (I have received some insanely hot products recently though, I promise my next post will be an ode to my pick of the best!)

It’s easy when writing these Makeup Artist related posts, to pick the more avant garde, more “out there” bodies of work, by an Alex Box or a Pat McGrath for instance.  But personally, my style, as an artist and as an appreciator of others’ art, is more eclectic.  I get just as much pleasure from creating a beautifully glowing nude skin, and fluttery set of lashes, as I do from a full on high fashion creation.  Whenever makeup students or new artists ask me for advice, I always try to impress on them the importance of appreciating the full spectrum of makeup, step away from those feather eyelashes young one!  Come and take a look at the elegant creations of Miss Charlotte Tilbury.

Whenever I think of the more classic beauty looks, there are a few names that spring to mind, but probably first a foremost for me it’s the legendary Ms Tilbury who takes the biscuit.  Not all makeup artists embody the glamour that people expect of us (myself often included!) but Charlotte is as recogniseable in the industry for her gorgeous boho chic and flowing firey red hair as she is for her enviable body of work.  A regular collaborator with Burberry, Chloe, Mango and Donna Karan amongst others (and unofficially known as Kate Moss’s favourite makeup artist - Kate has Charlotte to thank for beautifying her on her wedding day.  Not jealous at all Kate), she is known for that, polished, aspirational, feminine type of beauty. At the same time, her full-on 80s vamp look for Daphne Groenveld on the cover of Vogue Paris in December 2010 was equally iconic, as was her Cleopatra inspired block pastel eye for Alexander McQueen back in 2007.  Whether more dramatic, or more stripped back, the words that always spring to mind are feminine and luxurious.  Charlotte’s creations seem to come unashamedly from the mind of a girly girl, and as a bit of a tomboy myself, there are elements of that I definately aspire to!

Behind the scenes Charlotte has also been responsible for creating MyFace Cosmetics, currently exclusive to Boots in the UK (MyFace also has the backing of fellow makeup artist and personal fave Kabuki, talk about a dream team!).  I’ll put my hands up and say it’s probably the highest quality, drugstore-price range of makeup you can buy.  I’ve been given the range to use backstage at London Fashion Week and was seriously impressed, it’s presence backstage in itself is a testament to Charlotte’s reputation, you won’t find every high street makeup brand being used at the shows.  Their MyMix foundations, amongst other things, are wonderful, I often advocate foundation as being one of the parts of your personal makeup bag where it’s worth splashing the cash for a great finish, but if you want to be more thrifty, then get ye to MyFace quick sharp.  Charlotte also designed a full range of eye, lip and cheek shades clearly labelled as to whether they complement fair, medium or dark skintones.  Pretty much a foolproof method for the woman on the street, to rid makeup drawers nationwide of stacks of pretty shades you’ll never use.  Gawd bless you Miss Tilbury.

Enough of my gushing, feast your eyes on the beautiful creations of the lady herself, polished perfection never looked so pretty.

…x

Filed under makeup makeup artist warpaint Lucy Gibson Charlotte tilbury kabuki vogue vogue paris daphne groenveld boots lfw london fashion week fashion week myface myface cosmetics cleopatra backstage alexander mcqueen kate moss burberry chloe mango gisele love magazine lindsay wixson rosie huntington whiteley jourdan dun id id magazine j-lo

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We Are Raving… Neon is BACK!!

Another mental week, another week of lazy blogging.  I put my hands up!  I apologise!  I shall be self-flagellating for the rest of the day by way of punishment, I promise.  And while it’s been a busy week, it’s also been quite a colourful week, I’m noticing more and more neon colours popping up on shoots, which has been a definate rarity in previous years, and I am quite frankly loving it!  Neon was  forecast as a big trend for Spring, and maybe our dire weather here in the UK hasn’t had us all reaching for the rave shades just yet, but it looks like that trend is spilling over into the Summer months and maybe our recent spots of good weather are inspiring us to embrace these brain-achingly bright shades a bit more.  Either way it’s about time, forgive me for sounding like a seven year old but come on, neon is AWESOME!

As I mentioned in my last post I spent a little time working with the so-gorgeous-I-could-just-eat-her-alive Rita Ora last week, and as support at Saturday’s mahoosive Coldplay gig at the Emirates Stadium, Rita, rocking a neon orange ensemble, went for a beautiful sultry, smokey makeup, and then just turned it right on it’s head with neon warrior battle stripes.  Look at her rocking that shit below, she quite frankly smashed it!

Let’s have a little rundown of the products used on the beautiful bad-ass Rita shall we?

Skin prepped with Evian Facial Spray, Bioderma Crealine H2O Solution and Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre moisturiser.

Lips prepped with Lucas Paw Paw Ointment.

Eyes prepped with Mac Paint Pot in Painterly on lid, and BeneFit’s Ooh La Lift beneath.

Eyes in Mac Mineralize Eyeshadow in Gilt By Association to the lid, The Makeup Store’s Velvet Shadow to the socket. Further contouring with Mac Eyeshadow in Brun, with browbone and inner corners highlighted with Bobbi Brown Shimmerwash Eyeshadow in Bone.

Top and bottom eyeline, and waterline filled with Mac Kohl Power Pencil in Feline, buffed into and intensified with YSL shadow in Black Fannel along top lashline and Brun and Gilt by Association on the lower.  YSL Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils in Deep Black worked into lash line for added intensity.

Lashes curled with Shu Uemura Curlers then worked through with two coats of black Armani Eyes Kill Mascara and Eyelure Lashes in Kimberley.

Skin was perfected with a combination of YSL’s Teint Radiance Foundation and Bobbi Brown’s Foundation Stick (also lightly used as a concealer), under eyes were concealed with a little of BeneFit’s Erase Paste, all set with a light dusting of Mac Pro’s Invisible Set Powder.  Cheeks prepped with BeneFit Sun Beam, then contoured with St Tropez Matte Powder Bronzer and Mac Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul.

Lips were filled with Illamasqua Lipstick in Agony (Discontinued?!  For shame!!  Although they do do some other fantastic, highly pigmented, matte nude shades), pressed in with the finger to soften.

After bronzing up Rita’s limbs with a mix of St Tropez Medium Wash Off Instant Glow Body Lotion and Gold Skin Illuminator, we got our frickin WARRIOR ON and finger painted in those stripes, with an old school fave, Stargazer’s Neon UV Paint in Orange.  This stuff makes me feel so wistful for my teenage years in Manchester’s Afflecks Palace (that’s like Camden to us northern goth/grunge teens of yesteryear) I can’t even tell you.

And the stuff glows under UV light!  (One for the old skool RAVAH! etc) What’s not to love?!  I also cracked out the very same colour just a few weeks ago at the MEAT Clothing show to create some neon Harajuku Barbie Style looks.  Mix a little with your Mac Lipglass and off you go.  Look at that combo with Mimi’s insanely hot neon green hair!  I die.

I also shot a beauty story for More Magazine this week, and the neon brights popped up again!  Little accents on the inner corner of the eye, a little liner here and there… Believe it or not this trend can be subtle, I bet you’ll be rocking a neon nail at least, just you wait.

And just to prove I’ve not lost my mind, check out this gallery of luminous lovelies. Never mind colours that pop, this is a serious colour EXPLOSION.  POW!

…x

Filed under makeup makeup artist Lucy Gibson warpaint phamous phamous artists neon rave rita ora mac ysl bobbi brown mac cosmetics illamasqua benefit benefit cosmetics armani cosmetics armani evian bioderma embryolisse lucas paw paw ointment pawpaw the makeup store shu uemura facepaint warrior st tropez stargazer uv