Thursday, 4 September 2014

Summer to Fall Makeup - 2 Looks in 1

Hey Beautifuls!



I've been getting questions on how you can transition your makeup from summer trends into fall looks, so I thought I'd do a video for you!



Have a peep!





Sunday, 27 July 2014

My Makeup Dream (Indiegogo Campaign)

Hey Everyone!



The video says it all. Please watch, and then visit the campaign.



Anything you can do to help is much appreciated!





Sunday, 20 July 2014

Makeup Shaming

Today, while surfing the interwebs, I came across this article.

And it enraged me.

I have a very real problem with this whole "women wear too much makeup" thing that people throw around, egged on by magazines.Why does it make me so angry? Because if you go out in public without any makeup on, people say you look tired, or sick. Because the argument to "go natural" is a particularly nasty form of reverse psychology. 

The overwhelming insinuation in all forms of media is that women are "ugly" without makeup. But then those women are accused of essentially "lying" about their looks by wearing makeup. The women who do wear makeup, especially those that tend to favour dramatic makeup, are shamed for it and told they are wearing a mask. We are encouraged to take no-makeup selfies (complete with sexy filters) to show our "true beauty", but unless you see someone in life, standing in front of you, you'll never see all his/her imperfections. I saw some horrific, hateful ccomments on so many of those no makeup shots, saying how ugly those bare-faced women were. The same bare-face haters would then spew vitriol on photos (very often re-touched and/or filtered) of women with lots of makeup on 

It's so sad to me that going without makeup has come to be considered "brave", and that makeup is villified, when the messages we receive are contradictory and highly manipulative.

What ends up happening is that no matter how much or how little makeup you wear, it's never enough.

WHAT IS GOING ON????

1) The Beauty Propaganda Machine has totally warped what we believe women look like.

2) Women struggle with self-love because they will NEVER good enough.

And then this happens: The perpetrators of the media pressures (magazines, beauty/fashion "Experts", and those people who drink that special brand of koolaid) - who tell us we should do this or wear that, or try this look, or follow these Do's & Don'ts - then use photos of made-up celebrities that are usualy VERY heavily re-touched and enhanced (yes, even the "candid" red carpet shots) and they say "SEE??? MAKEUP! LET'S BLAME IT ON MAKEUP!!!!"

Makeup is the fall-guy, and is somehow to blame for our warped ideas of what women should or do look like. I'm speaking as a professional with more than ten years in the beauty industry. The "makeup" in MOST of those shots, illustrating how "terrible" these supposedly beautiful women look without it, is NOT Maybelline or Hourglass or MAC. It's Adobe Photoshop. 

The problem is that it's not always on purpose. We have ALL been drinking the koolaid for so long that many of these writers don't even realize they are a vital part of the Propaganda Machine. All of these articles are pretending to say "beware, these women are covering up their real selves with makeup", or "look how vain these makeup wearers are" or "go ahead, ditch the makup, you look great", when in fact the message is loud and clear: "You're hideous. Wear makeup."

The media essentially shames you into believing that everything you are is wrong and ugly, and you should strive to reach their impossible beauty standards, the only illustrations of which should actually be classified as computer generated images, not photographs. 

And because the standard iswholly  unattainable, we constantly fall short and become more and more discouraged, more and more self-loathing, more and more convinced that "beauty" is something we can never have or be. 

But we will never look like the women in magazines. The women in those magazines don't look like that in real life.

Makeup is not a magic wand. It's not the stamp or burn or blur tool. At best, it's a nice Instagram filter.

I truly, HONESTLY, don't think anyone is ugly. I have never looked at someone and thought that they were ugly. That's such a strong, nasty word that I would like to have banned from use in reference to someone's looks. Save it for truly disgusting personalities. I have definitely seen beautiful people with ugly attitudes. Save that word for instances of cruelty, violence and horror and the roots of such instances, where it belongs. "Ugly" has no place in the vernacular we use to describe facial or body features.

I happen to think makeup is great fun, like an awesome pair of jeans or heels that make you feel sexy or a great pair of earrings that make your eyes pop. I am sick and tired of hearing people blame makeup for our insecurities. It's the media that is responsible, not makeup itself.

Yes, I know that people use makeup to cover up insecurities. But where do you think those insecurities come from? We are CONSTANTLY being told we should have flawless skin, no under eye circles, no pimples, long eye lashes, full lips, straight noses, sharp cheekbones. BUT we must do it so that it looks TOTALLY natural.

Guess what? Blemishes are natural. So are under eye circles and uneven skin tone, wrinkles, short/wide/flat/big/long noses, round/long/square/heart-shaped/diamond-shaped faces, almond/round/hooded/deep-set/sloping/monolid eyes.

You should do it or not do it for  YOU.

There is nothing wrong with covering up your dark circles, because they can make you look tired even if you don't feel tired. 

There is nothing wrong with evening out your skin tone. 

There is nothing wrong with playing up what you feel are your best features. 

There is nothing wrong with being creative and drawing lines on your face if that is what you like. 

And there is nothing wrong with not wearing makeup if you don't want to. 

I do believe we should all dilligently work to a place where we love ourselves and each other as much as we can, without the limitations of impossible beauty standards, even when we're not wearing the miracle-butt jeans or heels or the awesome earrings or the sexy smoky eye. Makeup is an accessory, and we have the right to play with it or not as we choose to. 

What needs to stop are the mixed messages coming from all sides. Stop scape-goating any and everything other than the ridiculous beauty propaganda machine. 

STOP THE SHAMING of women for wearing/not wearing makeup. 

Enough already.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Charicature Files

Hi lovelies!!

Doing my best to keep up with my blog, and kinda failing because I'm getting into the swing of filming and editing videos on a regular basis, plus I have a bunch of different projects I'm working on.

ANYHOOS!

Over the last month I've been working on one of the most fun projects I've done in a WHILE.

The team of AnimeKon approached me and asked if I'd be willing to help them put out a series of videos of character transformations.

In a nuthsell, AnimeKon, for those of you who don't know, is our local Pop Culture Convention. This year is AnimeKon's fifth year, and they have enjoyed great success because for  long time we have wanted soemthing like this. It's really not feasible for us to fly out to Cons in the US becuse airfares from BArabdos are horribly expensive. As the Kon has grown, we've had international guests like author Tobias Buckell come (he's a repeat guest, such a lovely man!) and Cosplay Maven Yaya Han (also an absolute sweetheart and so supportive and inspiring to our cosplayers!), among others. This year we have the lovely Meagan Marie and the awesome Johnny Zabate of Junkers Cosplay coming in!

There is an AnimeKon Cosplay Competition, but because it is really one of the only chances we have during the year to cosplay, most people come to AnimeKon in costume (as you would expect at a Con). They work very hard to create costumes with very limited access to scultping/painting materials, because if they miss out on cosplaying at an AK, they have to wait a whole year for the chance to come around again. It's very inspiring to be a part of this community!

And so we had the idea of doing some Cosplay tutorials. We chose a theme eah week and had people enter for a chance to be made up on camera. Thank you to everyone who entered!
Our themes and chosen characters were:
Week 1: Star Wars - Queen Amidala
Week 2: Bleach - Half-Hollow Ichigo
Week 3: Game of Thrones (in honour of the EPIC just-finished fourth season) - Melisandre
Week 4: Marvel - Electro
I also threw in a surpirse video because I had to get in on the transformation action. I made myself up as Morticia Addams.

They weren't advanced cosplays int erms of the costumes, rather we wanted to show people how they could create characters with makeup (which I find to be one thing people seem to have a general hard time with), and approximate costumes at home with what's readily available in the island. Everything I used was purchased here in stores, not online or overseas, or were taken from each person's own closet. We decided to do it in June rather than July (AnimeKon is in August) to give people time to practice the techniques and get the materials.

Though we of course couldn't do a whole lot of characters (we scheduled four videos, one per week for the month of June), I tried to choose characters that would help me teach a wide array of techniques: from facepainting clean, crisp lines (Ichigo) to more controlled chaotic patterns (Electro) to using shading and contouring to alter a face shape (Melisandre). The techniques can be adapted and used for a wide range of characters.

We had such wonderful responce to the series and had so much fun creating the characters that we've added the Charicature (a play on the words 'character' and 'cariacature') Files to the callendar for next year.

I have a whole Cosplay Playlist on my YouTube channel. Please do check it out!

I'll be at AnimeKon this year of course, and this is the second year I'll be having a booth!!

Check out the transformation photos below, and please do check out the playlist!

See you at AnimeKon!


Keishaas Queen Amidala

Patrick as Half-Hollow Ichigo

Robyn as Melisandre

Dexter as Electro


Me as Morticia Addams







Tuesday, 24 June 2014

On Blogging




I woke up this morning to find that the lovely Lucinda of Moden Makeup had nominated me for a Leibster Blogger award. Thanks girl!! 

I confess I didn't even know what this was. (Shame) It's an award for little-known but promising bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to help promote them. It's such a great thing for those of us that are really just trying to do share our love of all thing beauty-related.

The rules of the Leibster Award are:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer eleven questions the blogger gives you.
3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate eleven blogs you think are worthy of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers).
5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
6. Give them eleven questions to answer.


The questions Lu asked her nominees:

1. Where is your favourite place in Barbados to shop for shoes?
Payless. Only place I can find cute shoes in my (gigantic) size that don't murder my feet.

2. What message do you hope to convey most via your blog?
That we are all beautiful, and that makeup really is a fun accessory with limitless possibilities that we have access to.

3. Skittles or M&Ms?
Chocolate. #thatisall

4. What are you currently using now as a facial cleanser?
I use my Noxema Original Cream Cleanser and the Noxema Triple Clean Anti-Bacterial Face Wash. (See my Skin Care Heart to Heart video)

5. What character would you love to play in Game of Thrones?
YIKES! I'm such a huge GoT fan that this is a really hard question...I would honestly gender-bend and play Tyrion if I could. or Varys. Both fascinating characters. 

6. Does your house have ac? If, yes; what are the directions? Cause the way this heat set up...
I WISH. What I would give to have AC in my house...

7. In what circumstances is the use of slang acceptable while blogging?
I think it's important to put yourself in your video/blogs. So using some slang, if that's how you normally speak,is perfectly fine, as long as you keep your audience in mind and make sure that for the most part, most if not allyour viewers/readers can understand you.

8. #TeamJoe or #TeamRyan?
I have no idea which Joe and Ryan we're talking about. Manganiello and Gosling? In that case, Joe, all the way. He's yummy.

9. In what year do you think Barbadian companies will take bloggers serious?
Last year I might have said never. But as Social Media becomes more and more vital to our way of life, I think Bim will eventually come around. as to a specific year? Beats me. I'd sy within the next 10, though (conservative guesstimate).

10. Who will win Road March this year?
I'm not a Soca fan. I support Chrytal Cummins-Beckles because she's family and I know enough about Soca to know that she's very good (but gets the short end of the stick because she's a woman), and Gabby I adore as a folk artist, but I honestly don't really care otherwise. Sue me.

11. What topic would you like to see more Barbadian bloggers focused on?
This is a tough one. I'd just like to see more Bajan Bloggers, to be honest. I want people to realize that blogging has endless possibilities for sharing passion and information.


11 Random Facts About Me:


1) I love otters.

2) I'm addicted to Game of Thrones (duh) and Sherlock.

3) I LOVE fantasy books, films and TV, but I don't like it when they go overly campy. Hence my love for GoT and films like The Hobbit. (P.S: Smaug is one helluva sexy beast!)

4) I very much support Equality. Equal Rights for all Human Beings. I do believe it is possible and will one day be a worldwide reality.

5) I used to teach Salsa. I'm one of the original founding members of the SalsaCraze Club at the University of Miami. (I was the first Treasurer and an Assistant Instructor for one semester, and then Secretary and Instructor.)

6) I love Nature, especially at night.

7) I love body modification. I'm currently stretching my ears and I just pierced my lip. I have a whole playlist of my body mod vlogs.

8) I have dabbled in acting. I'm fascinated by the process that actors go through to create characters and bring them to life.

9) One of my dreams is to do makeup for Film and TV. I'm saving to do the Film & TV course at Cinema Makeup School but it's going to take a while... :'(

10) I have never broken a bone. (That I know of. I did injure a toe really badly once but never got it X-Rayed.)

11) I'm addicted to TYT Network and I support Wolf PAC.


I Nominate

(I realize some of these have been nominated already, most by Lucinda. But these are honestly blogs that I follow and love, so I'm nominating them too)


My Questions for my Nominees (if you've already answered Lucinda's questions then don't worry!)
1) What your favourite food?
2) Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
3) What do you love most about Blogging?
4) what is the most frustrating aprt of blogging?
5) Current favourite TV Show?
6) Best Film of 2013?
7) Favourite snack?
8) True Blood or Vampire Diaries?
9) What's your ideal wy to spend a lazy Sunday?
10) Place in the world you most want to visit?
11) Coffee or Tea?



Monday, 10 March 2014

GRWM: Blue-Brown Smoky eyes & Matte Nude Lips (+playlist)

Hey beauties!! I've been doing Get Ready With Me videos recently! Have you seen ny of them? Check this one out:



Monday, 11 November 2013

Why different colours for different seasons??

This is something that those of us in the tropics don't really understand, since we have pretty much what most would consider year-round summer. I get people asking me all the time "so why  is it that suddenly in Fall we break out the wines and plums and deep bronzes??" I'm going to re-use my season-inspired makeup looks on the lovely Malissa Alanna to demonstrate my explanations, as well as some pictures of each season that I borrowed from the internet.

People don't realize that even in the Tropics, the weather changes (very slightly but it's still there if you know what to look for). In other parts of the world of course it's very obvious.

Here's the reason for the different colour palettes for the seasons:

It has everything to do with light. The seasons all have different kinds of light, partly because of the weather, and partly because of the different colour-groups that appear in nature in the different seasons. So, let's break it down!

SPRING

      

      

Spring light is very clean and pure and soft even though it's bright, and the colors in nature are lots of pastels and pretty, vivid, yet pale colours. The pink and yellow flowers are beginning to bloom, blue and pale orange butterflies are flitting around, and animals are growing in their lighter coats and feathers and so tend to look really "new" and clean. Chicks and lambs are soft, gentle yellows and greys. The weather tends to get a bit rainy, but even when the sun is shining, there is something about the light that is bright but soft. 

                              

Spring makeup should be dewy, with soft edges and gentle highlight. The muted light makes pastels really pop, because they aren't competeing with harsh light for attention. Harsher, more neon colours will just make you look like you put your entire makeup collection on your face at once with a paint brush.

SUMMER

        

        

Summer is of course full-on, harsh sunlight. Any flowers that bloom in summer are bright orange and red and purple. The sea tends to look brilliantly blue, fruit is brightly coloured and juicy. Take your cues from nature: flowers have to be really vibrant because they need to be seen by birds and bees in order to spread pollen. Most animals are also at the height of their mating seasons at the beginning of summer, and so their coats and feathers are rich, bright colours to attract mates. 


                           

In Summer we can get away with wearing full on neon colours and bright gold. Keep the skin bronzed and highlighted so that your features don't get lost in the harsh light. The reason we need really vivid, bright colours in Summer is because, quite simply, pale, soft colours just won't show up in competition with the sharp, bright sunlight! Just be careful not to wear too any bright, clashing colours. To avoid looking clownish in bright colours, stick to one or two features and keep the rest a sexy, bronzed neutral. 

FALL


         

         

Fall (or Autumn) is the most muted, diffused light of all. Suddenly everything in nature turns dark, deep, rich colours as the leaves die and the animals shed their fur and feathers to grow in their darker, thicker winter coats. Vegetables and grains signal that they're ready for harvest by turning richer, deeper shades of colour. 


                             

The muted, golden sunlight is super flattering, making makeup colours like deep plum, burnt orange, rich burgundy, deep red, burnished gold, bronze, dark forest green and richchocolate brown show up beautfully. Use highlight and contour to add dimension but make sure it's blending well. Try a really strong warm cheek, regardless of your natural undertone! You can go soft or dramatic, but stick to this palette to take full advantage of the naturally diffused, warm light of Autumn.

WINTER


       


       

Winter actually has pretty harsh light, especially noticeable in colder climates. It bounces off the white snow, and because the trees are bare and animals are either hibernating or wearing dark coats (because dark colours attract light and heat which they need in the cold to survive), the light appears stark and bright because there's nothing to diffuse it. Even when it's overcast, again because there aren't any other colours to warm the light up, it's generally a cool, bright, even white light. 


                            

For makeup, break out the drama and wear nature's colours: grey, black, dark blue, dark purple, silver, and, of course, white. Keep the skin to a satin finish because though skin does get dry in winter and you want it to look heathly, the light is quite harsh and will bounce off the highpoints of your face anyway. Subtle contour and highlight is the way to go. Wear brighter colours like Cherry Red and Royal Blue in small pops of colour on the face. Too much will look a little too heavy and harsh, but in small pops they can be really beautiful.


Bottom line: matching your makup to the palettes you find in nature is the best way to make sure it's flattering in the natural light of the season!

I hope that cleared it all up for you!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Real Techniques Brushes - In-Depth Review

I got my first Real Techniques brushes about a year ago. The first ones I got were the Core Collection and the Starter Set, so I'll talk about them first. But I'll start by saying that Samantha Chapman has absolutely hit the nail on the head with these brushes. I would really just like to thank her personally for designing these the way she has.

All the brushes are really densely packed with very soft synthetic bristles, and they're cruelty-free. They apply makeup evenly and you can vary pressure for lighter or heavier application of colour. From the moment I began using the brushes I was really impressed. They are really well made, with extended light weight aluminum ferrules, and a non slip rubber end makes up the rest of handle. I was worried that the brushes would be a bit too light and therefore fiddley, but they're very well weighted even though they are light and the non slip part sits right in the crook between your thumb and forefinger and makes the brush feel really secure in your hand. The first job I used them on was a four-day music video shoot, and they stood up so well to the abuse of being cleaned several times a day! Even my oldest Real techniques brushes have never shed a single hair, and I wash them all the time (becauseI'm  freaky about having absolutely clean brushes, even my personal ones). They are also really easy to spot clean.

I think one of the things I love most about all these brushes is that they are so versatile and can be used in such a variety of ways and with all kinds of products. They're durable too. These first two sets were almost literally the only ones I used for about six months straight and they're still in near perfect condition. The brushes are colour coded: gold for base and powder brushes, pink for face and setting brushes, and purple for eye and detail brushes. But honestly, any brush can be used on any part of the face with either liquid, cream or powder products. I use these brushes both on myself as well as clients. 

All the sets come with the specially designed carrying case, called a 2-in-1 Panoramic Case and Stand, which has elastic brush holders on both side. The case itself is quite sturdy and keeps the brushes safe. It can also bend in half width-wise, and has a little pulley system that makes it into a brush stand, perfect for traveling and doing makeup in right spaces. Because I've now bought quite a few sets I've given away the extra cases to friends and kept two for myself. The only downside of the case is that it's the perfect length for the Real Techniques brushes but some other brands of brushes are a little too long. It's not really a big deal as long as you don't mind the handles of the brushes sticking out a bit when the case is closed for traveling. I've given mine quite a beating for a year and they're still in great condition. They're also really easy to clean. I just wipe mine down with a makeup remover wipe or a cotton pad soaked in makeup remover.

*DISCLAIMER: all images borrowed from the Real Techniques website - www.realtechniques.com*

The Core Collection (above) comes with four brushes: (from left to right) Contour Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Detailer Brush, and Buffing Brush. 

The Contour Brush is an excellent brush for contouring, of course, but I also use it sometimes for setting the under eye area and also for precisely applying blush and highlight. Because these brushes are all synthetic they work great with either powder or cream/liquid products, as I've said, and this brush applies cream bronzers and blushes beautifully. It's very dense but the tip is soft and tapered a bit so it blends out edges really nicely when you use light pressure and circular motions. It's also great for quickly sweeping a neutral shadow across the whole eyelid up to the brow if you're doing a simple, natural look. 

The Pointed Foundation brush I find a bit small for applying foundation all over the face, but it's great for concealer, especially if you use a lighter concealer for highlighting across the cheeks and forehead. Because it's pointed it can get right into tight spaces like the inner corner of the eye and around the nose, and it just makes concealer application quite fast. I also use it for placing cream contour. I don't blend with this brush though, because it's too flat for blending. 

The Detailer Brush is shaped like a regular lip brush, and can of course be used for lipstick. It's nicely tapered to a point, so it's also great for cleaning up the outer lip line (after applying liner) with concealer, for concealing small areas and also for applying cream shadow to the mobile lid or inner corner.

The Buffing Brush, in my opinion, is the shining star of this set. Use it for moisturizer, primer, liquid or cream or powder foundation, liquid or cream or powder highlight and contour, and even for buffing in setting powder after it's been applied with a puff or a fluffier brush. I also use it in pressing motions to really sink the product into the skin. It can also be used with a stippling motion. It's an excellent brush that I cannot imagine not having in my kit or personal collection. It's soft but still firm, applies pretty much everything evenly and blends the edges beautifully. It can be a bit difficult to clean, because it's so dense that if you're using a shampoo or other liquid soap the foam can go up into the brush and then you're washing out bubbles forever. I combat this by applying the soap to the ends and working it while the brush is still dry to minimize foam, and then when it hits water cease working the soap altogether and just rinse well. The slight inconvenience of getting it rinsed well is so worth it for me because this brush is one of my favourites both of the Real Techniques line and in general. 


The Starter Set has five brushes in it: Deluxe Crease Brush, Base Shadow Brush, Accent Brush, Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush, and Brow Brush. 

The Deluxe Crease Brush is another favourite of mine. It's basically a mini round kabuki brush, dense yet soft, about the size of the tip of an average ring finger. Use it for blending concealer or cream base over the eyelids, or for packing eyeshadow on the lid or in the crease. I have used it for blending powder shadow in the crease but it works best for me with cream products. Same note applies for cleaning this brush as for the Buffing brush. 

The Base Shadow brush is a fluffier brush, but it's tapered and set in a flattened ferrule so it can also be used for placing colour. It's a little less dense than the others, so it's perfect for blending shadows on the lid or in the crease, and also for a softer application on the lower lid with the pointed tip. It can also be used for blending or smoothing very creamy bases on the lid, but not really for buffing them in. I just reach for this brush all the time because it's also very easy to spot clean and dries quite quickly. 

The Accent brush is a great, fairly stiff, tiny, flattened brush with a rounded edge. I've used it to apply a thick liner, again either cream or powder, and then buff it out for a smoky line on both the upper and lower lids. It's also great for placing shadow in the outer 'V', as well as highlight in the inner corner, pretty much any precise work. I've also used it for softly filling in brows for that devil-may-care thick brow look that's very popular these days, and I use it to apply gel liner to both my waterline and tight line. 

The pixel point liner brush isn't good for uber thin eye liner but it does apply a beautifully clean, thick line without too much need for filling in. It's also great for pin point concealing, lining the lower lashline, and for smoothing out lip liner. 

The brow brush is a bit big for fine brow work, but if you have or want thicker brows it's great, especially when used to set any pencil or gel/wax brow product with powder. I also use it if I want a precise nose contour or to help me define the crease for cut crease looks, and for applying shadow to the lower lash line. It can also be used to clean up the lip line. 

After having these brushes for about six months I got another of each set. And then recently I bought yet another of each and also some other single brushes: a Powder Brush, a Setting Brush, a Blush Brush, an Expert Face Brush and a Fine Liner Brush. 


          

The picture of the Powder brush is deceptive. This brush is HUGE and a bit more flared out than it looks. It is dense and thick but so very soft. It's an amazing powder brush, and because it's dense it stands up to pressing powder into the face so as not to disturb any cream products in the face, as well as to buffing the powder in. It's so big and soft that it can also be used for just smoothing everything together and blending everything in at the very end. 


           

The Setting Brush is a larger version of the Base Shadow Brush, also tapered a bit, but a rounder. It's more loosely packed than the Contour and Powder brush, and is perfect for setting the under eye and t-zone area with a fine layer of powder. It can be used for all the applications as the Contour brush, but because it's looser it applies product much more lightly which is great if you  have a tendency to overdo it or if you want to build up product in light layers. This is another brush that I must always have on hand. After getting one and using it just once I immediately bought another one. 


       

The blush brush is also a bit bigger than you'd expect from the photo. It's tapered and again, a bit more loose than the Contour or Powder brushes. But when I say they're loose, I don't mean that they're flimsy at all. All the Real Techniques brushes stand up to what I call the "press-test", where you put them on their heads against your finger or the palm of your hand and try to press the bristles down toward the ferrule. They don't collapse even when you apply a fair amount of pressure. The blush brush is great for applying blush and achieving that diffused glow to the cheek. If you use the tip to place the blush gently and then press to splat the brush out more and work the product, it helps blend flawlessly. It can also be used for setting powder, powder contour and highlight. The only thing I'll say about this brush, and the Setting brush, is that I wouldn't use them with cream products just because they are more loosely packed so they don't stand up really well to creams. That, however is a personal thing because of course, once again, they're synthetic, so by all means it you want to use them for creams you absolutely can


          

The Expert Face Brush is a rounded buffing brush with short, tightly packed bristles. It's probably the most tightly packed of all the ones I have. It's smaller than the Buffing brush, and it has an oval shaped ferrule. Like the Buffing brush, it's excellent for applying cream and liquid moisturizers, primers, bronzers, contour and foundations. It works the product into the skin beautifully. I wouldn't, however, use it for powders because of its shape, but once again that's a personal preference. But it's definitely a great base brush. 


            

And finally, the Fine Liner brush is a must have simply because it is so fine and yet dense. It keeps its shape really well and allows you to apply the most crisp fine or thick line, and can also make the perfect winged liner. It also allows you to get right into your corners to elongate the eyes or point the inner corners of the eye. 


If you've read this far thank you for enduring my exhaustive rave about the Real Techniques Brushes that I've used and have in my collection! These brushes would be worth every penny if they were expensive, but the beautiful thing is that they are super affordable. Having bought so many brushes from different places at different times I can honestly say that the quality is great and very consistent. I recommend these brushes for anyone, whether you're just starting out or you're a pro. If you are a pro you'll still need all your other brushes, but these are a fantastic addition to your collection, and for those non-pros these brushes just might be all you need! The fact that there isn't a huge selection of different shapes put me off at first, but each brush is such a brilliant multitasker that there really isn't much need for that many more shapes. I would like to see a brush loosely packed like the Setting and Blush brushes but halfway between their sizes. I'd also like a fluffy blending brush. I know there's one in the duo-fibre collection but those are the only brushes I request for the original permanent line! 

Kudos to Sam Chapman again. These truly are incredible brushes!











Saturday, 9 November 2013

What I've been up to...

Hello lovelies!
I've been super busy! I'm working on a new blog post for you guys on makeup and humidity (an evil, evil combination!) and tips for handling it. I'm also working on a post about my recent hair colouring adventures, but for now here are a few shots of some makeup I've done recently. 

If you subscribe to me on YouTube, you might remember that I said I was going to be the model for a photoshoot. The photographer was Andre Williams. He was great fun to work with. I met him while working on another photoshoot with the gorgeous sixteen year old up and coming singer Neira. 




Here are a few of the shots he took of me. 










I had great fun doing this shoot. We drove all over the island to various spots. And yes, that snake and the iguana are absolutely real! They were both great, very lively and fun to pose with. I think some of my favourites are the ones with the dog. She is a two year old English mastiff and was just the coolest dog over. They just look so badass! The cameo I'm wearing in most of the shots was made by Avi. Her brand is The Cemetery Party, and she hand-makes all of her pieces. I absolutely love it and literally wear it almost every day. Find her on Instagram @TheCemeteryGirl so you can see her incredible pieces. She takes international orders too!

I also worked with Andre on one other photo shoot. This time our subject was the lovely Jenny Wilkie. I was excited to so this because I don't often get the chance to do makeup on women over 40. And Jenny is beautiful to begin with, and an absolute sweetheart. 



Other than that I've added a new tab to this blog called Tearsheets, where you can go to see images of the work I've had printed in M People magazine. Remember you can also visit the Portfolio tab to see high res images of my work if you want to. I've also done the makeup for the cover of M People for their December issue so I'll share that when it's released!

I also did this for Halloween. Ben asked me if I could transform him into cancer suffering Walter White from the kickass show Breaking Bad. Seriously, if you haven't watched it, you must. This was a great challenge because again, I don't get to do stuff like this very often in Barbados. I built up the cheeks for the deep smile-lines/wrinkles with Ben Nye Nose and Scar Wax. All the other wrinkles I created with makeup. I had to create the goatee from a crappy old Amish-style elasticized beard he had from another year because we couldn't get a proper facial hairpiece here. I had to cut it and stick it on with spirit gum. We also had some bald cap issues because Ben has a pretty large head (love you, Ben! LOL) and so the cap was a bit small and didn't come down over the ears properly. But with the costume, glasses and fake gas mask the bits that wouldn't stick down were hardly visible. This makeup would never have stood up to close up photography or film but at the party it was awesome, and he reported that he was the talk of the night!




I'll leave it at that for now. I've been a busy monkey! I'm so grateful every day to be able to do this for a living! Thank you guys so much for following my blog. Join me on twitter and Instagram @LadyMandyisms, Facebook at www.facebook.com/aboutfacebygossamertouch and YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/mandyaboutface 

Till next time!
Mandy <3 

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