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Hair & Make Up Artist

Musings of a beauty junkie.

Welcome ...here you will find all that you need to know about: * What's trending * Forecast Beauty Looks & News * Fashion/Beauty Inspiration * Professional make up application techniques and expert tips * Tutorials & tips from my favorite MUA including Pat McGrath, Rae Morris, Lan Nguyen-Grealis, Alex Box, Jordan Liberty, Karla Powell The Body Shop & ARTDECO.

Recently I have been invited to share with my colleagues information relating to The Body Shop's amazing natural skincare solutions and makeup so I will be featuring more of these products on my page.

Also follow me on my Fade To Black Facebook page.

Background image via uniquely produced art dolls created by Alyssia @ https://www.facebook.com/Refabrications

Go take a look at her work, all details of the dolls are amazing!

Please note all opinions expressed on this page are my own personal views and not representative of the L'Oréal brand.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

'The world needs fantasy, not reality'

Perhaps an acquired taste the limited edition, (only 21 pairs were made), 10" armadillo shoes from his 2010 collection which ranged  from $3,900 to $10,000 a pair and more for the likes of Lady Gaga or style icon Daphne Guinness.

To something a little more classic and fitting for a princess. Yesterday Kate Middleton stepped out  in an elegant  ivory and satin Alexander McQueen gown to marry Prince William.

Apparently she decided not to use a make-up artist and chose to do her to do her own opting for a classic, natural and fresh styled finish with emphasis on a subtle, smoky eye and of course her signature black liner underneath. With flawless and glowing skin she accentuated her look even more with a strong rosy pink blusher to add definition to the cheekbones and teamed with a soft, pink lipstick. A full, naturally arched brow completed the look.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Perfect Complexion

Create a flawless complexion with the correct concealing products.  

Had a few late nights out on the town, hormonal breakouts  or not drinking enough water? The right concealer can brighten the dark circles under your eyes, cover and help heal blemishes and help correct your skin tone.

Apply concealing products after foundation, sometimes your foundation will conceal more areas than you think.

A gently pigmented, light reflecting cream formulation makes shadows and fine lines disappear and gives a fresh appearance, so that your complexion looks more even and youthful.

Begin with using a light reflective cream under the eyes, around the nose and along the brow bone.

Use a yellow/apricot concealer one to two shades  lighter than your skin tone to neutralize dark shadows, illuminate tired eyes and conceal any pink tone in the skin around the eye. A small amount of concealer can be swept across the top lid if your foundation contains and SPF and you have not used this on the eyelid. This creates a neutral canvas so your eye shadows will be true to their colour. (Artdeco Perfect Tint Concealer # 9 yellow/apricot based, #5 neutral).

Remember the eye is the oiliest part of the face and will need to be lightly powdered or use an eyeshadow base for a crease free and smooth eye shadow finish. A little powder will make it easier to blend your eye shadows.

Use your concealer brush, the brush applicator of your product or your ring finger to gently pat around the inner corner and socket line. Leave for a moment for the skin to warm the product then pat and melt the product into the desired areas. Do not rub the product in as you will only lift the product off. Blend close to the lash line to reduce pink tones if required. (2) To cover up shadows around the eyes and tiny lines and wrinkles, apply a tiny amount of Perfect Teint Concealer to the inner and outer corners of the eye. 


Illuminating is the ultimate tool for achieving radiance. Sweep the illuminator on top of the cheekbone, under the eyebrows, down the centre of the nose and on the middle of your chin. Lightening the magic triangle will leave your skin more radiant and fresher. Illuminating can be done with special illuminating concealers.
(Artdeco Perfect Tint Concealer # 8 yellow based or #1 pink based). (3) Apply Perfect Teint Illuminator to the middle of your forehead and nose, the cheeks and the middle of your chin, and work in gently. 
Professional tip: Always choose a concealer that is one shade lighter than your complexion.

The other option for a more luminous finish is with shimmer pigments ranging from eggshell, cream, gold, rose gold and bronze tones depending on your skin colour which can be cream or powder based.



Use a concealing brush to press the  product along the desired areas and then blend outwards for a seamless finish.

Watch the Artdeco video to see where exactly the concealing, illuminating and camoflauging product should be used.  (.54 seconds into the video)

Illuminating powders can be applied with fingers, small brushes or a fan brush to highlight the cheekbone.

Blemishes require a different kind of concealer. A creamy, slightly thicker texture will provide more coverage without looking heavy and ideally should be one shade darker than your skin tone to diminsh the appearance of a raised blemish. The most common mistake is using a shade too light. Look for a yellow base shade.

We lighten to bring something forward and we darken to set something back so to make the blemish disappear into the skin we do not want to use an illuminating concealer. Use a green toned concealer stick to reduce redness and one containing Tee Tree oil will help to heal the blemish quickly and act as an antiseptic on impurities.

Never use a healing concealer under the eye area as tea tree oil is far too volatile and will irritate the delicate eye tissue.



Camoflauge products are perfect for optically neutralizing skin irritations, red veins, pigmentation, birthmarks, scarring and tattoos. These products are thicker and a little firmer in texture. Artdeco camoflauge creams can be mixed together to create the perfect shade.
Yellow based cream will neutralize blue tone from dark shadows or moles and some birthmarks.
Green based cream will reduce high colour in couperose skin and scars.
Red based cream will successfully cover black tattoos.
Neutral  skin toned cream can be matched to skin tone to blend away pigmentation spots.

Use a spatula to take up a small amount of product and warm the product on  the top of your sanitized hand to soften and  then apply with a slightly dampened sponge for a faultless finish. This will ensure that a smoother consistency is achieved as the product will heat and blend easier. After camoflauging the area, a neutral skin toned camoflauge cream can be blended over a fixed neutralizing cream to blend it perfectly into the rest of the skin.

Camoflauge cream becomes waterproof once sealed with a fixing powder. Use a powder brush and fixing powder over the area and leave for 5-10 minutes, then dust excess powder away.
The neutral shade will ensure the camoflauge cream is smear proof and waterproof.

Skin toned camoflauge creams are excellent for wedding and photographic makeups for a smooth, flawless finish.


Contouring is all about changing the look and shape of the face. It can be used to accentuate, define, disguise and hide certain features of the face.

Camoflauge cream and cream based foundations used in a natural skin tones  2-3 shades darker ( never shimmery ) are used to shade and create:

* Defined and chiselled cheekbones
* Narrow a wide nose
* Define the jawline and disguise a double chin
* Soften a square jawline
* Minimize a large forehead or rounded face

Apply the contouring product with a foundation brush or latex sponge to the desired areas.

For a more defined cheekbone

Draw an imaginary line from top of the ear to edge of the mouth, shade under this line as contouring will set the feature back and thus lifting the cheekbone.
Blend from the ear forward, the darkest area should be from the ear  not in the middle of the cheek area.
Draw a second imaginary line  from the outer corner of the eye and outer corners of the nose. Blend the edges away and this will indent the temple and make the cheek look more prominent.


* Contouring will be discussed in a future post in more detail. The below video is in german however you can take a look to see the placement of product and how the end blended result should look.

(4) Bronzing Powder Compact SPF 15 is ideal for accentuating and contouring your face. Your complexion looks quite natural – as if you had been kissed by the sun!

Use a bronzing brush and sweep across the areas of the face the sun would  generally hit the skin: cheekbones, chin, down the nose and above the brows.

A bronzing powder 1-2 tones darker than your skin tone and with duo tones will look most natural.
Do not apply evenly all over the face or you will just look orange and muddy looking - not a good look!


Thursday, 14 April 2011

All That Glitters

False eyelashes are one of the big fashion trends this season with celebrities opting for dramatic strip lashes and individual lash extensions, not reserved for just the red carpet events but for every day wear too. Explore the avant garde and high fashion makeup looks that hit the fashion runways and magazine pages with larger than life eyelashes, vibrant bold eye-popping eye shadows, glitter encrusted eyelids,  loud luscious lip colors & vibrant sparkling gems and jewels.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Femme Fatale

Dita Von Teese is known for her distinctive retro glamour looks. From the bold ruby red lips to her porcelain skin and cat eye black liner to her old-school waved hairstyles, she is often called the 'ultimate retro pin-up girl', with her 1940s burlesque style.

Dita Von Teese Wonderbra Launch Party

Get the look with these Artdeco products:

Base: Create a flawless, luminous and porcelain skin by massaging in some moisturizer, applying a primer and use a medium coverage foundation making sure to blend the common areas of discoloration and redness: eyelids (which often have a purple tone), cheeks, and around the nose. Avoid the lids (the oiliest part of your face). Conceal and camoflauge as required. Use a big, soft powder brush  and set with a loose translucent/ illuminating mineral powder. The subtle light reflective particles will give the skin some life and a soft sheen.

Try Artdeco Make up base

Try Artdeco Concealer & Illuminator

Try Artdeco Rich Treatment Foundation #28 Light Porcelain

Try Artdeco Illuminating Powder

Blush:  A matte texture is true pin-up, but a hint of shimmer in a rose- pink makes the look more ethereal. Contour the cheekbone and swirl the brush on the apples of your cheeks.

Try Artdeco Blusher #49 beige rose

Eye Shadow: Apply and eyeshadow base or dust eyelids with translucent powder to absorb excess oil and make blending of your eyeshadow easier.

Try Artdeco Eyeshadow Base

Blend a matte eye shadow in a vanilla or cream tone from your lash line to your brow.
Press a pearl version of that same color just under the arch of your brow. This catches the light and makes your brow arch seem slightly higher. Never shade the entire brow bone with a shimmer eyeshadow as you will create a puffy eye effect. Press a small amount of the same colour across the middle section of the mobile lid to pick up the light and make the eyes pop.

Blend a beige/bisque/taupe toned eye shadow across the crease and then blend a medium slate grey matte eye shadow in the outer crease of your lid, and softly blending as you shade towards the inner corner. Brush a thin line of the grey shadow under your bottom lashes for some definition and use a white kajal on the water line to make the eyes look bigger & brighter.

Try Ardeco Eye Shadow #554 Matt vanilla, #19 Nougat Cream, # 514 Matt Light Grey Beige

Brows: Using an angled brow brush, trace the shadow along the inner edge of the top of your brow and create a defined arch using a brow powder in the same colour as your eyebrows. Then, use the flat side of the brush to fill in the rest of your brow.

Try Artdeco Brow Powder in Dark and Stencils

Eye liner: Practice makes perfect! Using a fine eyeliner brush, tilt the brush so you’re using the side as opposed to the point and, starting from your lid’s inner corner right at the tear duct, draw along your lash line all the way to the outer corner. When you reach the pupil, gradually thicken the line, then when you reach the end of your lash line angle upwards and flick the brush slightly past the outer corner. Go back over the line a few times and really work the black into the lash line for a smooth finish and creating intensity at the lashline. An excellent technique to use if you don't have a steady hand is to apply a small piece of sticky tape angled from the outer corner of the eye to the edge of your brow and press flat against the skin.  ( Use the same angle as though you were using an eyeshadow marker).  Apply your liner and when you remove the tape you will have a perfectly straight, fine flick.

Try Artdeco High Precision Liquid Liner Black

Lashes: Curl the lashes with a pair of eyelash curlers to further enhance and open up the eyes. Apply a fine coat of mascara to the bottom lashes and let dry. Coat the top lashes with 2 coats of a full lash effect mascara for volume, length and curl. This creates beautiful, fan-like lashes. Apply a full strip or 3/4 false lashes to the outer corners of the eye.

Try Artdeco Wonderlash Black Mascara

Try Artdeco False Lashes

Lips: Prepare the lips and use a lip base to neutralize the colour and create a smooth  even surface. Seal the lip line and correct any uneven shape with a lip corrector. Highlight the cupids bow. Then, choose a classic, fire-engine red lipstick and sweep it across the centre of the lip towards the outer corner.

Artdeco Red Carpet Lips # 420 'femme fatale' is a perfect choice!  Using the side of your lip brush create a precise line and finish along your lip line. Use a lip pencil for more definition if required. Blot by taking a tissue, place it over your mouth, and dust a little translucent face powder or fixing powder over the tissue. Remove the tissue and apply the second coat of lipstick.

Try Artdeco Lifting Lip Base

Try Artdeco Lip Corrector

 Try Artdeco Waterproof Lipliner #10 Seductive Red

Try Artdeco Perfect Colour Lipstick #05 Tango red

Try Artdeco Magic Fix Lipstick Sealer


Monday, 11 April 2011

Top Trends: Runway To Real Way

The makeup trends to get you glam right now.

Dark & Dramatic: Everyone loves a smoky eye and it looks great on every eye shape too. Create femme fatale glamour with statement eyes and strong brows teamed with a bold lip for high drama. Choose tangerine or bright coral on warmer skin tones and berry, plum and eggplant on cooler skin tones.


Create Spring/Summer 2011

Bright eyes: If black is a little too heavy for you then go with the bright, rich pigments of Amethyst, Blue, Green or Red across the lid  which will dramatize the eyes and is completely on trend. If you want a more intense look extend and blend the colour past your crease line. Add some glitz to the inner corner or centre of the lids by applying some silver, gold or bronze metallic shine. Finish off with big lashes.

Create Bright eyes with Artdeco

The sculpted cheekbone: Definition is back with Glam Art. Layering bronzer and blusher has a double benefit. Bronzer brings out the cheekbone and makes them more three dimensional and blush placed on the apples of the cheeks on top of the bronzer will add a glow.

Create Glam Art

Create Artdeco Autumn/ Winter 2011

Covering All Bases

Achieving the perfect base is the key to a flawless makeup. Remember a good quality primer will have helped smooth out tiny imperfections in your skin such as fine lines and open pores so that your foundation will now glide on and give you a longer lasting finish.

If the skins natural oils interact with your foundation during the day you can find your base gets darker looking. The barrier created by the primer helps ensure that your foundation stays colour true all day long.

We wear a foundation to even out skin tone and hiding imperfections. Used correctly they will also warm up the complexion and add depth to the face.

The trick is to enhance your complexion not cover it. Foundation should feel lightweight and not heavy and caked onto the skin otherwise it will appear mask like and ageing.

The type of foundations you  can use include - liquid, cream, compact, stick or mineral  and all depends on personal taste,  however the wrong one for your skin type can change the entire look of your makeup.

There are several things to take into consideration when choosing your foundation:

What type of skin do you have?
Keep it simple & choose either Normal/Dry or  Normal/Oily or Combination

What texture do you prefer?
How do you want your foundation to to look and feel?

Choosing the correct colour to match your skin tone
In general the rule is that a warm skin tones suits a yellow based shade while cool tones suit pink based. The easiest way to find the right foundation for you skin is by looking at the colour of skin across your decolletage. Your face and body should always match. Sometimes this means using a foundation 2-3 shades darker than your face.

The shade that blends with your skin tone across your chest/collarbones is the right one to achieve a natural, healthy glow to the skin. The skin tone around the neck and under the jawline is always lighter than your face and decolletage and matching your foundation to your jawline will result in an unnatural colour match up making your face appear lighter.

If your face and decolletage match up in tone then simply choose a colour that blends into your skin tone by applying several different shades across the cheek area, the perfect shade will merge with your skin without needing too much blending.

ARTDECO Tutorial

(1) The easiest way to find the right foundation for your skin is by trying three shades that are similar to your skin tone together on your cheek. The shade that blends with your skin is the right one.
For perfect results, apply your liquid foundation with the Make-up brush. Pour a little of your chosen foundation onto the back of your hand. Gently dip the tip of the brush in the foundation and start to apply in a gentle circling movement, working from the cheek area up to the facial contours.

To help it last a little longer, finish with Compact or Loose Powder. Take up the pigments with the brush and set your foundation, working gently from the top down.
If you can't find the perfect shade, custom blend your own. Choose 2 foundations, one slightly darker and one lighter than your complexion and then you can mix the perfect blend all year round.


Foundation overview
Liquid for Sensitive, Dry & dehydrated skin for a sheer and minimal coverage. Ideal for a clear, blemish free skin. Can be water and oil based.

Cream for Normal, Dry & Sensitive skin for buildable coverage medium to strong.

Cream to powder for Normal, Oily and Combination Skin for  buildable coverage light to strong.

Compact powder for Normal, Combination & Oily skin  for buildable coverage medium to strong.

Powder based mineral foundations for velvety finish on all skin types.

Foundation textures

Sheer - Minimal coverage. A tinted moisturizer is great for a normal or oliy skin. Tap or press rather than rubbing the product in or it will disappear into the skin.

Soft/Dewy/Creamy -  Light to medium coverage. Creamy foundation provides maximum coverage on a drier skin.

Luminous - Creamy with higher shine from shimmery pigment, they  are a great way to brighten dull looking skin as they reflect light, which will diminish any imperfections. Best suited to a dry or dehydrated skin as they are moisturizing. A very popular look these days and on the catwalk.

Velvety - Semi matt powder finish with a velvety sheen.

Heavy -  Can be both creamy or matte. A creamy stick will conceal blemishes and redness around the nose.

Matt - Skin has no shine and is quite powdered. Can look flat and cakey on the wrong skin type.

Different formulations are best suited to different skin types.

Normal skin can use any formula, to even out skin tone and create a smooth base for a barely there coverage.

Combination skin usually has a slightly oilier t-zone and normal skin everywhere else. A cream to powder formulation works best as it is lightweight and long wearing that combines the great coverage of a liquid with the shine controlling benefits of a powder. The other option would be a liquid formulation combined with a finishing powder  for managing a shiny t-zone with out a mask like finish.

Dry skin needs a glow so use a moisturizing liquid or cream foundation that is hydrating and moisture binding. These formulations give your skin a satin feeling with the moisturizing foundation and replenish dehydrated skins, they often calm redness and inflammation and protect skin cells and tissue from environmental  damage. Your skin is left with a healthy dewy glow providing a medium to high buildable coverage. Avoid powder formulations as they can make the skin look flaky and age the skin.

Mature skin is often dehydrated and can appear dull looking and requires a velvety, light reflective cream foundation to smooth the complexion and reflect light to make tired skin look fresh and vibrant again. These formulations often contain vitamin E, hylaronic acid and other antioxidants which give moisture and plump the skin from underneath for a medium to high buildable coverage.

Oliy skin needs an oil free, lightly mattifying, long wearing formula to achieve a luminous but shine free complexion. Choose a water based formulation that is non comedogenic (doesn't clog your pores and cause blemishes). An oil free liquid or powder formulation will look the most natural for a medium coverage  and keep skin looking fresh all day.

Blemish prone skin should be evened out with a sheer formulation. A thick foundation will only highlight the blemishes and make them worse. If your skin is prone to break outs it's best to use oil free products. Mineral formulations work extremely well for natural coverage with a lightweight feel and will not clog the skin.

Mineral Magic - All skin types can use the Mineral foundation formulations, even the most sensitive as they won't  irritate allergy prone skin and  will visibly improve the quality of your skin and provides great coverage. More than a trend Mineral makeup is here to stay with most companies expanding into a full mineral range.

Mineral formulations are Talc, Oil, Fragrance and Preservative free with natural SPF'S that  not only look natural but feel weightless on the skin. Natural minerals in the formulations can calm redness, protect skin tissue and maintain moisture levels as well as control oiliness. Mineral formulations provide a silky, light reflective, soft focus finish giving skin a luminous glow. Mineral Foundations are now available as a loose powder, compact powder and liquid formulation. Powder formulations will give you that velvety, matte finish and the liquid a more luminous dewy finish.

To add luminosity to your skin use a foundation with shimmer particles which give a soft focus effect, reflects light to make tired skin look fresh and vibrant or add a shimmery cream, soft gold or deep bronze luminizer liquid to your base for an all over glow. The colour chosen should be the same as your skin tone or a few shades lighter.


For perfect results, apply liquid and cream foundations with a foundation brush.

Pour a little product onto the back of your clean, sanitized hand or mixing palette.
Using the tip of the brush dip into the foundation and start to apply from the nose and cheek area up to the facial contours.
Always start at the centre of the face, since that is where we usually need more coverage, and blend outwards and downwards towards the chin. Use a brush to apply full coverage foundation (half to a shade lighter under the eyes and t-zone and a fine sweep above the jaw line).
Foundation should blend out to a seamless finish along the hairline. Blend well across the forehead and under the jawline.
Wipe excess product from the brush and lightly buff the face with the foundation brush to smooth the colour.
Dust a loose powder over the top. The fine, matte texture will keep skin looking sheer but polished.
You can sweep a mineral powder in a slightly warmer or deeper shade than your skin tone on your temples, cheekbones and chin. This created extra dimension and additional texture.
Buff your entire face with a large powder brush.

Some formulations like cream to powder or compact powder formulations can be applied with sponges. Latex sponges are disposable, and therefore ideal for even and hygienic application. Be aware sponges do absorb a lot of product and can be expensive. Invest in a suitable foundation brush.

If your foundation contains a high level of SPF be aware to not use this product too close to the eye area as it may irritate the sensitive eye area and cause watering and a stinging sensation. If  you require further coverage around the eye area use the correct concealing product and disguise any imperfections. Foundations containing high SPF's are not ideal for wedding/photographic makeup as they can make the face appear paler than they are.

Never buy a foundation without checking it first in the daylight. Natural daylight is the best for applying makeup to check for mistakes, hard lines and creating perfectly blended results.

Hydrasilk Foundation

Rich Treatment

High Performance Lifting

Double Finish

SPF 30+ Compact Foundation

To achieve the optimum, shine free finish and ensure longevity, apply a loose powder with a professional powder brush for a fine daytime layering or use a powder puff or makeup round to press and roll for a more intense and long lasting matt finish, ideal for an oilier skin type. Lightly dust the powder down the face.

Pressed and loose powders are essentially the same, pressed powder is simply loose powder compressed into a compact. Loose powder will last longer and gives you more coverage because it's fluffier and adheres more easily to the brush or powder brush. Pressed powder is ideal for touching up during the day.

Silk Touch