Thursday, 26 February 2009

Red Hot Smokey Eyes...

I've just been enjoying the red carpet galore and watching beautiful dresses (and really ugly ones too!) and make -up. Seems like all the sistas went for the smokey eyes look but then again that's what makes the sexy look!
So here are my picks:

First up is Beyonce at the Golden Globes.
Very beautiful but simple divalicious look. Notice how all the attention is drawn to the smokey eyes in the face. Always best to go for nude/natural lips with dramatic eyes.

I loves the dress too. Beautifully complemented by the choker and the man too :)

Next is Halle Berry at the academy awards. Same smokey eyes with nude lips. Very beautifully done. I love the bare neck. Does not steal any attention from the face or diamond earrings. How could this woman be 42 and post-partum?

Next up is Taraji Henson. She really worked it for me in all the awards especially in her beautiful halter neck dress at the SAG awards. Her hair was on point, perfect lash extensions to really highlight the smokey eyes. Love how she kept the diamonds to the wrist. This lady just screams class! Absolutely divalicious...

Can you imagine a red carpet with no disasters? I just can't!

First up here is believe it or not- Beyonce at the Academy Awards! Her make up was so not on point! Nobody does a tick eye liner these days not especially in a medieval flower vase dress! What the hell was she thinking???

And the award of the century for the wrongest make-up ever goes to.........................................

Oh my!!! She was just so white! Smokey eyes and shouting lips are not very good for red carpet, especially with a very obvious lace wig! I think she should fire her make-up artist/beauty advisor. The smokey eyes were well done and her dress was so beautiful but...Miss Keys, you just didn't get it right this time and no-one can take that away from you!

Back to brushes...

Looks like this dilemma will not be solved easily. I have worked with synthetic and natural brushes in the last few months and I must admit that natural brushes are far more superior than synthetic ones because of their shape. Natural hairs are very good for powder and blending due to their soft narrow tips. Synthetic brushes have to be cut and even if they are soft, are unable to hold and release the powder like natural ones. Anyone who does make-up knows that the key to perfect make-up is blending and I don't care what people say but I know a crap brush gives a crap blend
(and a lot more hard work)- It's an unstated fact!

So back to square one it is with the brushes...

Mineral make-up

I had a Jane Iredale mineral make-up tutorial and wow! I was so blown away. If you are not using mineral make-up yet...what are you waiting for? It is so pure and so light and almost impossible to make mistakes as the make-up goes on in layers. I am so full of praises for it, especially being one who is not keen on crap products going on my skin. The bases are 4-in-1: Powder, foundation, concealer and sunscreen. They have tubed mascaras- the best thing since sliced bread! It lasts ages because you can squeeze out every last bit of it and it does not need to be pumped.

What really did it for me was the 24K gold dust. Absolutely amazing! You can do almost anything with them and they are food grade. Mineral make-up is so wonderful- it reflects light and is a natural sunscreen. You only need a minute amount to achieve desirable effects.

I realised MAC does mineral make-up too so maybe I'll try their colours but as far as bases are concerned, its JI all the way. I couldn't stop saying amazing!

I'm so inspired by it. Looks like I've found a nice replacement for my collection. Pure natural make-up is the best thing a girl could ask for...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Royal Pain

Whether you'd like to accept it or not, royalty is a privilege. Even though generally one might not have a say on whether or not to be one, I happen to be a royal poshness- my very own self-declared royalty. I like to think of my poshness as a sovereignty in itself. Yeah I know, I'm so full of myself but hey that's what makes me... Royal!

Anyway in my attempt to incorporate my royalty, I got a little shocker when I was told that I have to write a letter to the secretary of state to request written approval to use the word 'royal' in my name. I must show that I am in no way affiliated with the royal family and do not intend to mislead the public into thinking so. Now while I must admit I find the mere thought of misleading the public very delightful, it is not my aim at all. However I do want the public to believe that my line is a very posh (sovereign standard) one. Some people might argue that that is misleading but then again, that is not 'the aim'. The bottom line is I am not affiliated with the British royal family or Her Majesty's government and I do not even want the public to think that at all, in fact I might be annoyed if that happens.

So I wrote a letter trying to explain why I am royalty in my own right and how I intend to use my privilege if granted to the good of beautiful women as it is all organic bla bla bla.
Fingers crossed the reply, if I get one this year, will be good. However until then, everything else- logo, trademark etc has to go on hold. This is all becoming such a royal pain in the...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The 'How to' guide review

The basics
Title: Breaking into and succeeding as a natural, organic and mineral cosmetics maker

Authors: Jennie S. Bev; Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little; Margie Monin

Pages: 87

Price: $97.95

Quick Information: This eGuide provides insightful information, advices and tips for anyone who is contemplating to become a natural, organic and mineral cosmetics maker. Numerous hard-to-find resources are included to help you locate pertinent information.

I must admit I was amazed at the amount of useful information I got out of this book. It is based on a lot of American principles but these can easily be applied to whatever country you live in.

The good:
  • I love how the language is so easy to understand and the examples or rather words of advice from people who haver actually made it.
  • The substance of the book is only about 45 pages. Pp 69-86 contain a list of private and contract label manufacturers in North America and Canada and it's this list that makes the book expensive! If you live elsewhere this is of course useless to you unless you plan to create the business in the states. First few pages are introduction and some motivation i.e the myths or doubts people have and why they do not apply etc.
  • There are many website links and for me this is very helpful. Even though the book is small, every link you visit has a sea of information.
  • It tells you all the legal stuff you need to know. Most of them I knew but It helps you understand how certain things like incorporation, patents etc apply to you.
  • It goes on for a bit on natural vs organic cosmetics, what labels say and why you should (not!) believe what you read, the (very lousy) rules on labeling your own cosmetics etc.
The not so good:
  • A few hints on making your own brand but I must say not that helpful. Also a very short section on what to include in the catalogue which I didn't think was any help at all.
  • There is nothing about formulations in the book, though it tells you you can hire a lab to create a formulation (as if you didn't already know) and gives some websites which tell you about home-made formulas (a bit more useful)
  • I hardly found anything on mineral cosmetics which is a shame really as the title led me to believe that there will be helpful information in there.
Obviously the book has copyright restrictions which means I can't say exactly what's in it but it was a good read. In my opinion $97 is definately too much especially if you do not live in the states. If you do it is worth it - a bit. All the legal information you can get from business websites or any good business book -one of those 'for dummies' books will do. If like me you live in the UK, has the UK rules on cosmetic safety regulations. Also information on certifying organic can be found at Also remember to sign the safe cosmetic agreement and if you care, the HCS cruelty-free agreement Of course all those website links in the book you can find on google but the joy is that it puts all this information in the same place.

As for a list of private and contact label manufacturers in the UK/EU I have not laid my hands on one yet but I am sure the in-cosmetics conference in Munich will solve that problem.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


Before you believe anyone telling you they are professional and letting them tamper with your face, you need to be sure of a few things.

How did they become professional?
Where and by who were they trained? Training is very important, especially training in specific products. For instance, there's no way any make-up artist can do a MAC make-up like a MAC professional. It's even better if they have some kind of qualification, at least you know they were trained and assessed by a professional organisation but that doesn't always matter. Usually people who are trained have the basic knowledge. They understand the colour matching, the ingredients, allergy information, the right coverage of specific products, the effects of different lightings etc.

How many years experience have they had? The most important thing in make-up in my experience is experience! If they can show you a portfolio of their work that's great, then you can judge for yourself. If they have a website, that's great- go check it out. If not, find out from somebody they have made-up before. Listen to what people have to say, there is no more effective way of spreading information than word of mouth. Experience is truly the best teacher. You learn a lot of things that no training can teach you. You realise that some techniques are better and develop your own unique style. That's what makes every artist different. It is also important that they can relate to your style. Some people are experts with Asian/coloured skin tones, some people are good with Caucasian tones, some can do any skin type. You need to be aware of what their strength is before you indulge.

What's in the make-up kit?
What brands? I read on some professional's website that they do not have cheap cosmetics and only use the likes of NARS, MAC etc. Basically this is all useless information. OK don't get me wrong, beware of cheap professionals putting crap on your face, but just because it is expensive doesn't make it good. I know this first-hand. The last thing you want is for someone to put something on your face and you end up in a rash. Insist on what you know is good and what you are used to. You have a say on what goes on your face/body. If it is a bridal there must be a trial session at least 3 weeks prior. This is enough time for any allergic reactions to heal and it saves you the trouble of taking ages on your wedding day to do the make-up.

How long have they been in there? I cannot overemphasize this. Make-up has a shelf-life and any true professional knows better than to use out-dated make-up on your face, but you should still ask. Mascara is a very important one. If you see a wand in a mascara, do not use it. We professionals know that we should break the wand and only use disposables. Mascara should not stay longer than 4 months, except if it has been specially formulated to do so. Same with the brushes, when was the last time they were cleaned or shampooed? You don't want to use brushes that have gone on 20 acne faces unwashed! These are all little things that tell you a lot about the person and whether you should pay them your money or not.

Ideally make-up should be done under natural light but this doesn't always happen. If it is a bridal, the trial MUST happen under natural light otherwise you might look very white on your day- to go with the dress I guess.

It is important that the artist is punctual. Let them know exactly what you are after. Don't leave it up to them. I did this a while ago and I was sorry. I hated the pictures.

Obviously if you are not a professional you wont know much about technique, but hopefully if all the other things are right, then you are in safe hands.

I'm telling you all this because these days, anyone can just declare themselves make-up artists and start doing stupid things to people. That's why a lot of people look so fake on their wedding days etc. They may look OK in pictures but appear white to the naked eye and vice versa.
Please be aware of what people are up to. Let your professional session be what you dreamed it to be...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Moving On...

I didn't die or fade off the earth. I had exams :(
Afterwards I went home and had a long discussion with my parents about my future, mainly on the 'funding' topic. They're willing to help but I have to come up with a well laid out (and ready to go) plan before they even have a look at it. These things cost a lot of money, just to register my trademark internationally is gonna cost me around £900! If I have any advice for any starters out there- be patient and persevere. It can get frustrating and you have to stay focused.

I have a CPD course coming up soon. CPD (Continuing Professional development) is something that has become natural to me as it is necessary in both my medical and make-up profession. Make-up artists have to keep up with the trend too you know. I'm also attending the in-cosmetics workshop in Munich on organic cosmetics which is coming up soon. It's a 2-day conference on organic jargon and there's gonna be an exhibition of organic cosmetic manufacturers and brands. All this in the midst of my time-constrained anatomy project but I know it's worth it and it will be fun.

I hope I will be able to give some helpful tips on the industry and how to go about things. By the way I'm currently reading the 'How to' natural cosmetics guide. So far so good...
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