Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ode to a Make-up Artist: Kevyn Aucoin

My teenage experimentation with make-up turned into passion for the art form once I was acquainted with Kevyn Aucoin.

Back in the days there weren't any YouTube Gurus to show you how to do a smokey eye, so when I spotted The Art of Makeup in my local bookstore in 1996, a whole new world was opened to me. I discovered that make-up could be more than just applying mascara and lipgloss or camouflaging acne.
Pictures from

After being discovered by Vogue, Kevyn Aucoin mainly worked with photographer Steven Meisel during the 80s.

He progressed his career when he became Creative Director at Revlon and build up an impressive portfolio working with A-list stars like Janet Jackson, Cher and Julia Roberts. You may have even seen him in the fourth season of Sex & The City, where he starred as himself, doing Carrie Bradshaw's make-up for New York Fashion Week.

Sadly, Kevyn Aucoin died May 7 2002 aged 40, from complications stemming from a rare pituitary tumor.

But enough of the history lesson :-) Why should I care about Kevin Aucoin? Why is he still relevant?

Everytime your favourite YouTube Guru does a celebrity-inspired make-up or another make-up artists launches their own range of cosmetics, remember that Kevyn Aucoin was there first.

While his first book The Art of Makeup still very much covered all your make-up basics, e.g. how to chose and apply foundation, eyebrow shapes, differnt types of eyeliner etc., Aucoin's two later books Making Faces / All About Make-up in 1999 and Face Forward in 2000 introduce us to transformations.

Famously, Aucoin turned celebrities like Winona Ryder into the Elizabeth Taylor of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Gina Gershon into Sophia Loren. With strep-by-step illustrations, you can re-create all the looks from this books in the comfort of your home.
What I love about Kevyn Aucoin's books is that everyone is included. His make-up is not just about celebrities and models. In all of his books, you also see his looks on his mom and sister, friends of all ages, sexes, shapes and skin colour. You name it, he's done it.

My copies of these books are well-tumbed and I still frequently refer to them. However, these books are 
not mere how-tos. As much as they are show-and-tell, they convey that make-up is art, that make-up is fun and that everyone is beautiful.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

NOTD - Collection 2000 Lemon Soda

It may not feel like summer at the moment here in London, so I thought I'll brighten up my day with a manicure. I have been charmed by Chanel's Mimosa, but I was not prepared to dish out £17.50 on a polish I'll hardly ever wear. At £1.79 Collection 2000's Lemon Soda is not doing that much damage.

Being so pale, I'm always careful when it comes to yellow, but this shade is somewhat on the warm side and I think it works. You need at least 2 coats to get it opaque, it dries within the promised 60 seconds and the chipping is in line with what you expect from a fast-drying polish of that price range. 

Here comes the sun!

Collection 2000 is available at Boots and Superdrug.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Products I Love NOW: Good Things 5min Facial Face Mask

I love this product ❤

Not only is it free from parabens, mineral oils, sodium laureth suphate and any animal products - hence it's suitable for both vegetarians and vegans - it uses so many superfruits, it should count towards your 5-a-day. 

Good Things Five Minute Facial Face Mask uses avocado and goji berries to make your skin softer, smoother and more radiant. There is a slight warming sensation, especially when you wash it off, but this may be because my skin is so sensitive and I did not notice any particular redness as a result. 

I got mine from Boots for £6.12, but you can also buy directly from Good Things' own website.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Superdrug launches Beautycard

Superdrug is catching up to Boots by launching their own loyalty card. It works in the same way that Boots' one does, which means you get 1 points for every £1 you spend in-store or online.

You can find out more and register your card on the Superdrug website

Happy shopping :-)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Oily skin series - Urban Decay Primer Potion

This is godsend!!! Before I "discovered" UDPP, my eyeshadow was gone come 10am, regardless of how good or expensive the actual eyeshadow was. Nowadays, it stays on all day and I wish I could find a face primer as solid as this. Even friends with non-oily lids found that UDPP significantly increased the staying power of their eye make-up even if they were only wearing eyeliner.

I'm still using the version in the genie bottle and I'm very keen to try to squeeze tube versions, especially in the alternative shades Eden, Sin and Greed, but these are not available in the UK yet. 

Another plus is that all Urban Decay products are vegan and cruelty free :-)
Unfortunately Boots no longer sell Urban Decay in the UK, so you have to go to Debenhams or House of Fraser for £12.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bobbi Brown Launches Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer

I just spotted on Temptalia that Bobbi Brown is launching a new oil-free tinted moisturiser and there seem to be 2 shades tailor-made for us pale beauties: Alabaster Tint and Extra Light Tint

Here is what it promises to be: 
Inspired by her award-winning SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer, Bobbi introduces a modern gel-based formula for normal to oily skin types. New SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free hydrates and protects skin while offering sheer, natural looking coverage. Light and refreshing, it glides on smoothly and blends easily. Vitamins C and E protect skin from free radicals, while SPF 15 helps prevent sun damage.

 SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free Ingredients & Benefits:

  • Sodium Hyaluronate, a moisture magnet, instantly hydrates skin.
  • Emollients and humectants soften skin and strengthen its natural moisture barrier, improving its ability to lock in moisture.
  • Collagen boosting peptides help strengthen and firm skin. Antioxidant Vitamins C & E help protect skin against free radical damage.
  • Aloe, Sucrose and Caffeine help calm and soothe skin.
  • SPF 15 offers broad spectrum UV protection.
 I will definitely be checking out Alabaster Tint at my local Bobbi Brown counter, but you can also purchase these babies online for £27.

    Tuesday, 12 April 2011

    Summer's Going to be Bright - NARS & MAC

    NARS and MAC have announced their summer collections and it looks like we're in for a bright summer :-)

    Here's a sneak peek:

    NARS Summer 2011 Collection

    "The Summer 2011 Collection is a range of warm, sophisticated, shimmering shades, punctuated with shots of vivid, nature-defying color. Eyes are washed in icy sea foam, silver-green and frozen turquoise. Lips are infused with mandarin orange gloss and hot pink matte color. The look is finished with nails in bold sunflower yellow or matte opaque white for a modern, edgy effect that’s strictly NARS."


    Trio Eyeshadow

    • Cap Ferrat Icy sea form, silver green, icy turquoise (Limited Edition)

    Duo Eyeshadow

    • Dogon Metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black (Limited Edition)
    • Exotic Dance Metallic white with silver sheen and metallic gold (Limited Edition)

    Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

    • Queen Modern citrus gold glitter (Limited Edition)


    • Wonder Shiny, sheer mandarin orange with pink and gold shimmer (Permanent)

    Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

    • Bolero Pink cantaloupe (Permanent)

    Pure Matte Lipstick

    • Carthage Matte, hot pink (Permanent)


    • Mayflower Sheer raspberry with shimmer (Permanent)

    Blush ($27.00)

    • New Order Soft pink with gold and silver shimmer (Permanent)

    Nail Lacquer

    • Ecume Opaque white (Limited Edition)
    • Kismet Metallic sunflower (Limited Edition)


    MAC Fashion Flower Collection for Summer 2011

    U.S. Launch Date: May 5th, 2011
    International Launch Date: May 2011
    "Bloom brightly with a stylish fusion of the floral and the fashionable in the summer color collection that evoke the cool side of the hottest season. Fashionflower girls are free to be, each one with cultivated connection to the green house and the fashion house. Unfolding and flourishing these perennial primadonna embrace the growing tend of cheeks and eyes lightly dusted with daisy debossed beauty powder and shadows.
    Their confidence steams from petal-light lashes that sprout dramatically with studio fix bold-black lashes dew lips that sparkle sweetly in budding beauty lipgelee and summer shower, a softly sheer aqua blue lipstick."


    • Summer Shower Light aqua (Glaze) (Limited Edition)
    • Mlle Light white pink (Glaze) )(Repromote) (Limited Edition)
    • Ever Hip Bright creamy coral (Cremesheen) (Repromote) (Limited Edition)
    • Growing Trend Mid-tone taupe nude (Amplified Creme) (Limited Edition)


    • Now in Season Pale yellow with pearl pigment (Limited Edition)
    • Fashion Flower Pale pink with pearl pigment (Limited Edition)
    • Budding Beauty Pale coral with pearl pigment (Limited Edition)


    • Lucky Green Frosted mid-tone lime (Veluxe Pearl) (Permanent)
    • Fresh Daisy Frosted mid-tone yellow white (Frost) (Limited Edition)
    • Bows & Curtseys Metallic hunter green (Satin) (Limited Edition)
    • Aqua Aqua blue (Matte) (Permanent)
    • Free to Be Bright true coral (Matte) (Permanent)
    • Groundcover Mid-tone warm grey (Matte) (Limited Edition)

    Beauty Powder

    • Alpha Girl Soft peach pink with gold nuances (Repromote) (Limited Edition)
    • Light Sunshine Pastel neutral pink with soft gold and pink sparkle (Limited Edition)

    Studio Fix Lash

    • Bold Black Deep intense black (Permanent)

    Penultimate Eyeliner

    • Black Pure black (Permanent)