Being the 31st of August, today is officially the end of winter according to the calendar. And with winter being the ideal time to rug up and don a red lippy I’ve kind of missed the boat there having not even touched on how to wear a red lip. Bad form Hannah! However, I’ve decided to cover my backside by thinking that Christmas is not really that far away and with the holiday season comes parties, where a red lip is always in fashion. So reds. There are so very many options when it comes to red lips, and with the multitude of textures (full colour matte or satin finish lipsticks, sheers, shines, glosses, tinted balms, lip pencils) and tones (blue reds, orange reds, brick reds, raspberry reds, burgundies), there has to be one out there that suits you and which you enjoy wearing. Red lips always make me feel a tad more sexpot, a bit flirtier, and a ton more fun. However there are a couple of things to heed, red rules to live by if you will: 1. Wearing a red lip will draw attention to any redness or discolouration in the skin, but also adds extra drama to any look you have got going on already. And by extra drama I mean every bit of makeup you are wearing is going to be exaggerated, and look more ‘makeupy’. So don’t go thinking you need to apply all the extra foundation coverage everywhere to conceal redness and help your skin look flawless. Instead apply your lipstick as the first step in your makeup application after skin care and then have a look... read more
I’m spending a bit of time on planes over the next couple of months. Like I flew to Auckland on Saturday, and on to Adelaide on Sunday. I flew back to Welly via Sydney on Tuesday and then headed to Christchurch on Wednesday. I get back home on Saturday night. Not to be one of those people who is all “I’m such a global traveller and it’s so very horrible, FML” or anything. But. Work trips aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be. Especially for the skin. Spend a couple of hours on a plane and then a couple of nights in a beautifully cooled (by air conditioning) hotel room, add to that differences in each locations weather/humidity, and an unstable diet and my skin goes a bit bonkers. Dehydration bonkers. Dehydration is a skin condition which can hit anyone. If you don’t have enough water in the skin you’ll start to see some adverse effects. This can hit at the foundation level, where all looks amazing and glowy when you first apply but two hours later your skin is looking like an arid desert, or you have no foundation left on your skin, as it’s taken any water component in the foundation in an effort to rehydrate. The thing is, most foundations are targeted to skin types, the whole dry/combo/oily thing which is to do with the oil/sebum levels in the skin rather than hydration levels. You might be dry and so choose a foundation targeted at dry skin. So lack of oil. If you’re dehydrated too, unless you address that concern in your skin care the... read more
Following on from last weeks post about Kirkcaldies being bought out by David Jones, shall we have a chat about cosmetic floors and how terrifying they can be? I’ve spent a fair amount of the past decade working on the tiled territory of beauty counters. And they are such a different world from any other place I’ve worked. There is high emotion, drama, and a whole bunch of bright lipstick. I have been known to sigh about the drama quota and then be all “well what did I expect, choosing to work in an industry full of women and gay men” *no offense to the straight men and non dramatic others out there. The ladies and gents who toil at cosmetic counters are a diverse bunch. You get the fresh out of makeup school-green as anything-and a bit scared to come near you with a mascara wand beauty assistant through to the jaded- been in the cosmetic industry for far too long-and a bit cynical but highly knowledgeable about products beauty assistant. You get the beauty assistants who are tired of the retail portion of their jobs and just want to play with the pretty colours. You get the longstaying beauty assistants who love helping their customers sort out their skin/makeup and have built up loyal customer (fan) bases. All of that you can’t usually tell from their exteriors. You might think you can get a clue from how old they look, but you need to realise that these women/men have access to all the great skincare ingredients - retinols, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, aha’s - things which can make... read more
Big news in Wellington over the past month, there’s an offer on the table for David Jones to take over our beloved old gal, Kirkcaldies. Any day now I’m sure we’ll hear that they’ve signed, sealed and delivered the deal. I’ve had quite a few people asking me my thoughts on the topic so have decided to lay it all on the table in this post. In my time in the beauty world, I’ve worked on the cosmetics floor for both David Jones Sydney City and Kirkcaldies so I do feel a little bit entitled to an opinion here… So. I do think the two brands are in sync - both stores are steeped in history, traditional, and are very well versed in class. If you’ve ever visited the David Jones Sydney City store during the Spring Flower Festival it is crazy amazing: I am confident that the store Wellingtonians know as Kirkcaldies - Wellington’s premiere department store - is in good hands should David Jones take over. Those of you who have been shopping at Kirks since the beginning of time shouldn’t be afraid that the store will lose it’s sense of history, and those of you who currently feel like you’re stepping back in time in a bad, non-Michael J Fox way, when you go into Kirkcaldies (or not as you probably don’t shop there) will be pleasantly suprised. The fashion floors will get a massively overdue facelift, and there are apparently escalators going in. I’m excited. Bring on the crazy amazing shoe department ladies! But. The staff. Think of the staff. From what I understand, Kirks will make all staff redundant in January 2016, and they’ll need to reapply... read more
I had a very fun wedding party the other Saturday… While I was midway through one of the bridesmaid’s makeup, she hit me up about something she’d seen on the Pinstagram where a woman had applied red lipstick all the way around her eyes to rid herself of dark circles. Yep I’ve seen pics of that one too. Yep it made it to Stuff.co.nz’s Beauty section. And then I was driving somewhere listening to a makeup artist on the radio be quizzed about her top tricks. And she goes and mentions that she has seen a trick lately where someone used red lipstick around their eyes and how it looked amazing. Instagram strikes again. Sigh. My take on this: Brilliant attempt at multi purposing a makeup product by that lady, all power to her. From what I’ve seen it’s a very red lipstick. And she looks to be of Indian origin, with quite a dark, yellow/olive toned skin. A skin tone where dark circles become a rather blackish purpley grey, rather than your stock standard bluey purple. The thing that works on her skin tone is not going to work on most other skin tones. Also - have you swatched lipstick on your hand and then rubbed it off? Depending on the pigment quality you’ll have that shit on your hand for a good few washes. Also – the texture of lipstick is made for the lips, it’s not really going to sit well under your eyes, the area that can be the driest on your face. It’ll either be too drying if you use a lippie of the long lasting variety, or too emollient if you use a... read more
Welcome to the Behind My Shower Curtain - January edition. Here’s a run down of my favourite product finds for the first month of 2015. Redken Wax Blast This is the product that I’ve been on the hunt for for years. Probably for as long as my hair has been in a bob/lob which is pretty much constantly since I was 8. I prefer a messyish approach to my hair, a tousled slightly unkempt look, which to achieve I need to apply some sort of wax product through the ends to get a piecey look. But I’ve found most waxes a bit heavy, or not heavy enough, or too wet, or too dry (total Goldilocks syndrome) so my hair inevitably ends up in a ponytail/top knot type of situation. With Wax Blast, Redken have created a game changer for me. It’s a spray wax, so you get a nice light coverage of product where you want it (the ends) and the texture it gives is brilliant. If you like slightly tousled beachy waves, get ye to a Redken salon and pick some of this brilliance up. Mecca Cosmetica Lip De-Luscious SPF25 Lip Protectant (Glossy Pink Tint) I was put on to this product by Rae Morris after I wrote this on the best lip balms ever. It’s a delightful lip balm, with sun protection of SPF 25, a glorious light pinky colour and a delicious fruity taste. I’ve been using it when I’m meeting people during the day and want sun protection with a hint of colour on my lips. Although it includes shea butter and vitamin E in its ingredient list, I’m... read more
Mascara. The product that helps frame your eyes and finish off a polished makeup look. Also the product that can make you look extra tired when it ends up smudged under your eyes. Even waterproof, super unbudgable mascaras can smudge if they mix with residual eye cream, oil from a concealer or oily eyelids, which makes sense when you think that you normally use an oil based makeup remover to remove that hard core waterproof gear. But once it’s smudged down under your eyes and you don’t have any remover on hand just try to clean it off. It’s damn near impossible. So for outings into muggy humid weather, occasions when there might be tears or eye rubbing, or pretty much anytime I’m using mascara, I love to use something called a tubular mascara. These beauties coat the lashes with a flexible polymer which is immune to oil, sweat and tears. But it can be removed at the end of the day super easily with your fingers and some warm water. After cleansing your face wet your thumb and index finger with warm water and gently pull through your lashes, the mascara will come off in wee plastic-like tubes. Easy. You’ll find that most brands nowadays do a tubular mascara. I’ve tried several but have yet to find a drugstore brand with a tubing mascara in stock when I’ve been shopping so still have a bit of experimentation to do to find a good cheapie version. The best tubing mascara I’ve found so far that I can highly recommend are: Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara I use this mascara and have been so... read more
Beauty boxes seem to have been the thing of 2014. There are a tonne of different options to subscribe to overseas, but as usual here in NZ they’re pretty limited unless you want to pay up for massive shipping costs. The idea behind beauty boxes is generally that you sign up for a subscription and are sent out a box containing an unspecified number of beauty products and samples every month or quarter. It’s all a surprise and a sort of lucky dip for grown ups as you don’t know what you’re getting until you open your parcel and unbox it live on YouTube. I thought some of you might, like me, be feeling some FOMO around beauty boxes so I took one for the team and pulled out my credit card. I chose to spend my cash on the latest addition to the beauty box market, the Beauty Review Beauty Box. This guy is quarterly (they are already advertising the March Beauty Box), and is said to be made up of full sized products which are currently available in NZ shops with no crappy discontinued colours. Beauty Review also don’t use a subscription based model, you have to jump on their site each quarter and elbow all the other beauty junkies out of the way to get your paws on one. Once I’d paid the $48.95 + $5.00 shipping fee, I was sent through a questionnaire asking about the condition of my hair and my preference in lip colour. A nice touch so they can personalise the boxes slightly for each customer. I chose the... read more
So we’ve made it through Spring. A time for new life and unveiling a fresh layer after a winter hibernation. Lambs, blossoms, daffodils. But every year that sneaky little asshole that we call Spring gets me. I get old lady leaky eyes, they puff up, my nose runs (more than usual) and for me the first week of September usually rounds off with a sinus infection. For me Spring = the pain in the proverbial that is hayfever. Now, I do realise that we’re now just over a week into “summer” (ha!) but with Wellington’s windiness I still seem to be battling with the fever of the hay, as do a number of young ladies I’ve spoken with over the past week so this post still seems relevant*… Most of my symptoms can be dealt to with some nasal spray and hayfever meds. But those puffy eyes. Jeebus they’re a trial. I’m not a massive selfie taker, in fact if I’m totally honest I hate having my photo taken full stop. But as part of this blog I’m starting to take more photos of myself (until I can start pulling in you guys as models) and I’m finding these puffy eyes of mine quite unsightly. So if you too are suffering from the bane of Spring and have the puff, or if your eyes tend towards puffiness all the time stick around as I help you get rid of those puffy eyes. Eye cream placement and amount of product Somehow my mind always works on “the more the merrier” school of thought, I must have had a deprived childhood (joking mum!). I’m now trying to... read more
Hey hey it’s Christmas time. Well it’s November which means Santa is shoving all of his wares down your throat about now. And by Santa I mean retailers. Along with all of the colourful toys and spangly trees that are popping up around the place, cosmetic brands are launching their holiday collections ready to be put in a stocking or under a tree. All of that pretty packaging and palettes with amazing colours you won’t be able to get your paws on any other time and not to forget the great value = let’s buy it right this very second because it’s beautiful and limited edition and time is running out. Right? Well holster that credit card for one moment and let’s check in on that ‘great value’ to see if it really is going to be worth your pennies. Palettes can be awesome. You get a bunch of colours and perhaps even a bunch of products (eyes/lips/cheeks) for a pretty good price tag. But are you one of those women who don’t like change? Who thinks about playing with some new colours or trying a new technique for around about a second once a month but just goes back to your standard, safe look? How many palettes do you own where you use (or even like) all of the colours and textures? Perhaps you might be better off buying two full sized shades of the products you like the look of and know you would use? Or one stunning lip colour that you feel happy to pull out of your handbag to apply. Now there’s a trick you’ll want... read more
Well that would be me.
Hannah Wiles, of Wellington, New Zealand.
Makeup Artist of over 10 years and 20,000 faces.
I occasionally *often* have an opinion on makeup, skin care and beauty and like to share so that you can navigate the beauty world with more ease.
I am also available to do your makeup and brows at www.hannahwiles.co.nz