I’ve just returned from a week in Australia. In eight days I managed to squeeze in a good friend’s wedding, a few days meeting the two new babies another good friend has popped out since I last saw her, a couple of days at the beach, and a day long makeup seminar with Rae Morris. The latter is the part I’m guessing you guys are going to be most interested in, although I’ll throw in a photo of the wedding makeup I did just for fun. You looked stunning Jewels! Photo by Meeks Photography Anyways, back to Rae. Rae Morris is this stunning creature. She is a top Australian makeup artist and the author of five best-selling makeup books - have a flick through them out at your local bookstore. If you’re looking at her first book, she has since changed her stance on using shimmer on older eyes - apparently Cindy Lauper was quite a harsh task master and changed Rae’s mind on that. Matte for the win! The majority of the info Rae imparted during the day was insider info about the industry – portfolios, agents and tips on breaking in to the fashion world. All amazingly useful stuff for me as a makeup artist. The makeup tips she gave us tended to be more around applying makeup for photo shoots – so again, not so relevant for the day to day makeupping that you guys do. But one thing Rae said which I found very interesting (and thought you would also) was something she’d picked up when she was on a panel for the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic... read more
This post is a wee insight into just how lazy I am when it comes to my own personal makeup routine and one of the products that helps me pull off this laziness with panache. I pull them out to use on myself (and my clients/models) on almost every occasion… cream eye shadows. Now I’m not talking about the cream shadows of old which were horrendous creasy things that would cause all sorts of unsightly messes on and around your eye. Cream shadows nowadays set on your lids and can be smudge proof and water resistant to boot. Cream eye shadow is my saviour when I have 10 minutes or less to do my makeup in the morning (i.e. always). I’m all about skin and so much prefer to spend my limited time on getting my base looking even and glowy rather than colouring up my eyes. So how better to get a nice wash of colour on the lids than a swipe of cream shadow. It’s super easy to dip a ring finger into the pot and apply that to your lower lid. Just be sure to start with a little product which you can then build up if needed, and start your application at your lash line and blend it up to your crease from there. The brilliant thing about cream shadows is that when you use one with shimmer in it, you’ll look like you spent a bunch of time applying and blending different colours as different lights will catch the different tones of the shimmer particles. When you use a matte colour you can layer... read more
Chapped lips are a complete bitch. Sore, uncomfortable, unsightly. Really hard to put lipstick over. Finding a lip balm that heals and hydrates your lips back into plump niceness can also be a complete bitch, there are so many pots, tubes and sticks of balmy goodness out there in the world. For the past 9 years I have been completely and utterly besotted with Bobbi Brown’s lip balm SPF15 (in the silver tin), but as I am no longer working for the brand and I choose to live in New Zealand, the $40ish price is slightly prohibitive for me at present. So I’ve been trying out a few cheaper options, having a wee lip balm-off if you will, and I would like to think I have found some other excellent balmy options for chapped lips. Brilliant news for my lips. And the good news for you is that I’m willing to share. Contestant #1 Tailor Skincare Lips RRP NZ$15 Comes in a pretty blue pot. The product itself is quite hard to get into but it soon softens with the warmth of your fingers (I would suggest being a hygienic human and using a cotton bud to scoop the product out as required before getting your fingers on it). As the balm warms to your lips the texture melts into more of an oil texture and is infused with a honey flavour. Unfortunately for me honey gives me a bit of a headache so I’m not big on this guy for myself, but if you like a bit of slip in a balm (and like honey) this could be... read more
Being a makeup artist I’m asked a lot of questions at parties. In fact as soon as I’ve said what I do for a living I’m usually besieged. Actually that’s a bit of a lie… I never go to parties.But I do get asked a bunch of beauty questions every day. Let’s tackle one of the most common ones today. You’ve picked out your brushes and in order to keep them in good condition, ensure their longevity, and make sure you’re not spreading bacteria all over your face along with your foundation, you are going to need to clean them. “Bacteria?” you ask? Yes, bacteria. Because as your brushes are putting all that makeupy goodness on your face they are in return picking up oils and dead skin cells. And the air that you’re swishing them through, it’s full of dirty airborne stuff that nightmares are made of. Gross right? So how often should you clean your makeup brushes so you don’t end up with a nasty skin disease? And how should you clean them? Let’s do this. I’ve been likening quite a few things to eating lettuce over the past week, things that are boring but necessary. And I think brush cleaning falls into this category. It’s not the most amazing thing to think about doing, but it doesn’t have to be all that bad. To answer the question though. How often should you wash your brushes? Quick answer: If you spot clean the brushes you use for cream products after every use then your skin will like you more, especially if you are prone to breaking out. Then all of your brushes... read more
I had a pretty fun Saturday night. I had a family dinner to go to, a casual get together at my mum’s place in Te Horo while my nieces were staying there for the school holidays. Mum gave them each a kitten last Christmas (who reside at her place) and at some point during the week it was decided that the dinner would be an early celebration of the kittens’ first birthdays. So yes, we went to a first birthday party for two not-so-baby-anymore cats. We wore cat ears, played cat themed party games and ate some delicious roast lamb, pavlova and birthday cake. Anyhoo, going with the whole cat theme I thought this week I’d get back to talking about makeup and show you some tricks to help you apply the perfect cat eye. With smokey eyes or looks that are going to involve a lot of shadow I’ll start with the eyes so that I can clean up any fallen shadow before applying concealer. If you try to clean up fallen shadow on an already made up under eye area you’ll end up with smudged darkness or smudged colour and your concealer application was pointless. However, as I’m going to use a gel eyeliner for this cat eye I don’t need to worry about that so I’m starting with my base and shadow done: I’m a big fan of the Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner and am using their Ultra Fine Eyeliner brush to apply it. If this tiny brush scares you there are plenty of other brush options for applying gel liner out there - ‘push and wiggle’ brushes... read more
Welcome to a new series of posts… Behind my shower curtain. A peek into my bathroom and reviews of the products I’m using and enjoying. So to kick things off let’s check out what’s being lathered into my hair every 3 - 4 days shall we? L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner I was lucky enough to get the chance to try out the new L’oreal Elvive Fibrology shampoo and conditioner through a review site I’m signed up for. And I loved it so very much that I wanted to spread the word here also. I’m on the fun side of 35 and just as no one tells you about all of that fun pregnancy/child birth stuff *cough haemorrhoids cough*, no one tells you that as you age if you’re super lucky your hair will thin out a whole bunch. [please note - I am not pregnant and have never been through child birth, I’m just going from what friends have told me. Which kinda defeats the point I’m trying to make, if they did actually tell me about the horrors of pregnancy. Anyways…] I’ve always had a lot of hair. Not thick per se but a whole heap of thin strands. So much of it that hairdressers would sigh when they got to the blow-dry… and then complain about their wrists hurting once my hair was did. But over the past few years I’ve noticed more and more of my scalp showing. Up on top. Right where you don’t want your scalp showing, although is there really anywhere you’d want your scalp showing? Now, I’m not amazing with a hair dryer,... read more
So. You’ve been to see a professional and have a roadmap for your brow journey. You know where you’re over plucked and have been instructed by your brow professional to hide your tweezers. In. The. Bin. Grow those brows out (with some regular appointments to keep the shape in check of course, no mono-brows here thank you very much). But this is scary. People are going to be all up in your face checking out your messy growing out brows. This is going to be worse than that time you got your hairdresser to cut you some bangs on a whim and then had to go through that awkward growing out phase with sticky out bits of hair that could only be tamed with bobby pins. Yep. It’s really going to be worse than that. But you know what? Unless someone is right up in your face they are not going to notice. And today I’m going to show you how to fill in your brows to help minimise the pain while you’re going through the dumb growing out stage. Without looking like an angry baby. You’ve got a couple of choices when it comes to products to fill your brows in with - pencils, powder, wax. Pencils You can find some great pencils for brows. Bobbi Brown does a powder based pencil which is like a one stop shop for brows - it gives the accuracy and ease of a pencil with the softness of powder. I’m using the MAC brows in my kit at the moment, they’re more of a wax based pencil and I set them with a powder for a long-lasting... read more
It’s been a big brow week here in Vogeltown (pop: 900 odd). I’ve had a bunch of brow shaping and tinting clients this week, so let’s talk about brows shall we, fun wee furry face fillers that they are. Brows can add so much to the face - framing and balancing features, even adding a feature if you like a strong brow. But if done poorly they can also take a lot away from the face, mainly attention from your beloved eyes. People might not realise that their eyes are drawn to your off balance brows, but they are. Too far apart, over plucked, or uneven brows won’t be doing anything for your face. Brows are a tricky one to pose rules for, and oh lordy do you see a lot of rules about how your brows should look. Take all the publicity brows have been getting of late. The Power Brow a la Cara Delevingne. So much chat about bold brows, but really? They’re just another fashion trend. Bold brows are going to suit women with bold features; if you have delicate features you are likely going to need a more delicate brow so as not to overpower your face. It’s all about proportion. Which is where the biggest brow myth comes along. How do you work out your perfect brow shape? Go get yourself a pencil/cuticle stick/makeup brush and hold it vertically from the edge of your nose up to your eyebrow. Make a mark where the inside of the pencil meets your brow. That is where your brow should start… Can I just stop you right there. In a... read more
Ahhh Instagram you amazing poppy field of visual inspiration. With such potential for judgement and comparison* There is so much makeup information out there in Insta-land, so very much. Instagram is going off with pictures of Kim Kardashian contouring the heck out of her face, and everyone else seems to be following suit… including guys doing the old before and after contouring (in jest of course). (image via @HughDrizzyOvO) And ta-da just like that you’re Drake! Do you look at all this, all the how-to’s and step-by-steps and feel like less of a woman? Like a rookie in the makeup stakes? Please don’t. With social media impinging on our lives at all moments of the day, sometimes it’s hard to separate what is ‘normal’ or doable from what is best left to the pros. So please allow me to sort some fact from fiction in terms of how to contour. So you’ve seen the photos, women with parts of their faces lightened and parts darkened. To the extreme. Push out, push back. Recede, project. 99% of contour tutorials show the contour being created with bronzer. But no, that’s not the way to do it. Bronzer is designed to warm up the skin, to add warmth to the face once foundation has been applied. If you contour with bronzer you’re just going to end up looking like you’re wearing a tonne of bronzer. The best contour products are the colour of shadows - grey, taupey tones. And even when you blend the shiz out of them you’re still left with a visible grey tone on your face. Awesome and absolutely amazing for photo shoots... read more
So back to base. Your foundation is matched to your face colour and you’ve applied it just where you need a bit of evening out. But your reflection in the mirror doesn’t look quite right. You’re one colour on your face, paler on your neck, and then have colour again (pretty similar to your face colour) on your chest. Didn’t we want the foundation to even us out? And we’re not even. Let’s sort that out shall we? Now there are two schools of thinking when it comes to getting an even skin tone, and I’ll go over both of them even though I’m vehemently opposed to the first one: 1. Take your foundation down your neck and blend into your chest. Please, please, please don’t do this. It’s going to make your neck a funny texture, and possibly colour (if your foundation has a good dose of pink in it). Maybe texture isn’t quite the right word, but your neck will look weird and un-necklike, and if you put one colour on both a lighter and a darker base you’ll end up with a lighter and darker version of that colour. Thus not addressing the unevenness problem. You’ll also use up more foundation than you need to, and most foundations don’t come cheap. The only time I’ve seen a trained makeup artist take foundation down someone’s neck is on a photo shoot. And photo shoots are a whole other kettle of fish, i.e not real life. 2. Use a bronzer to add the colour into your neck. Do this. Don’t do number 1. So when choosing a bronzer, what do you need... 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