Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Notes From Set: Chanel, Makeup Forever, Smashbox

Notes From Set/Product Review
Project: LA Yoga Editorial 
Photographer: David Young-Wolff
Cast: Celesta Hodge, Kara Davis, Brian Thomas

Featuring: Chanel, Makeup Forever, Smashbox

My life is built around honoring beauty; not just the faces I makeup, but the world which encircles me, including Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness practices. When David called me to be part of the LA Yoga Fall Fashion shoot, I of course jumped at the opportunity to join the fun which is his attitude toward a work day.

Now, while I personally feel that to wear products as naturally-derived as possible (those made with respect to Nature and Humans) is generally the best way to go on a daily basis, I am also a professional in a demanding world working with different skins, under differing conditions such as lighting, location, temperatures, et.al., so I must pull out what will be the best look for the image to be captured.


Of course models are models because of certain facial or physical features, which may or may not be apparent until...VIOLA the makeup artist comes in to pull-out what will make the shot impressionable and pertinent to the job. In order to accomplish this, I must have the proper tools.

On this job, I chose Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. 
Why? Because it looks better than skin. On older complexions which can be dry and a little pale, dull, this puts life back into the face. The coverage is buildable -I've even used only this to lighten under-eye darkness. There's a glow on the skin leaving it smooth and untraceable. Yes, I've even used this on MEN! For Celesta and Kara who have young skin, I knew this was the right foundation to represent the look of Editorial Beauty the editors were seeking. This was the perfect backdrop for the rosy flushed-cheeks (my favorite look) which tie-in with a Yoga workout. The result was Perfection!

On the eyes, I'm a big fan of some shimmer shadows -mostly for their ability to blend well, not so much for a 'disco' effect. So, here again, I wanted something to reflect Editorial Beauty and yet stay true to the subject matter: Yoga. My new favorite go-to is Makeup Forever Iridescent Eyeshadow. 

This product has amazing texture which lasts through body & light heat; when it creases, just a swipe of the blending brush brings it back to life without a mess.
On this job, as with many, I used the shadow as a liner by slightly dampening my liner brush with water and in a small corner of the shadow pot, I picked-up color on each side of the brush. This is a great way to outline before you do something more permanent (like liquid liner or a special cat-eye, etc.). The look is a bit softer than using other liners (gel, pencil, liquid) yet gives just the right amount of emphasis for a day look, and, perfect for our Yoga shoot.

My new favorite obsession is Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

The formula is awesome on it's own -using a Fan Brush or other wand applicator, however the brush included adds a double-wow factor. The color is gorgeous, yes it's BLACK however, as makeup/mascara goes, there are as many shades of black as there are of red. That said, take note: the black is deep enough for emphasis, the finish is just right to give the lashes a sheen without clumping and the formula makes them appear thicker, longer and fuller. I've used this with the fan brush for a more natural look and with the included brush, applying up to three coats to give a more dramatic framing to the eyes. LOVE!!

For those who would prefer the more Natural Approach to makeup, here are some of my favorite makeups -those found in my personal makeup bag:
Josie Maran  http://www.josiemarancosmetics.com/
Argan Tinted Moisturizer Since her line is organic and cruelty-free  most will love the love you feel when you wear any of her products. There's an spf 30 in this, which tends to give the consistency of a cream foundation, so I personally prefer to use this strictly as a foundation -**not as an spf protector, and use it only in the areas I need correction (and blend-out the rest: beginning in the center of the face, forehead, chin). For myself, I prefer something very light-feeling on my face. The colors here are beautiful; the look is fresh, light, pretty skin. **it can absolutely be used all over the face in order to receive the full benefits of an spf; as always, use according to manufacturer specifications

Real Purity  http://www.realpurity.com/cosmetics.html
Creme Foundation Health Glow
Powder Blush
Vitamin E Stick

I discovered this cosmetics line a few years ago and while I feel each line has great products, I tend to make judgement based on the Foundation. This blew my mind! The finish is like fresh-washed skin -there's a glow, a slight sheen with all-day coverage. Most days I don't 'set' with powder -it's more makeup than I want to wear and I like a slightly shiny look to my complexion (rather I use blotting tissues). Again, it contains an spf so the consistency is more cream in texture, I use this only where I need it **and is  
generally a good way to go on a daily basis  unless you have all-over blemishes or scars.

The Powder Blushes are top-notch in color performance, texture and quality. They blend well into the skin, with the colors appearing natural and the pigment content is sufficient for all day wear. 

Vitamin E is not a secret, however this convenient stick is easy to have around for emergency dry-skin repair. Use it over lips, under eyes and around the nose. The finish is not greasy or shiny-looking so I can trust it under bright, hot set lighting.

Also, this line is MADE IN THE USA! Please    check out their line by using the link above.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Notes From Set: John Masters Organics

Notes From Set/Product Review:
Project: Feature Film/ASTHMA written/directed by Jake Hoffman

Cast: Krysten Ritter, Benedict Samuel, Rosanna Arquette 

Featuring: John Master Organics

Working on a feature film is always exciting; creating the look/style of the characters with the director, actor and costumer is only the beginning and can be really fun. The main character we see in every scene, yet don't often reference is the SKIN. There's an eventual high demand on the skin's performance. Every day applying makeups, working long hours, more makeup/touch-ups, climate, air quality, diet,  lack of sleep/proper rest and maybe an emotional scene, all challenge the skin's ability to really be at its best. 

There are many factors going into the look of a character, and since we had the talented Krysten Ritter with her gorgeous, flawless(!) porcelain-like skin, I knew straight away I wanted to use John Masters Organics. For my own values: I admire the respect given to the users of the earth and the earth itself, by their commitment to using wild-crafted plant-based ingredients; utilising natural cold-pressing and other artisanal methods to extract and preserve the vital elements of each plant. And from the perspective of a professional Makeup Artist, JMO products consistently deliver on the quality of ingredients and effectiveness on the skin and hair.

To be Krysten's character in the story, whose arms and legs were covered in specially designed tattoos, required we put her through a skin cleaning regimen which is no good even for one day, let alone the numerous days we had to get her camera-ready. Her legs and arms needed to be free of natural oils, soap, perfume, moisturiser, et. al., before placing each tattoo. This meant, every day we used 99% alcohol to cleanse her delicate skin (only the areas to be covered with a tattoo) in order that the tattoos could perform their best for the day. This left her skin super parched, needless to say, and with the cold weather and dry heat her skin needed the love from JMO. She loved the cacao & cupuacu hand/body lotion:
The consistency coming out of the tube is a bit dense yet quite easily melts into the skin leaving it supple without slip or gloss --just a pretty sheen. 

Our male star, Aussie favorite Benedict Samuel didn't have it so difficult makeup-wise however, the climate, temperature, emotional scenes and long hours would take a toll on his skin (and everyone's) so he really enjoyed the benefits of JMO 2 in 1 men's line eucalyptus & agave face wash + shave foam, also the moisturiser + aftershave

Beginning of the day I used only mandarin maximum moisture on his skin (his look required no makeup!). Again, as a makeup artist I love this product as it leaves no excessive shine to the skin --only a beautiful backdrop to healthy skin.
I have used a drop of this with my favorite foundation to give myself and my actors a glowing-sheer-coverage. It works in real life and on reel life! The camera loves the skin in mandarin maximum moisture: http://johnmasters.com/products/skin-care/mandarin-maximum-moisture.html
During the day under the sun, he liked the JMO spf 30 natural mineral sunscreen --this also helped maintain continuity (can't be pale in one scene and tan in the next!): http://johnmasters.com/products/skin-care/spf-30-natural-mineral-sunscreen.html

Hair styling was also minimal on this project however, in order to keep Benedict's character's hair looking the same throughout the film, I relied on JMO 
What I loved about this, the scent first is what we notice and it's delicious and very mild (which men especially appreciate!), combined with the lightness in texture --a little goes a long way here, it adds a subtle sheen to the hair while giving it an effortless hold with move ability. There's just enough moisture in this clear-cream to give his natural curls a boost, allowing definition without weight or too much separation. The look is very natural. That being said, I've used it in other men's hair grooming as a nice finish for a pompadour or by using a bit more product, for that sexy shiny Mad Men look. (So happy men's hair is returning to being STYLED --More Please!)

On myself, for many months now, I use JMO rose foaming face wash (I just adore the idea that Roses are meant to attract Love and who doesn't want more of both in their lives!): 
Why it's my go-to is because it's easy on my skin, leaving it clean, smooth and soft --results I feel after I pat-damp-dry my skin. Then I like the mandarin maximum moisture --really because I'm 44 and want to keep as much moisture and plumpness to my ski n as possible! This does the trick in the cool dry winters (I'm in LA, winters are Cool, not Cold!). During the warmer months I use JMO rose & apricot antioxidant day creme: 
and often in the Summer weather, I just spritz JMO rose & aloe hydrating toning mist (I have oiler skin and like the natural shine I have so this can take the place of a topical moisturiser which can end up being too much moisture for the skin and can appear very glassy): 

It was a pleasure to use John Masters Organics on the set of our feature film. They generously donated the products listed here and a few more --including their hair care line of shampoos and conditioners: LOVE Them! Please visit their website: http://johnmasters.com/index.html
and treat yourself to something scrumptious. Not only is it literally feeding your skin the best natural foods, the quality active ingredients actually treat your skin!
Enjoy.. .