Monday, 8 September 2014

Escape to the coast

My oh my, it has been a struggle getting back into a normal routine today after being away in Cornwall all last week. Myself and 6 friends travelled down to Mawgan Porth near Newquay and stayed in a big ol' house over looking gorgeous hills and fields on one side and the beach on the other.

By day we explored the beaches and town, played crazy golf and swam in the sea. By night we overdosed on horror themed board games, drank our weight in cider and gin and cooked chocolate bananas in the wood fire.

It was so nice to get away for a change, I can't even remember the last time I went on anything even slightly resembling a holiday and this one was made super fun by being in such great company. Now that I'm back I'm missing the sound of night time wildlife and relaxing by the fire, waking up to a house full of friends every morning and not to mention the much more accessible blue ice cream!

Not a very long post today but hopefully you'll enjoy looking through the snaps, as always do leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Where have I been?

It's been approximately twelve years since I've blogged so to ease back in I thought I'd share some of the things I've been up to over the past couple of months.

Work is the main thing keeping me busy, I've been flitting between different jobs, a big tv show, several music videos, short films and more. With a ton of prepping for future projects in between.

I was away for five days at the Larmer Tree festival in Dorset working with two lovely ladies and face painting children and a few adults. It was great fun but I've never painted so many tigers in my life. The festival itself was nice and chilled being that it was very family orientated, we didn't catch many bands but it was all very cool, especially the forest areas which had lots of hidden gems and light installations. There were also peacocks everywhere, I'll never get that sound out of my head!

Earlier this year I shot with the very talented Kitty Gallannaugh again and our gorgeous model Alexa Morden for the London edition of My Little World magazine.

It was a lovely surprise when the magazine came out recently and one of our photos had made the front cover!

This year I also did the hair and makeup for Birte Paulsen's music video which is a really interesting one as you can probably guess from the photos above. You can watch that here. This was a fun one with some gorgeous 40s styles combined with some haunting scenes in the woods and plenty of blood.

Unfortunately there's not much else I can share with you yet but you can follow me on Facebook to keep updated and see my previous work.

Next weekend will be very exciting as I have the screening of the feature film I designed hair and makeup for last year when I was away filming in Folkestone for two weeks. It's a horror film shot entirely from the main character's point of view and is also called POV funnily enough. The film has some very big, gorey makeups which I can't wait to add to my portfolio when the film is released.

Let me know if you like hearing about this kind of thing and maybe I'll post another work update when I have some more I can show you.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Scarf weather again!

I was recently sent a couple of scarves from Scarf World and they couldn't have come at a better time, just as the glorious weather turned sour. I was given the opportunity to choose any two from the website, which was pretty tricky given the extensive range available but I finally settled on two very different styles which would work for very different occasions.

It's no secret I love chevron prints so I was super excited to find a few in this design. I love anything grey so it made it an easy choice colour-wise. Despite not being a big fan of the colour yellow I really like this combo, it's so summery and I'm looking forward to wearing it on cooler days to brighten up my usually colourless outfits.

This scarf is actually really big, it's a long rectangle of fabric rather than square so can be worn in a number of ways but also as a shawl. I like to wear these kind of scarves folded so the patterns overlap.

This second scarf was actually not the one I chose, I'd requested this one but accidentally received the wrong one. I didn't mind though because the one I was sent is also really nice. One side is fluffy and the other is knitted so it's a much warmer scarf and will be great for chilly evenings out. I also think this scarf is going to be really versatile as it's all black and the mix of textures means it could be dressed up or down.

I like it best slightly twisted so you see both the fur and knitted sections and I also really like the long, frayed ends. Adds to the shabby chic, wintery vibe.

Like I said, Scarf World has a huge range of designs with a variety of different prints, materials and styles so the most difficult part of ordering would be deciding which one to buy. They also have a few mens scarves and accessories such as hats and coats. The prices seem to be reasonable judging by the great quality of the two I received and delivery is also nice and affordable!

Having the opportunity to review these scarves has reminded me how many awesome ones I already own and need to wear more often so I'm actually quite excited to get a bit more adventurous with my scarf wearing now I have two new additions. I'd love some suggestions of how to style these!!

Monday, 30 June 2014

IMATS 2014 Pro Kit Haul

This is a fun post for me to write up today because I get to geek out a little and write about my passion, my career - makeup. This is my second year at IMATS, last year I attended on both Saturday and Sunday but modelled the whole time for PAM which meant although I got the chance to have a wander and grab some products, I didn't get to sit in on any of the demos. This year I was filming on Saturday so decided despite desperately needed a lie-in to recover, I'd go along as a guest on the Sunday and make the most of it.

Now I know most of you are here to see what I bought so I'll talk a bit more about the actual event at the end of the post. Here we go...

It may not look like a lot but it still cost a pretty penny. Despite spending over £200, I was very well behaved and only stuck to things I NEEDED in my kit and unfortunately these might not be the most interesting for the majority of you.

For those of you who aren't familiar with alcohol activated paints, these are used with Isopropol alcohol and generally used as a nice, translucent wash. As they are alcohol activated this means that they are water proof, they're the perfect things for colouring prosthetic appliances, or doing effective sfx details such as bruising or veins.

Illustrator palettes are probably the most commonly known brand and retail for an average of about £85 in the UK. I have been lusting after this American Horror Story palette for a while now but not been able to track it down so it was the one thing I knew I wanted more than anything else at IMATS. Fortunately I spotted it at the PAM first as that's where it had the biggest discount and I nabbed it for just £67!!

The other palette is by a brand called Mr Dashbo which I'd not previously heard of. They were selling their alcohol activated palettes for just £30 so I had a little play and was happy enough with the results to grab one.

These are the shades inside the two palettes. The AHS is a gorgeous mixture of death tones and the dark skin tone colours in the Dashbo palette are ones I was lacking in this form and will be very hand for blending prosthetics in with real skin tones and especially natural bald caps.

The Dashbo palette is one I will need to have a good play with, my first impressions were that it wouldn't be quite as long-wearing as Illustrator but for £30 you can't really go wrong.

This next palette is by MaqPro, which is probably my favourite brand for foundations and concealers, you may have heard me mention them on Twitter chats. MaqPro is a French brand that has recently become a lot more prolific over here and I find more and more makeup artists are filling their kit with MaqPro products in the film and television industry. Their makeup is wax based and therefore heats up with the skin meaning it buffs in flawlessly and the coverage can be manipulated to be as light or heavy as you need.

This palette however is a selection of shades for dirtying down which I find I do a lot of on film and TV jobs. I was using other products for this but this palette limits the amount kit I need and works really well. This was also on sale at PAM for £22 down from £27.50.

If you've ever seen pictures of my brushes online you probably think I don't need any more but unfortunately I find I can never have enough. Brushes are also one of the pieces of kit I have a slight obsession with. When in the makeup room you have time to sanitise your brushes in between artists but on set you don't always have that luxury if there are a lot of people needing touch ups at once. Smaller brushes are easy to clean with some IPA as it will evaporate off quickly but larger brushes retain the moisture for longer so I like to have a good selection of face brushes on hand.

These I purchased from Love Makeup and are both by Zoeva, a brand I've heard a lot about through bloggers but not yet tried myself. I went for brushes 102 and 110 which cost just £8.00 down from £9.95 and £6.50 down from £7.95 respectively and are ridiculously soft. Domed brushes are my favourite for applying bases and I always like to have a range of sizes to make sure every nook and cranny is perfect.

Whilst on the topic of brushes, I also nabbed three from BDellium's new sfx range which I had seen some demos of online and really wanted to try. The biggest one is called the 'Muscle brush' and is nicely textured to create a (you guessed it) muscle effect. When creating sfx pieces, texture is really important so I look forward to giving this a go. I also picked up their 'Splatter brush' which is pretty self explanatory and the 'Watercolour brush' which caught my eye because of the length of the hairs which can be hard to find on fluffy brushes. I think this will be perfect for applying alcohol activated paints. The Muscle brush was £8 and the latter both £5.

With so much kit to lug around I am always looking for ways to condense and these Vueset palettes are perfect for that. I already have one of the smaller cell palettes for lipstick but needed another and the larger cell palette will be a good spare for other cream products such as concealers or blushers. Whilst it does mean going through the boring procedure of depotting everything, it's worth it to save my poor shoulders. These were both £7.50 from Love Makeup and are usually £9.50.

Last but not least, is my new set bag. I apologise for the awful photo, who knew it was so hard to photograph a clear, plastic bag!! This is something I've been needing for the longest time but putting off spending the money. My previous set bags have either been too big or too small and never with separate compartments which is pretty essential for finding things quickly. This is by Stilazzi and was £36 instead of £45 from PAM once again. I'm so pleased with this and like a loser, very excited about the tissue compartment on the side. Don't judge me.

As if that wasn't enough for you to take in, I'm now going to chat a little bit about the day in general. If you've made it this far well done, and if you make it to the end, be sure to let me know as I'll be super impressed, but I don't blame you if you've nodded off.

I really enjoyed IMATS this year, going as a guest was a lot more fun because I could take my time looking at each exhibitor's stand. I got to catch up with colleagues past and present and of course it is a fantastic place for networking. However the highlight of my day was getting to watch the Demo by Tate Steinsiek who I have been a massive fan of for a number of years. He's so passionate about his work that it really inspires me with my own and motivates me to push myself, not only that, his demo was fantastic and I picked up a couple of great tips which I can't wait to try out.

The only frustrations I have with IMATS is that for me it's business, it's hard not to get annoyed when you want to talk to someone about their products because you need it for your kit but can't get near them because of shoppers and bargain hunters. That's not to say I begrudge those not in the industry, it's a fantastic opportunity to see some brands you might not have heard of and grab some deals and everyone should get the chance to visit the show for whatever their personal reason. However it does make everything a lot harder, for getting around, for talking to people and my biggest pet peeve, the people sitting in on demos but not actually paying attention and talking loudly through them. I don't know that there's any solution for this other than me attending the Friday pro-night in future, however that doesn't work if the demos you want to see are on other days. I probably sound like a grumpy old woman but I really did have a lovely day and it's always such a wonderful atmosphere, we're all united by a love of makeup and it's exciting!

If you attended IMATS this year or in the past I'd love to hear your thoughts on it too, and if you've actually read this whole post, I'm pretty gobsmacked and please do leave me a comment to let me know.

ps - you can view last year's haul here!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

I need glasses!

I've always prided myself on my great eyesight, I made it twenty eight years without an eye test, possibly foolishly so, but recently I'd been noticing I was occasionally struggling to see things clearly. For example television menus and subtitles from across the room.

I finally gave in and popped to Tesco to see if they had an appointments open as I'd noticed they offered free eye tests. They got me in straight away, did all number of tests and I came out with a very slight prescription. I am now officially an occasional glasses wearer, I only need to wear them if I actively can't see something or if I feel like my eyes need a rest. Tescos gave me my prescription so I could get glasses from them or elsewhere but as I've been so busy I decided to grab some there and then and also take advantage of their buy one get one free offer.

I have a really round face so it was hard to find any that suited me, in the end I went for this thick framed style which I'm still not too sure about but they do the job.

They're this style here, by the brand Retro '54 and were £99, but like I said I got a second pair for free.

The second pair are almost identical, just a lighter tortoiseshell shade and I had these ones made into sunglasses which I thought might be more useful than two pairs of regular glasses seeing as I don't need to wear them often anyway.

It was handy having these because I'd been struggling with my existing sunglasses not blocking out the sun enough, but as I said, because I'm not meant to wear these constantly I decided to grab a second pair of non-prescription sunglasses.

I can't remember if I've mentions sunglasses on the blog before but because of my face shape I like to go as big as possible. I figure I'd rather look ridiculous because of massive glasses than because I have normal glasses that don't suit me. Crazy logic I know.

So this last pair are by Firetrap and from USC, they were in the sale for only £7.50 and I love them so much. I chose these not only because of the shape but because the lenses are very dark, I've yet to test them out in the sun but I hope these will work better than what I'm used to.

So what do you think of my picks? Fed up of my silly face yet? I'm happy to have satisfied all my glasses needs for now but will be happy not to have to think about it anymore, I just hope my eyes don't deteriorate too fast.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Noo shoes

Any of you with an impressive memory may remember a previous blog with this title from last October when I got these new trainers. Well it's time for a second instalment as I've just purchased some kicks that I've been wanting for near on ten years, and I'm in love.

Now it's not this exact design I've been lusting after but I've always wanted to get some Supras and never taken the plunge because they're usually £80/£100. However it suddenly occurred to me that I'd never checked to see if they make kids ones and sure enough they do! I was going to get some plain black ones but when I saw these I couldn't resist, I love me some camo and had been having a slight online love affair with all things camo of late, perfect.

I found these on the USC website in the boys section and in the past when I've bought boys trainers I've always had to get a size 4.5, which fits but isn't quite as comfortable as a 5. These were available in a 5, I guess it's just meant to be and they're just my favourite thing!

I've been wearing them constantly over the past few weeks and giving my poor DMs a rest which I've barely taken off since I got them at Christmas. I love that although they're trainers I can get away with dressing them up a little if I'm going out for the evening and want to stay comfy but can also wear them for everyday outings and work.

I've currently having to be really restrained and not order another pair right off the bat but it's been very hard. What do you think of my choice, are you a sneaker fiend yourself?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Garden day

Hate to start each post with an "I'm back, I'm still alive, sorry for neglecting you" disclaimer but once again life got busy. That's the thing with being self-employed, you never know when the work will come. I've been on a new tv show as well as doing a few other things, none of which I can say much about - ooh how mysterious. However I now have a few days off and am looking forward to some blog time.

Today I had some work to finish on my laptop and with the weather being so wonderful I decided I'd do it in the garden. It's not the easiest thing to do, look at a screen in the blinding sun, but I made it work.

Introducing today's garden office, I set myself up on a blanket, which I think is actually a table cloth, got a tall glass of cherry squash and got down to business.

This is my favourite sun cream which my mum's best friend was kind enough to post to me from Canada. I've always loved the smell and it reminds me of my childhood summer holidays when we used to visit my family across the pond. I don't think this brand is anything special out there, but I enjoy it.

I also recently discovered I need glasses, which I'll go into in another post, so with two for the price of one I decided to have one pair made into sun glasses. I really don't have a face for glasses so it is taking some getting used to.

I took the opportunity to eat my lunch outside too, one of my favourite dishes, fish tacos and a big ol' plate of pineapple. When it's hot I crave fruit like mad, does anyone else get that?

It was so nice just to have a change of scenery and enjoy the sun and I'm determined to get some colour on this lily white skin this year!