R and M Brushes a Solid Starting Point

When you are starting out in makeup artistry or just testing the water creating looks on your own brushes are a real bonus in your arsenal. R & M brushes are the perfect starting point: cost-effective and high quality. Yes, I do have them in my working kit and I will be adding more.

A 10 piece essential kit, makes an ideal gift for a makeup student or enthusiast giving you all the basic tools to create without breaking the bank. Aesthetically simple with black handles and a silver Ferrel, the brushes have a clean and practical look that is perfect for a professional kit. Luxury doesn’t need to cost the earth when it comes to brushes and R & M have given us a range that proves this with ease.

R & M blush brush 532

The company behind the brushes is playing smart giving us a selection that is professionally oriented and allows you to build a working kit without hassle, standing tall in this are some elite brushes such as the 532 precise cheek brush (I personally own this brush), soft but still firm enough to give a precise application they are ideal for cream blush or contour, a sculpting brush so to speak.

Another factor that caught my attention is the array of blending and multi-purpose brushes like the 569 brush, they offer which for me is a major plus as I can just grab the brush and work without thinking too hard about what I am doing and allows me to just get on with being creative.

*it is also worth checking out the other elements such as the brush bag and magnetic palettes which allow you to buy single blush and shadow and create your own color story.

To learn more about the range or to purchase see:

Mehliza Beauty website.

Mehliza beauty Twitter.

Reaching Out To Other Artists

reaching out

In the last few months, I have spoken to people who are entering the makeup industry or have in-laws etc who are trying to gain some experience in the industry. Now it may surprise people to know that Yes, I am still working. My business is cut into 3 distinct areas (see below) and I rarely if ever have the time to chase down inquiries about work experience that are done in person when I am walking down the street.

  1. Beauty writer.

  2. Editorial and magazine imaging.

  3. Film and TV.

Something I encourage people to do is look at my websites, check my social accounts and email me. Now this may seem a little unfair or dismissive but let’s be clear, I do have a business to run and I am inclined now more than ever, to deal with people via email rather than on the phone.

So with this in mind I want to lay out some basic rules and lay the groundwork that will help you with other potential artists:

Do your research before you contact them. Check all their information, a website may have a limited amount of work on it for a reason such as projects are not released yet, etc.

Let the person know you are aware of their work and make it clear why you are in contact. For example:

“I looked through your work and it’s in the area of makeup artistry I would like to be a part of, my background is limited but I am open to learning about the industry. If you have any projects coming up I would like to be considered, here is my website and contact information. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.”

Don’t look down on an assistant placement. I cannot stress this enough You are not going to be co-designer or head of the department, I will not step down from a job to give you a chance. I have a business too and I have a right to earn a living just the same as you.

I am always happy to talk to people but when it comes to business but you need to keep an open mind and remember that you are not my priority my clients are, so if the response is not what you want or the person you reach out to offers constructive feedback accept it and take it on board.

Again, I want to make this clear, I nor any other artist out there, is going to chase you around. If you know I am working on a project, if you know there is a job available, then YOU need to make the effort to apply or reach out. *speculative emails, in general, I ignore UNLESS I see something solid that is professionally grounded.

Part of this was why I set up The Lost Creatives. If there is work available it will be posted there but it will be a job with a contract and terms. There will be no negotiations.

In summary, be sensible and aware that other people have businesses to run as well, be proactive and sensible it will benefit you more.

Depixym Paints A New Artist Must Have

Depixym paints are the kind of makeup product that makes me want to play and be creative emulating one of my inspirations the legend Linda Mason’s freestyle work. Already stocked in the best pro stores, the team behind this is making artists in the fashion industry jump for joy at the potential.

depixym paint collection

Styled after traditional paint tubes you would see in a fine art studio, there is a sense of fun to the brand that is redefining how people work with cosmetics as evidenced by the Depixym website where the images range from simple beauty to extreme and Avante Garde.

A creative must, they can be integrated into shoots of all stripes and stepping out of the corporate style we have come to expect from makeup brands, Depixym has taken the social norms and turned them on their head giving a multi-faceted, dynamic makeup emulsion that can be used pretty much anywhere you want on the body to create, you, in essence, become the canvas for your own artistic expression.

From a practical stance, these are easy to slip into a kit and can be mixed to make any color you choose and are the kind of multipurpose Vegan-friendly paints that will open up new avenues of creativity.

Aesthetically, they are perfectly formed to resemble (with good reason) the artist paint tube and have a seductively simple and almost vintage feel to them that makes you want to touch and play with the shades and redefine your look or just experiment which in makeup terms is a much fresher approach to the standard palettes and potions we see on offer.

With a shade range of 20 and the LGBT collection as a show of solidarity, a rainbow of potential is opened up for artists of all stripes a truly open brand that is for everyone.

*A little professional caveat for film and TV artists working on period dramas due to their color range and texture Depixym paints offer a perfect addition to a look matching the famous makeup lines available during the golden age of Hollywood for film and consumer use. Students working on their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s looks should look closely at the colors as they will fit the brief and give you a more on-point look when you research you will find that the shade ranges and textures for lipstick in particular. They also fit the brief for theatrical styles that require a more vintage look or the classic Betty Paige/pin-up work.

To learn more about the range see:

Depixym Website

Depixym Instagram

Stockists:

Beauty Bay

Guru Makeup Emporium

Colorpop Fun Makeup With Professional Credentials

Colorpop Palettes

Colorpop Palettes

The Colorpop brand has become a go-to brand for cost-effective and fun makeup. Their array of palettes and collaborations with people such as Disney have seen them rise in the ranks of makeup companies. With a mix of quirky names and a rainbow confection of shades, Colorpop is a must-see and a must-have in the market.

Looking at the palettes we see a wide range of presets such as Blue Moon and Uh Huh Honey, and the ability to create your own allowing for artists of every stripe to play with makeup looks without breaking the bank.

Regularly putting new makeup into the market, you can build a kit full of colors and tones that will suit your needs and find yourself a Colorpop fan no matter what your looking for, the latest in this is the Pretty Fresh tinted moisturizer available in 24 shades, making it a wide enough range that it will work for most skin tones with little hassle.

Handled completely in house from the lab to the retail, Colorpop hails from California in the USA and ships worldwide (a major plus for the UK market). The company has built a stellar reputation for their product range and given makeup artists and consumers alike an award-winning range that will sit as well on a dressing table as it does backstage at a fashion show. Ideally suited to the playful, editorial artist through to bridal or even those in media, there is something fun and practical about the company that is worthy of note in the beauty sector.

To learn more about the range see:

Colorpop website.

Colorpop Instagram.

Colorpop Facebook.

Colorpop Twitter.

*This blog includes affiliate links.

Bespoke London a Fresh Approach to Mens Scent

When I came across the Bespoke London range I bought it to try it based on price and admit that I am now hooked and find myself reaching for the body spray on a regular basis with the corresponding aftershave as an extra touch. A simple, clean collection that inspires and evokes images of masculinity and solidity, it is for me the perfect accessory to the Lost Boys concept as well as being an affordable luxury that will round out a man’s grooming routine with a solidity and strength that has to be appreciated.

Bespoke London

On first glance, we see simple, clean packaging that has a minimalist edge, that is for me, uniquely male. the collection consists of 4 distinct scents and each has its own colored package to suit and is again subdivided into two camps: warm woods with exotic undertones (mature) that draw you into its exoticism and then the citrus and wild herbs, warmer and softer undertones that are both masculine and approachable (youthful).

Adding a touch of personality to the individual items that allow you to create a uniformity of scent without overpowering the wearer. An uncompromisingly simple range, Bespoke London is everything I want and more from an aftershave at a price that is accessible for daily use and fits my requirements on occasions when that extra edge is needed. A perfect antidote the overly complex world we live.

Looking at the packaging it has all the hallmarks of quality you would expect in a much more expensive range without losing any of the quality. The aftershave bottle is a prime example of this the frosted glass bottle feels solid in the hand and has the same clean symmetry that is synonymous with the Bespoke London range. Across the board, we see a cohesiveness that is both reassuring and pleasant, with weight and tactility that when handled feels right regardless of the item, the strong block colors and strong typography of the labeling all add to that sense of utilitarian luxury that men’s grooming is known for.

For me, the collection as a whole has a sense of affordable luxury, the body sprays, aftershave, and Eau Fraiche are all designed to suit the men’s grooming market and give an accessible, affordable range that will stand up to the rigors of most men’s lives giving an air of confidence. The overall feel of the range is that it is designed to suit everyday use without being overpowering and still with a masculine touch. Cleverly done and deserving of applause.

Exclusive to Superdrug, it is a clever strategy and with wide availability in their stores, the range is worth attention as it sits squarely and rightly alongside its more expensive designer counterparts and is a brand that has filled a niche that in my opinion was long overdue an overhaul giving it a fresh, strong and important place in the market for men’s grooming products.

To purchase from the entire Bespoke London range see Superdrug stores.

To learn more about Bespoke London:

Bespoke London Facebook.

Bespoke London Instagram.

Bespoke London Twitter.

House of Sillage X Christian Cowan collab

As someone who has consulted and done PR for events during London Fashion week as well as an avid follower of various artistic movements, I know my way around designers and the collabs they put together so it’s rare for me to be in a position where I am clutching a credit card and coveting an accessory of this type which makes this an important piece of fashion and beauty history in the making.

Combining art and designer in this collab was a genius stroke and with an inspirational story that is worth the investment alone. Taking the creative elements that both parties have become known for it is easy to see the care and construction that has gone into and it has a touch of elegance that reminds me of the ’20s and 30’s flappers with elegant lines and a sense of decadent practicality seen in the most luxurious items of the Art deco and Nouveau period clutched in the hands of the flappers and truly elite.

Cowan and House of Sillage Founder & CEO Nicole Mather collaborated to curate the perfect unisex fragrance, travel spray, and lipstick donning the famous black and white checker design and Swarovski crystals on each item of the collection, inspired by Cowan’s popular design and Mather’s inspiration of the iconic black and white floors of Bloomingdale’s and Castle in Versailles. Giving nods to some of the most beautiful decor and architecture of the last few centuries and acknowledging the beauty of the past with a modern twist.

(Runway Show Version) Product Collaboration

“The patented bow-shaped lipstick case is varnished in a glossy enamel, and encrusted with over three hundred diamond-cut  Swarvoski Crystals, and inside contains the shade BARONESS, a beige nude with gold luminosity.

This wonderfully comfortable formula enriched with the addition of diamond powder gives flawless results with a feeling of hydration and protection that is retained for hours. This case can also house 13 of the other House of Sillage’s lipstick shades.

This limited-edition collection will be available in-store and online at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, as well as online at houseofsillage.com from October 30th.

Secret Garden By JP McLaughlin

JP McLaughlin is amongst my favorite artists and has in the past featured heavily amongst my inspirations alongside two others from Scotland. Far from being a traditional Scottish artist, he is a well known and respected global artist with a distinct and easily recognizable style.

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

The latest of his work titled Secret Garden is a prime example of his more commercially oriented work. The beautifully styled and instantly recognized Red Coat series is an ongoing feature of his work. Secret Garden has the hallmarks of serenity that has become synonymous of these paintings.

A stormy, cloudy sky is broken up with the immediately visible woman in the red coat, in this case, modeled by Debbie Campbell a prolific performer and fundraiser in her own right (as well as the owner of this particular painting). There is a sense of chaos and calm, a contrasting idea that somehow works as we look at her contemplative stance and without seeing her face we know on sight that she is deep in thought, what she is contemplating is open to interpretation.

The casual air of the woman in the Red Coat belies the darkness of the surroundings giving it a softness and a sense that she is relaxed in her contemplation, leaning casually against a wall, she is the epitome of casual elegance and grace in the tumultuous surroundings, a sort of stark reminder that the individual that stands out is the one who speaks softly but carries a big stick, or in this case, wears a brazen shade of red .

The Secret Garden is a nod to the grounds of Hansel Village and gives a touch of the personal to the piece that adds a new depth to the story overall.

The beauty of this piece (aside from the woman in the Red Coat) is the simplicity of the message as per my own interpretation, it speaks to softness in the dark and contemplation in the whirling chaos of the mind. As a piece from the Red Coat series of images, this captures the eye and the mind in a way that makes you want to know her story and as I have seen first hand, opens a discussion on her motives. Cleverly structured JP McLaughlin has offered the art world another conversation starter.

To learn more about JP McLaughlin or to purchase artwork see:

JP McLaughlin Website

JP McLaughlin Facebook