Madame La La Bronzing Ball

The Madam La La Bronzing Ball is a quirky little product with a lot of punch. Designed to work with a wide range of skin tones it is the kind of quick fix that is a must have multi purpose product that will change your makeup and tanning game.

On first inspection we see a small pot with a clear lid revealing a warm, golden toned cream that is aesthetically pleasing. Taking off the lid we are greeted with the light perfume of coconut, strong enough to be noticed but not overpowering it does make you think tropical climes which given the tanning properties is an appropriate and welcome touch that makes the Bronzing Ball a definite must for fast and easy tanning with a touch of the tropics.

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

“Bronzing Ball is a 180°colour cosmetics twist-up cream bronzer for a precise glide on instant bronze – no makeup brushes needed! Bronzing Ball achieves an easy year round bronzed glow in effortless strokes – one shade suits all. Infused with Vitamin E & Coco Water hydrating properties the luminous and glimmering shade with a 180° dome applicator is easy to use for bronzing, contouring and highlighting the cheeks, lips and eyes.”

Testing the product is easy, the ball shape allows you to swipe the colour directly onto the skin with ease and it blends smoothly creating a warm even tan where applied. Minimal fuss and maximum impact when you build the colour up through layering.

*This would be a great addition to a working kit for fashion artists or anyone in the wedding sector.

From a media artist perspective this is a great little item to slip into a working kit for shoots where a touch of bronze is required or you are working TV/film/fashion projects it can be a major plus for the continuity side, quickly touching up a tan on a shoot or sculpting a models face with a few swipes of this beautiful cream verses heavy powders or ashy creams, adding depth and warmth to the face without hassle. A welcome addition to the beauty world the company deserves plaudits and applause for their innovative beauty and tanning line.

To learn more about the brand or the full range of products see:

Madame La La Website

Madame La La Instagram

Madame La La Facebook

Madame La La Twitter

Ariane Pool Makeup Through the Seasons

Ariane Pool has over the course of her 40 plus year career has become a leading light in the professional sector and was part of a handful of artists who changed the face of makeup and has given both consumers and professionals in the business a range of cosmetics that has become synonymous with celebrities and bridal. An in demand makeup artist herself and known for her calm, collected approach to cosmetics especially when dealing with the white glove service of weddings Ariane Pool is an artist and cosmetics creator who has become a household name for good reason.

One of the keys to this is her ability to work with the clients and create what has been termed the transitional collection. As the weather is so often changeable and undecided (especially in the UK) she decided to give us a set of key components that will make your beauty life that little bit simpler.

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Starting with the concealer palette, The creamy formula is soft enough to work underneath the eyes but dries down to demi-matte finish, concealing blemishes and high colouring beautifully. A must have for your beauty space or kit as it allows you to customise your look as and when you require with the minimum of hassle.

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Waterproofing your lashes is a must regardless of the time of year and this clever innovation of the transparent topper will transform any mascara into a waterproof formula that can withstand water, rain, sweat and tears. Simply sweep over your normal mascara, for lashes that won't budge.

And finally, the blush and bronze With a pigmented sheer blush on one side and a satin golden bronze on the other, this duo allows you to sculpt, contour, highlight and blush, all at once. Use the blusher alone for a fresh summer flush, mix the two together for a warmer autumnal shade or use the bronzer alone to sculpt and contour your complexion.

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Taking your makeup to the next level with smart placement and transitional products that will see you throughout the year without hassle, Ariane Pool is the artist to look to for smart makeup. To learn more about the range see:

Ariane Pool Website

Ariane Pool Instagram

Ariane Pool Facebook

Ariane Pool YouTube

Ariane Pool Twitter

Summer in a Bottle with Beauty Made in Italy

Do you want to travel without leaving the comfort of your own home? Well your in luck, the team at Beauty made in Italy have come up trumps with some of the most beautiful scents that will transport you to the Italian Riviera without the need for a passport. The latest collection of fragrance has all the hallmarks we have come to expect from Italian style and will bring out your inner traveller.

Acca Kappa Tilia Cordata

Acca Kappa's Tilia Cordata Parfum is a floral citrus fragrance with notes of bergamot, lemon and jasmine that will instantly transport you to Italy's Mediterranean valleys and Venetian gardens. Available at accakappa.us. Retail price: $88.

Mediterraneo Eau de Parfum

Carthusia's best selling fragrance, Mediterraneo is THE quintessential scent of summer. Blending the freshness of lemon leaves with sparkling tones of green tea, Mediterraneo is Capri in a bottle! Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $80.

jusbox cheeky smile

Inspired by late nights and discotheque, Jusbox's new fragrance Cheeky Smile will keep you dancing until sunrise. The bottle is finished in a special varnish that appears light grey in daylight and turns into a vibrant, acid-green color when seen under ultraviolet light. Retail price: $210. Available at 10 Corso Como NYC and jusboxperfumes.com.

proraso cologne wipes

Proraso offers men an innovative and convenient way to wear fragrance on-the-go with their Azur Lime Refreshing Cologne Wipes. The single-use sachets are the ideal finishing touch, offering freshness anytime, anywhere with a fresh citrus, energetic mint and juniper scent. Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $10 for pack of six wipes.

'Beauty Made in Italy' is a program launched by the Italian Government to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands to the US market.

Japonesque Mens Grooming Tools

The Japoneque brand has become synonymous with high quality tools at affordable prices and the mens collection is no different. While the mainstay of the company is cosmetics and makeup brushes, mens grooming tools have become a much more openly talked about product in recent years and the fall into two distinctive camps of classic and quirky.

Japonesque Classic Barber Scissors

Japonesque Classic Barber Scissors

Japonesque for me is one of the best in this realm with their simple tools that are designed to work and styled to suit the needs of a classicist of mens grooming tools. A prime example of something that men in particular want is the grooming kit which can be slipped into a case or weekend bag for emergency situations of would sit quite happily on a bathroom shelf for when its needed. With a solid set of tools such as mini scissors and nail clippers, they are perfectly set to deal with the little details of the average man who just wants something to tidy up a moustache or trim nails.

The stand out for me though is the classic barber sheers. Matte black and with a solid build, they have a reassuring sound that is reminiscent of the traditional barber sheers. The weight and ergonomics, styling all add into the traditional look and its somewhat reassuring to hear the rasp of the scissors as they trim or cut hair.

The outstanding quality is visible across the brand and with the mens tools falling squarely into the basics of grooming you can buy from the company easily and be guaranteed that you are buying something substantial that will be with you for years.

To learn more about the brand see:

Japonesque Website

Japonesque Twitter

Japonesque Instagram

Japonesque Facebook

Shining Boy BB Cream

Shining boy is a brand I found by sheer chance and it falls into that category of quirky and outwith my norm for male grooming but this does not detract from the company in any shape or form. While many say that makeup is universal there is still a degree of stigma attached to men buying makeup that they are working to take away with their quirky concepts.

shining boy makeup.jpg

For those taking their first steps into the world of makeup as a boy/man or just looking for something that will be quick, simple and easy to use then a BB cream is generally a good starting point. With the Shining boy BB cream, its targeted specifically at men and boys with a view to making clean skin a quicker process and creates a gateway to experimentation with the wider range of their cosmetics (in particular the eye shadow palettes).

The silver tone of the packaging and overall feel is standard and would not look out of place in a gym bag as it resembles a moisturiser or a post shave balm. The actual product has all the hallmarks of a premium BB cream (BB standing for Beauty balm) in that it offers an all encompassing product with skincare, concealer and light coverage that will in essence give the skin a fresh, rested look. Available in two shades of light and wheatish (medium/tan). Like many BB creams it is still advisable to use a powder to set although it is relatively long wearing depending on your own skin type and texture. The ingredients overall do have all the qualities I would expect and the added bonus of being waterproof making it an ideal addition to a summer regime.

The rest of the shining boy range is more about fun and experimentation with vibrant colour palettes and a more whimsical sense of playfulness but it is the BB cream that does stand out in the range from a grooming perspective as its designed to be easy to use and stands as a reminder that grooming (in the social media age) is an important factor for the well dressed gent or artistically minded soul who wants to be seen in the best possible light.

To learn more about the company see:

Shining Boy Website

Shining Boy Instagram

Shining Boy Facebook

*A quick google search on the Shining Boy brand is enlightening and offers an interesting perspective on the range but in all honesty it doesn’t detract from the company for me it just allows a little insight into the company and the nearest competitors in terms of look and ingredients (not to mention pricing)

Hard Candy By Stewart Nicol Soutar

Intentional or not there is something about the painting Hard Candy by Stewart Nicol Soutar, that makes me think of my childhood and everything candy coated and sweet yet still has a little of the edge I have come to expect from the artist himself.

Yes, the title itself does imbue a sense of the nostalgic, it does go a little deeper in the usual abstract sense that only Stewart Nicol Soutar seems to be able to do and gives a depth of something dystopic whilst maintaining that nostalgic edge in the same breath, a neat trick that I have yet to see another artist pull off with the same degree of aplomb.

Hard Candy' - (A Pokey o' Cut Roak, Easter 1960). Oil on canvas. 50" x 60",

Hard Candy' - (A Pokey o' Cut Roak, Easter 1960). Oil on canvas. 50" x 60",

The painting itself conjures up images of my childhood with the “poke a sweets” or “a 10 pence mix up”, the white paper bags so often thin tantalised, hinting at a secret inside, did you get your favourites? Or was it a random mix, something new to taste? The specks of colour hinting at the delectable treats inside, the twisted edges holding closed the bag till you could get outside the shop and delve into its delights.

The background reminiscent of the box, a standard of the local newsagent or sweet shop was the box of “mix ups”, so often filled to the brim with these paper bags the image in and of itself sets your taste buds into motion like a Pavlovian dog anticipating a treat.

Somewhat darker (and perhaps more personal) is the lower edge of the bag, yes the sharp edges curled up are exact replicas of the childhood treat but also hinting at something more sinister, sharp teeth waiting to devour perhaps, a touch of the darkness in my own mind or that of the artist its open to the interpretation of the viewer, which is how it should be when viewing art.

With an overall sense of mystery I err on the side of nostalgia for my youth in what could be seen as a departure form his usual darker social commentary, it is still an insight into both (my own mind) and the artist, perhaps longing for a youth that is at the heart of us all and a testament to the Stewart Nicol Soutar that it opens your eyes to what is either a youthful reminiscence or something darker, a message, a sigh for long lost whims and hopes that were simpler or a sinister message to the unfortunate children who view it: what is now a pleasurable escape and sweet moment is really a trick and that those sharp callous teeth are waiting to bite.

For me, the overall theme of the painting is truly open to interpretation but ultimately has all the hallmarks of a nostalgic, wistful trip down memory lane and I intend to stick to my gut instinct and hold true to the memories it brings up, and let (you) the viewer decide its nature.

To learn more about the artist see the:

Stewart Nicol Soutar art website.

Explaining the Lost Boys

The Lost Boys as a concept has a dark heart, its a patchwork of different aspects from the darker side of the Peter Pan story to the current social and political atmosphere where we see people such as Milo Yiannopoulos who has talked openly about the disenfranchisement of young men over the last decade.

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Melding these elements together The Lost Boys became a sort of tongue in cheek reference to the way men are viewed and takes some of the “boy who never grew up” stories and expand on them with a touch of the grunge movement, American Gothic and the subversion of masculinity.

The images themselves will be built around derelict buildings, waste ground and a fractured symbolism of nature. Each model will have his own story that will hint at both the inspiration of Pans Lost Boys to the more dystopic visuals of the backdrop to fit with the “council estate boys" look of the models.

Additionally, to the clean makeup looks I have planned, there will be integration (slowly) of character makeup elements such as scarring and bruising to add depth to the characters to give a level of the cinematic and a harsher reality of the concept.

I am going to add extra kit soon and will release details on what goes into a lost shoot in terms of gear from the camera equipment to the makeup and brushes used which in-itself will be released as a blog or blogs.

While I appreciate this is a personal project it will be used to promote the Lost Project and give a voice to a different side of my own commercial/media background in makeup design taking a little of the narrative described above into projects that are currently being scripted with a view to building a stable of work.

The latest travel kit from Alfa Italia

Alfa Italia has done it again, there new limited edition travelling kit hits all the markers for chic and Italian style like no other brand. The sleek and stylist set which is being aimed at the consumer market is THE travel accessory de jour for the jet setter who wants something with that little extra chic edge. With Christmas just 5 months away and the release date of September, the timing is perfect to pick up a gift for the holidays or that late in the year winter bird trip south to warmer climes.

alfa italia

Known throughout Europe the UK based company has won multiple awards within the hair and beauty realm for their unique and beautifully crafted brush and tools, a staple of the salon as well as the home there is something uniquely beautiful about their kits and this new travel set is no exception to that with its decadent colour tones and the frankly delectable names, it is easy to see them being The gift of 2019.

The Lazio Collezioni, a limited-edition travel styling kit inspired by delicious Italian desserts. Taking its name from the stunning mountainous region in central Italy, the Lazio Collezioni features deceptively powerful mini hair styling appliances for on the go styling.

The limited-edition autumn/winter 2019 travel kit is the perfect travel companion for the festive season and makes a great addition to any Christmas list. The ultra-compact and lightweight dryer and irons provide near salon performance and help ensure you maintain your look while on the go.

The new Lazio Collezioni hairdryer utilises Alfa Italia’s powerful 1200w motor, which has two speed settings, to create the same styling power as its full-sized counterparts while the ceramic styling iron is capable of heating up to 190°C and comes with two sectioning clips.

Available in Berry Tarte (deep red) and Creme Caramel (beautiful tan), the sets are contained in a luxuriously stylish compact travel case.

Adam Tudor, Creative Director of Alfa Italia, said, “As ever with our limited edition travel sets, we wanted to create a luxurious, yet affordable mini kit in the new season’s key shades. This autumn it’s all about classic berry tones complemented with soft, earthy colours and we feel the new Lazio Collezioni embodies these trends beautifully.”

Alfa Italia is a UK based brand specialising in professional hair styling tools and appliances designed for salon and home use. Alfa Italia prides itself in its extensive research and development of their tools, all of which have been inspired by Italian elegance.

Available from September for a limited time only in hair salons nationwide and at www.alfaitaliapro.com priced at £44.95.

The Lost Narrative Defined

I have written a few blogs over the last week or so that while I stand by the commentary I did feel it was ott and dramatic and deserved to be pulled so if anyone is wondering why its simple. I do stand by it but just decided that its not worth the hassle and I want to focus my energies on better things. While this may seem like an admission of guilt its far, far from it. Call me a primadonna if you wish, I really don’t mind. I want to clarify a few small points and clear the air before I start my run at defining what the Lost Boys and Lost Girls story is as a narrative and visual concept, it has a little touch of darkness to it and has been brewing in my head for a long time.

same shit different day

In addition to this as a means to move forward I spoke to one of my scriptwriters and will be sitting this weekend sketching, going through old designs and knuckling down to do the creative and commercial work I have been promising myself I would get done. Calls will be made to those who have shown loyalty and I am going to reinvest not only in my own business again but in the work I have been postponing to support others.

This does not mean I will not be available for clients, far from it, what it does mean is that priority goes to my own work and I will be extremely selective who I work with from this point on.

While the sentiment may be same shit different day, it won’t be my groundhog day and I can see a way to end the current narrative. The problems are no longer mine and I can finally put this to bed and give myself the opportunity to showcase my own skills.

Watch this space, The Lost Stories (combined with Behind the Brushes) is coming back with some fantastic narratives and beauty launches thanks mainly to my connections to various PR agencies which will allow me to give a little time to clearing the cobwebs creatively and finally doing justice to the Lost Girls and the Lost Boys concept that I have on paper created giving it a more visual sense of what its all about.