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.

Elysium Brushes An Interesting Little Find

As a makeup artist, brushes are a tool we cannot scrimp on as they are the backbone of our work.  When I came across the Elysium range I admit to being intrigued and decided to look at them a little more closely.

“The brand name ELYSIUM is an ancient Greek composition of Heaven and Infinity. It symbolises the enlightenment of a human soul.”

A fascinating start to the brand the brushes themselves are developed and made in Italy to all the exacting standards you would expect from a country known for the quality of its skincare, cosmetics and of course clothing. 

Standing tall in the market the ethical brand has a total of 8 brushes: 4 for the face, and 4 for the eyes. That is a solidity to the design, as you would expect for a professional-grade brush with the bonus of being synthetic making them suitable for all users.

The beautifully constructed brushes give a visible sense of solidity that is required of a brush without losing any of the aesthetic beauty that makes them as much a display piece as they are a practical tool.

On a personal level, there are two distinct standouts in the face range: Jada (foundation) and Yori (sculpting blush).  On the surface, they are perfectly styled and shaped to perform and in line with current trends for styling on a face brush but it’s the extra details of the bristles with their two-tone effect and the tactile look of the handle/Ferrell in black that set them apart in the market. 

From the eye collection, the Nuri (blending) and Alva (shadow) look’s to all intents and purpose like the premium end of the goat hair range but are in fact synthetic, beautifully detailed and again, with that solidity of construction that speaks of Italy. 

Special mention must, of course, go to the Paci brush (limited edition) not only for its unique design and shape but overall use, aimed to be a concealer brush, the precision tip allows you to add details such as high light to key areas of the face with ease.   Another plus of this particular brush is that the team is going to donate $15 to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation for each Paci Brush sold, making it a worthwhile addition to a kit and supporting breast cancer sufferers.

With all this in mind, it is easy then to see these gracing the kits of a fashion or bridal artist, as easily at home at fashion week as a dressing table, the elegance of design and practicality these brushes bring are in essence a beauty artists dream. 

To learn more about the range or to shop see:

Elysium Brushes Website.

Elysium Brushes Instagram.

Elysium Brushes Facebook.

Elysium Brushes Twitter.

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.