Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The House of Glam Dolls


The Glam Shed

It’s very hard to talk about the House of Glam Dolls without talking about David Horne, for the small but perfectly formed studio space in North London is the culmination of David’s many years at the top of the make-up artistry game. David helped establish MAC in the UK. He was, until recently, the Creative Director for revolutionary brand Illamasqua and he is the author of The Art of Male Makeup, the first book of its kind. Here is a man with incredible talent, passion and ambition who’s love of teaching has led to him setting up his own studio, along with his good friend and fellow MAC alumni Chinyee Chu where they teach courses and develop new products. The first product being SuperGlamDoll lashes which are only £5 (and postage) and of absolutely fantastic quality. The second product is top secret at the moment but I’ve seen it and it is absolutely stunning. And as soon as I'm allowed you will be able to read about it here first.

Vintage Make-up Cabinet
I was given the opportunity to go and have a look around the House of Glam Dolls and it was not what I expected at all. I’ve been to a lot of make-up studios and I can definitely say I’ve never been to one with a shed for an office. The ‘Glam Shed’ is the first thing you see on arrival. It’s here where the computers live and the lashes are sold from and the shed walls are covered in pictures, dolls and trolls. In the rest of the space there’s not one mirror surrounded by lights, not one white surface, no swivel chairs. No boxes of tissues for these guys, hot pink loo roll is available from either end of the big square black table in the middle of the work space. The make-up is kept in roasting trays and there is a cabinet in the corner filled with vintage make-up and David’s inspirations from his time at Illamasqua. 
 
What I keep coming back to when thinking about the House of Glam Dolls is that you have the opportunity here to be taught by an industry great. The make-up industry has exploded in popularity in the last decade. Make-up artists are celebrities in their own right and it is harder and harder to get assisting work and the training can often be intimidating, in soulless, white rooms with bright lights and white surfaces with your work on display for all to see (which you do need to get used to!) Here is somewhere where you can learn, be creative, try things out, ask questions, sit and flip through the fantastic books. 

The Make-up Chest
The courses range from a five day intensive course to one-to-one mentoring, and these courses often fill in the gaps left by other colleges. Whether you want to focus on vintage with the ‘House of Vintage Makeup’ course, get more confident in colour and creativity with the one day ‘Beyond the Rainbow’ or start at the beginning with the ‘Introduction to the Art of Make-up’ a three day course giving you a taste of what it takes to be a make-up artist there really is something for everyone here. Check out all the courses here and see which one suits you - I am going to be signing up for the ‘Finishing Touches’ course as soon as I save this copy! 







Reference library

Tea? Coffee? Crisps? Jelly Baby?


Monday, 29 September 2014

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer

I did a Quick Review of this a couple of weeks ago which basically said that I loved this but it didn't quite cover my terrible (left eye) dark circle. Up to that point I had never had a spot to try it on so I couldn't comment on that. Well last week I had what promised to be one of the biggest blemishes I'd ever had and numerous social engagements to attend. Yes I am very lucky not to get spots very often but when I do they are guaranteed to be somewhere prominent and this one was in the middle of my eyebrows. What to do? Use The Retoucher of course, and oh my god did it work. The problem with concealers is that you want pinkish tones to cover dark circles and yellower tones to cancel out redness and spots. As dark circles are my problem I tend to migrate to the pinker ones (a rarity) and The Retoucher isn't very pink at all. I also am not a fan of the pen concealers, they usually highlight very well but for the aforementioned dark circles I need something more full-on. But when it comes to redness The Retoucher is unbeatable. It made the spot invisible. Properly invisible. It's beautiful fluid finish meant there was no cakeyness and the spot just looked like the rest of my skin.

All that is very well but after using this for a week the spot never really happened. It just disappeared. I could be lucky but I put it down to what's actually in this concealer.  Charlotte calls this the 'CT' stick, 'Conceal and Treat' and that's just what it does. Not only will it cover your blemish but the vitamins and black tea derivative in it help the skin clear the imperfection, plump fine lines and moisturise the skin rather than drying it out like a lot of concealers.

Yes it's not cheap but it's really worth it and you don't need to use very much at all. If you need a good trustworthy concealer for your blemishes, redness and under your eyes (as long as they are not too dark) then this is definitely the one to go for. Also needless to say the packaging is gorgeous.




What You Need to Know - Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Video Quick Review - MAC Brush Cleanser

This is definitely the best of the shop-bought brush cleansers I've tried so far. It doesn't get your brushes as spanking clean-looking as I'd like but it doesn't damage them and doesn't smell grim.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I have used a lot of serums in my time, some great, some that make no difference whatsoever but none that have made such a noticeable difference to my skin and in fact my morning routine.

I still find that the majority of my friends barely cleanse and moisturise let alone use the 'added extra's' of toning and serums (they may stretch to an eye cream if they think that's a problem area). And in a way I completely understand, it can take a while to find products that work with your skin and you can spend way too much money on your failed attempts but the right serum used in a good morning and evening skin routine can really make a difference to the look, feel and health of your skin. I'm going to do a whole different post on serums...

What I want from a serum is collagen boosting/mild-anti-ageing, vitamins and moisture. I have dry skin and I'm 31 so although I don't want anything harsh on my skin it does need a bit of help. The only serum that's really made a difference up until now it Liz Earle's Superskin Concentrate which is good but has been over-taken in my affection by the Truth Serum Collagen Booster from Ole Henriksen.

It's very hard to review this as a stand alone product as I'm pretty sure it has slotted into my skin routine and worked with products that I have also spent a lot of time trying out and perfecting for what my skin needs but there is a visible difference in my skin and after not using it for two weeks I missed it - my face missed it.


There are certain things about this product that I shouldn't like or that would put me off if the results weren't so good. The first is the smell which is exactly like those fizzing Vitamin C tablets (which I'm sure some will love) but was initially not great for me but I've taught myself to take deep breaths when I'm applying it an actually its really invigorating and refreshing first thing in the morning and I sort of love it now. The second problem is that it can, on occasion feel a bit sticky, however this stickiness does not last especially when a moisturiser is put over the top so it's not a problem as all really just something that would annoy me in a lesser product! 

So what's in it that makes it so good? Described on the Ole Henriksen as 'a vitamin for your face' that's exactly what it is so if you are lazy in your skin care or need something to soothe, calm and boost your skin this could be the serum for you. You can use it morning or night after toning and before your moisturiser (ideally...) and a tiny bit goes a long way, you don't need a full pump of this. Sodium hyaluronate binds moisture to the face plumping the skin and evening out fine lines and wrinkles, licorice extract evens skin tone, Vitamins C and E calm, heal and nourish whilst protecting from antioxidents and grapefruit and orange extract purify and brighten. That's only some of what's in there.

It's not cheap so I use this as sparingly as possible and it does contain fragrance so if you don't like that then this is not for you but this is going to be an absolute skincare staple in my skincare cupboard from now on. 

What You Need to Know
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
  • Approximately £47 (and about US$48) for 30ml (also available in 15ml and 60ml)
  • Contains Grapefruit, Orange, Licorice, Rosehip, Green Tea extracts, Vitamins C and E and Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Available in the UK from lookfantastic, feelunique, Selfridges,
  • Available in the US from  Ole Henrikson, Sephora, Skinstore

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Dior Star Fluid Foundaion

The first time I used this foundation I was in a hurry, I hadn't moisturised (tut tut) and I thought it was a bit meh. I WAS WRONG. The next time I tried it it blew my mind. It's that good.

In this job you hear a lot of 'this is the best... it does everything... it's better than... etc etc' and I have to say it's very easy to go 'yes yes' nod enthusiastically, go home, try it and find it's not as amazing as they've made it out to be (and why not? it's their job after all). And I assumed this was the same for the new Diorskin Star foundation but this product actually lives up to the hype.

With a long-lasting, radiant, professional finish this it the foundation that the lovers of the now extinct Chanel Pro Lumier are looking for and, available in 12 shades, this medium to full coverage foundation is pretty light on the skin and lasts all night even without a primer underneath. The luminosity comes from the doughnut shaped pigment spheres that reflect two dimensional light which intensifies the natural healthy glow - most modern foundations contain solid spheres only reflecting light in one direction which can cause a flat mask-like appearance.

But this new technology is not the only fantastic thing about this foundation. It contains powerful active ingredients with longer-term skin benefits. Immortelle flower encourages cell renewal and softens the skin, daisy extract regulates melanin production to counteract dark spots and liquorice extract combats redness. These are said to improve radiance and smoothness of the skin by 50% in just 4 weeks - whether this is true or not it's great to know that something you are putting on your skin as make-up is benefiting it as well.

Dior recommend using this with their Backstage Pro's Fluid Foundation Sponge (also available in September) - their version of the now famous Beauty Blender - but I use it with my foundation brushes and/or hands and it goes on very well. The trick with it is to use a little at a time and build and blend on well moisturised skin. It really does even out your skin tone and I hardly had to use any concealer when using this foundation - it worked that well on my redness and dark circles.

I believe that this foundation would suit all skin types though I've only tried it on my own dehydrated and fairly sensitive face. I know that the reason I didn't like it the first time was that my skin was so dry it just absorbed it really and I felt like I would need the entire bottle to cover my face. This isn't the case, a little of this can go a long way and, when applied correctly, it will give you a full coverage but with a radiant finish.

I will be posting a quick review for this over the next couple of weeks so keep a lookout for it.

What You Need To Know
  • Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation
  • RRP £32 for 30ml 
  • 12 shades
  • To suit all skin types
  • Available from September 2014
  • Active ingredients include Immortelle Flower, daisy extract and liquorice extract

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday Video - How The Sun Sees You by Thomas Leveritt

I'm going on holiday to France tomorrow and this year I'm feeling especially disorganised about it all, but one thing I'm not chaotic about is making sure I have enough of the right suncream. I'm vain enough that long before I had my son I was worried about not wearing the right SPF and now I'm a mother the worry of my little cherub getting burnt means I'm fully focused on suncare.

There are some things that I get all fired up about that then turns out not to be so much of a big deal but being protected in the sun isn't one of those things as this incredible video shows...


Also Happy Birthday Miss F, she originally sent this to me saying I had to see it so it seems fitting that I post it on her birthday
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