From time to time I'm asked to share some beauty tips for hair and / or makeup, as well as frequently asked 'how did I get into this crazy business of beauty'. I've had a few stories with my quotes and interviews that I've linked below. If you have a beauty blog, write for any publication or if you are a peer (junior, senior or anything in between) where you would like to pick my beauty brain, please get in touch with me here. I'm always pleased as punch to share what I have stored in my grey matter.
Thanks to The Loop and Vanessa Grant for including my quotes. Read the full story here.
Model Management interviewed me. Read the whole story here.
Want to stay in touch? Please like my FB page for the latest up-to-date projects, tips and ramblings.
"A child prodigy is a person who, at an early age, develops one or more skills at a level far beyond the norm for their age. A prodigy has to be a child, or at least younger than 18 years, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavour." via Wikipedia
Serious WOW factor here... let's take a moment and clap. He's 12...
Someone on Ellen's staff needs to get on this story now.
Just as Kevin Spacey has said:
Read about what I do here to send the elevator back down and please feel free to share what you do/did or others that you know in the comments below.
The circle of successful life.
It's a funny, funny world we live in these days. Everyone is an expert and everyone has an opinion. Personally, I like people with opinions – I prefer if they share mine, but unlike my elevator selfie, it's not obligatory. Opinions lead to conversations and for the most part, conversing is good; unless you're my child, then just do as you're told.
I'm not retouched because I'm a) not that dedicated and b) have no idea how, but I am lit with an LED light. I'd link it here but I can't find it online. $150 at a camera shop. You can also just buy a $5 camping light from Walmart which does the same thing - just the LED has a controllable dial which has the power to blast fine lines.
One controversial conversation these days is the selfie. I personally don't get why it's so controversial; maybe I don't understand because I am a player in that game so...don't hate the player… Selfies instill such anger in many who cry accusatory words of narcissism. Really, why do we care so much?
In the beauty world in which I live and breathe, I have to say what I'm not a fan of are arm swatches, yet I understand them. Why I'm not a fan is simple: the skin tones that are swatched on aren't always relevant to a makeup artist. I work on many skin tones and age brackets so as a pro – they mean nada to me. BUT, I can see how if you follow someone with a similar complexion to you, to a layperson, this would make sense to you. There are more laypeople in the world vs makeup artists. This is the theory behind what I think of for the selfie; it's relate-able.
I understand that me, as a redhead, most of the world is not going to relate to me however, there are many who are and just may want to know what blush I wore or a fellow makeup artist might have a shoot day with a ginger and peruse what I've worn to get some inspirations. There is nothing wrong with inspiring each other.
Let me toss out another proven perspective:
Now, I'm not going to mention any names here and I mean no disrespect – but an internationally respected industry person was publicly bashing fellow artists and their selfies (I'm sure there's been more than one); saying that selfies are for amateurs… I've been doing hair & makeup for 25 years, I ain't no amateur; and I know plenty of other pros who selfie as well. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Let me share something with you… come closer to your screen and shield it from others so they don't learn our secret:
Pros: you can get work from your selfies!!
I have gotten actual paid work from my selfies!
It's true. And odd. Never my intention for clients to book me from my personal hair and makeup applications. In fact, I've had discussions with clients on set:
Me: "Oh, you've seen this look 100x in my book haven't you? I've gotten known for that look."
Them (more than one client with the same reply): "Oh – no! I saw your selfie." (I've had clients admit that they've never even seen my portfolios: horror face.)
Even before this personal experience I've always told my juniors and assistants: Practice. And if you don't have a face or head of hair to practice on, then use your own. Take photos with and without flash, natural light etc so you see how the makeup reacts in different lighting situations. And be constructively critical of your own work. To this day, I see my work drop and go over it with a fine-toothed comb mentally noting what I love and what I would do differently.
The one thing we can all agree on from what we've learned with the internet is: you can't please everyone and there will be Negative Nancys, Judgemental Judys and Guffawing Garys* in the world. They can scroll through their feeds or unfollow you. Who cares? Sure we just want to be liked by and get along with everyone but that isn't our [sur]reality.
Not only work comes from our selfies, but they can also be ego-boosting. Who doesn't want to be told they look pretty? Seriously, if it's narcissistic, who cares? And if you feel inspired to try something new on yourself, buy a product or hire [me], than I say 'selfie away!' At least selfies keep us out of the troll-filled forums (BTW -thanks to those people who called me a fat-aging smurf. You're super classy.)
It is all about lighting and angles, as you can see in the above photo demonstrating angles that I can't believe that I'm sharing... LOL - so if you want to jump on the selfie-bandwagon look here via TheLoop for some selfie tips and if you are in the position of taking photos of others, please take note of these tips because snapping a photo of someone is more than just pointing and shooting.
And since I couldn't leave you with the last horrible image of me... LOL
*no offence to the Nancys, Judys and Garys of the world.
Just in case some of you aren't fully aware of the dictionary meaning;
NARCISSIST: a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.
I know many selfie artists who are truly giving and kind-hearted.
Do you selfie? What are your best tips?
The unique constant with these images are the fact that we had no real clothes. Allison illustrated them all. The cropping is not what you see here. I've cropped them because, well, some people are offended by breasts. If you want to see the full imagery, please check out photographer Scott Woodward's blog.
Featuring models: Amanda, Hiroko, Indila, Kristina, Morgan & Paula
Have you done some homage portfolio work? Have you seen any? Share the links below!
This is what hairstylists do when they are bored and are recovering from surgery: balance a mannequin onto their walkers and create.
I'm sure someone has done this before although I've never seen it, there is no such thing as an original idea anymore...One night, as I was drifting to sleep I visualized this (probably morphine-induced) and woke up craving a head of hair to play with.
How-to do the 'do:
*Try your best to pin without leaving a trial of unsightly bobby / hair pins. Unless there are intentionally visible they look awful.
**When smoothing fly-a-way hairs (I did not do that here), aim your hairspray down the hair shaft vs spraying up or into the hair which just adds more. A little deconstruction is fine if you like that; my only suggestions is to spray the 'halo' area of the hair smooth as then it just looks messy vs intentional - otherwise it's preference really.
***Hair rats can be homemade; store bought; or if you know how to properly tease (in steps for easier brushing out with zero breakage), you can create enough build and stability with yours or your clients own hair to create the shape.
I love hair sculpture! This is some of my work; I'm sure that top right is recognizable to many of you. The bottom left basket weave is a behind the scenes with photographer Scott Woodward on a project out soon. The rose bun was fun to try and unexpectedly easy, but take that with a grain of salt because I've been doing hair for 25 years now (I'm 43, not as old as the surgery would imply). I'd love to shoot a hair sculpture shoot so if any photographers / magazines want to collaborate hit me up here! I can return to work in 2 months.
Seriously! February?! Time does NOT go by so slowly like Madonna claims.
If you want to relive the past, my previous beauty lust lists can be found here, otherwise, no intro needed let's just jump into my latest beauty favourites.
Eye spy a new favourite eyeshadow! This is me. Considering I'm 43, *dust shoulders* not too shabby in the wrinkle department. Just like those who work out non-stop for killer bods, I'm kinda like a skincare / anti-aging fiend. Yes... I've had a little nip into the Botox and Thermage but skincare is also a massive commitment. Genes only gets you so far... urgh! Where was I? R-eye-t! Eyeshadow...
Clearly there's a few on my eye here, but I'd like to draw attention to the liner which is based with a NARS grey pencil, but the one I applied over top with a bent liner brush is the one I want you all to get:
NARS Thunderball (top right) is a midnight grey. I've used it a bit more dramatically here too. A fairly versatile colour that most skin tones can wear. I was surprised by the lack of fallout too.
Erborian CC Crème HD Soin Illuminateur Haute Définition €15.90 at Nocibé (you can find it at Sephora France too) was introduced to me by my good friend and fellow artist, Sital Patel. After asking me if I had tried it, without hesitation she dropped it into my basket while we were in Sephora Paris last summer with an enthusiastic 'You're going to love it! It's amazing!' She was right. Don't be afraid of the 'radiance cream' on the label - the finish is beautiful with a slight blurring effect. It consists of magical ingredients that sheerily (word?) mimics your skin colour so it works on everyone. As a makeup artist, I always use the (germaphobed cleaned) back of my hand as a palette - I like the warmth of my body to help melt cream products into the skin for better blending. It's my thing; but I do find that when I apply this to the back of my hand first, it affects the colour when I use it on the person in my hot-seat so I've gotten into the habit of dabbing it onto my model's skin first and then stippling with a sponge. Brushes I find tend to keep the warmth out of products so I utilize sponges too now and again. We all have our bag of tricks.
Lightbulb Foundation and Sponge Set $55.00 USD at Shu Uemura - if you are looking for chalk-like coverage than buy this foundation (that wasn't a compliment) but the sponge though!!! Love it. It's buttery texture is beautiful for blending.
Have you ever wondered why your selfies aren't as sweet as some? Lighting! It makes all the difference. Looking towards a light source helps but if there isn't one available to you, shine your own. Here are two examples:
They say that the key to having successful social media posts is being able to reach out to people with professional information or topics that they can relate to while tying in personal experiences that connect you with others or an audience.
Being a beauty pro, women are interested in my pro tips and tricks; gosh-golly-gee, who isn't interested in hearing shortcuts to looking fabulous! What else? An enabling shopaholic. A natural redhead, and then of course, being a mom of three; two young women (20 & 18) and the entertaining #stuffZoiesays… that's clearly a lot for someone who is not a blogger with a blog…
My main career focus has never been 'writer' – I'm sure that's very clear to many of my journo-friends and also why this outlet has random postings… I'd rather be working on a supermodel than writing* about it… but here I lay, practically bedridden; day 6 of 60 of my medical leave post hip replacement.
First time here?? My medical drama recap…
Before my slice and dice, I started the #hipreplacement research. I needed to find others whom I could relate to since hip replacement, although not common in 43 year old women, it's not uncommon either. So I write this for those like me, who are tired of helpful grandfathered anecdotes.
I know that personally, (especially the past two years) I've had days where I've had extreme physical pain that has affected how I look (tired) and also my attitude. Let's call it 'pangry' - not unlike its cousin 'hangry'.
Pangry: pain that affects your mood where you're just crabby for no other particular reason. I also suffer hangry issues, so on days with excess pain and hunger anyone near me was pretty much facked.
"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."
You see that #QOTD often. Everyone has something to deal with.
"My mommy is having surgery and my daddy doesn't know how to do manicures."
#stuffZoiesays (6) went to the nurse's office while I was in hospital because she broke a nail... Resourceful child.
Whether a devastating broken nail, an illness, your jeans shrunk, debt, death of a hamster etc etc... what does not kill you makes you stronger…
I returned home on January 27th after 4 days in the hospital.
Getting into the taxi at the hospital was a bit of a gong show which included me leaning on my walker, yelling in a morphine rage at the lineup of cars beginning to honk as my husband, hospital staff and driver stared at my forth attempt to get in.
Yes, I was cursing. No. I'm not exaggerating.
Before you leave the hospital I would suggest you research a clear way of getting in and out of a vehicle. It's not fun. Glad that's over for now.
Home supplies checklist
I know that I said I hate talking about this but… I highly recommend a high fibre diet and any stool softening whatevers that they recommend; don't poo-poo them. Another gong show. That's all I'm gonna say…
Have a story to share? Link or comment below, that's ok with me.
And, for those who think I'm sharing too much… www.getalife.com
Bell Let's Talk. I know some people tell you to keep silent about ailments; but strength comes in numbers. Don't go it alone.
*FYI -I do like writing. It's just another creative outlet for me. If you like my writing and want to pay me for it, I'd happily accept; your money is good here.
**I'm allowed to make the granny jokes. You cannot unless you've had this surgery under 45 too. I don't make the rules. I just play by them... Actually... I made that rule.
Actress Amy Adams arrives on the red carpet for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, January 18, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles
I'm pretty sure that all of us gingers across the globe stood a bit taller, proud as a peacock as one of our own, Amy Adams graced the Red Carpet for the SAG Awards in this top-to-toe breathtaking look.
Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" - Red Carpet
I always encourage bridal or gala clients to peruse Red Carpet images for inspiration.
Last week Zoie and I were invited to a backstage tour and dance class on stage at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre with the Mamma Mia choreographer! I found this lovely snippet on InSingTV.and you can see #stuffZoiesays and I with our sweet new moves.
[don't see the vid? click the post title again]
Zoie has been so excited that every day she talks about Mamma Mia (which BTW, is extended to December 14!) She even came home from school yesterday telling me that at recess she was teaching her friends the dance she learned! CUTE! Oh to be a monkey on that wall! (we have monkeys in Singapore - not as small as a fly on the wall though)
Ok. So... maybe I'm a little excited too! Thanks to the Mamma Mia stage manager for grabbing my camera!
Zoie's been bugging me on when are we going... Well, a huge smooch and a thank you to Base Entertainment Asia, we're going this Friday!
I saw Mamma Mia, the Canadian production years ago in Toronto. One of my neighbours, whose hair I cut at the time, happened to be in the show and invited me - he gave me a front row centre* ticket. The dancing was dynamo, the choreography was brilliant, and I'm not sure if the production here in Singapore does the same routines - but there were lots of back-flips, backhand springs, and truly loads of human dance trickery going on.
(*Might I suggest that you do NOT pick the first couple of rows of seating. One reason is that you truly don't get a perspective because you're so close, you get whiplash from cranking your neck back and if there's lots of dancing in the production, you get covered in sweat (not yours)! Ew! So... front row isn't the best seats in the house!)
Seriously, my kids have the best life. When I was the lead L'Oreal Paris hairstylist for Canadian Idol my girls got to come backstage all the time. Also during that time of my single-mother life, (often my babysitters would flake out) I had a rock band come to my house to get ready for a concert and while I was dolling up Andrea Wasse my kids were colouring with the rest of the band! Where was Instagram then! Rockstars are adorable.