Saturday, 07 June 2014 09:20

Graduate Fashion Week: Ones to Remember

For many years Graduate Fashion Week has provided an important platform for various graduate designers to promote their work. With previous award winners including notable designers such as Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson and Julien McDonald, the four day event provides graduates with the opportunity to launch a successful career within the fashion industry. Hosted at the Old Truman Brewery, just off of Old Spitalfields market, this year's Graduate Fashion Week showcased the work of students from across over 40 universities. With so many original and creative collections, who should we expect to see more of beyond Graduate Fashion Week? Perhaps the answer lies among the top 25 students whose collections were selected to join the Best of Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show on Tuesday evening.

Crowned the winner of both the Best Womenswear Award and the George Gold Award, it goes without saying that Grace Weller's beautifully executed romantic collection showed real potential for Weller's future within the industry. The Bath Spa University graduate revealed a stunning gothic collection with a dark colour palette consisting of navy blue and red alongside subtle hints of orange. Exposing her technical capability with elaborate hand-embroided lace garments, Weller's collection married such skilfully crafted material with floral designs, promoting a delicate, elegant image.
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Grace Weller wasn't the only graduate celebrating as Graduate Fashion Week drew to a close late on Tuesday night. Nottingham Trent's Aimee Dunn was awarded the prize for Best Menswear with her controversial collection influenced by 1980's British politics. Dunn's monochrome collection blended loose fit trousers with casual black slip-on sandals, adding a slight touch of nonchalance to her formal collection. Amongst displays of chunky knits and various examples of clean tailoring, Dunn's collection featured a neat black sweatshirt hosting a large white pop art style image of Britain's first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. This design alongside various slogans imprinted onto selected garments, such as 'Thatcher took our milk' and 'Goal not Dole', highlights Margaret Thatcher's politics as the key inspiration for Dunn's work, primarily the impact her political actions had upon the north.
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Birmingham City University graduate Wai Keung Lam presented us with an alternative approach to menswear with his Autumn Winter collection. Inspired by an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lam combined a neutral colour palette of beige, black and grey alongside glimpses of red to illuminate the elements of historic Chinese culture which influenced his collection. Lam's neatly executed pieces exhibit his ability to produce clean cut tailored garments which we hope to see more of outside of Graduate Fashion Week.
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Presenting a powerful, vibrant collection suitable for Antarctic conditions, Lauren Lake's garments were governed by various striking shades of pink. The Kingston University graduate used a variation of materials and texture such as shiny PVC and faux fur to create a striking contrast against the predominantly white and pink colour palette, revealing an elaborate, fun, girly approach to winter fashion. As soon as Lake's first outfit stepped out onto the runway, a stir erupted amongst the audience, showing immense promise for the future of this particular graduate with this visually appealing collection.
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Opting for a softer variety of colours, Bath Spa University graduate Keziah Newlove's Spring Summer collection is constructed using pastel tones ranging from a soft yellow to a fresh pale green alongside glimpses of metallic appliqué, giving us a tutorial on modern elegance.
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Northumbria University's Hannah Donkin displayed impressive technical skills when revealing a glamorous black collection. With faces covered with intricately crafted lace masks and veils combined with structured black dresses, Donkin presents this year's audience with a sophisticated womenswear collection. The graduate's visually potent yet fragile designs make her a strong competitor for future success amongst the hundreds of graduates who attended the event.
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However, not all designers showing artistic talent made it to the catwalk this year. Inspired by the often uncontrollable adaptations which take place in nature, such as the development of animals and changes in water movement, Leanne Johnston revealed a collection sporting earthy, natural tones and detailed prints which were produced following close studies of water and butterflies. These particular features help to evoke the illusion of movement and progression through her garments, exposing the creative aptitude of this particular graduate. By combining her separate removable pieces with statement jewellery, the University of Sunderland graduate presents us with numerous wearable outfits to welcome the summer seasons.
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With many established fashion designers already producing outstanding collections, these graduates prove with their innovative, expertly constructed designs why they have the capability to make a similar impact upon the fashion industry; watch this space.

Written by Sophie Beresford 
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 22:18

Sunkissed Glow

This past weekend just gone I was very lucky to be part of a talented team of professional models, photographers and hair and make-up artists' on a 2 day shoot in the beautiful resort of Marbella in Spain. The incredible photographer Biggi Ayo who I had previously worked with twice before put the team together a few weeks back and before we knew it the trip creped upon us and we were all soon flying out from various airports around the UK. The weekend was a high impact non-stop working challenge with little sleep, little food, little rest but plenty of make-up, costumes and camera flashes. I think it's fair to say everyone involved wouldn't of had it any other way. We rushed about in a hire car to beach locations, pool and even a private yacht. The images we created were incredible, sunrise, sunset to name a couple. But how did I make my models look like they had been sunbathing for a week? With a delicious sunkissed glow, or how did I hide the fact that they had been awake over 24 hours??

I'll let you in on my secret...

For anyone who already follows me or my work, you will already know how important it is for me to prep any model's skin before make-up application. Spain was no different. Using Biorderma cleansing water and simple moisturiser I cleaned away all dirt and make-up so that the model's skin was clean and fresh. I primed with the amazing Mehron Velvet Serum Primer which I have raved about so much to all you readers previously. A matte primer is essential for the summer to keep away that shine and make your make-up last longer in the heat. Lush lip scrub and Vaseline to the lips as I do on every model.

Foundation

When applying make-up abroad it's important to use the right foundation. You don't want layers and layers of a thick cream foundation that will simply melt under the heat, but instead go for a light foundation, tinted moisturiser or simply add moisturiser to your favourite foundation to make it thinner. I used Mac Face and body foundation, a light liquid foundation that glides on naturally but is buildable to achieve the coverage you desire.

Concealer

To hide those tired eyes I used Illamasqua Skin Base Lift concealer. I love this concealer, it instantly lifts and illuminates the skin perfect for bags and dark circles as well as covering any imperfections. You would never have known the models had had very little sleep.

Glow

On the beach it's all about that sunkissed glow. We dream of that perfect healthy looking tan and skin. Well, it's so easy to achieve even on the palest of models like our lovely Sophie in Spain. Simply make a glow with Make-up. I began by using Illamasqua bronzing duo sweeping it back and forth under the cheek bone and up over the temple and blending. Once I was happy, I took my Bare minerals pure radiance and simply swept the peach lustre powder over the bronzer across the cheeks only. By doing this you are brightening and enhancing that sunkissed look on the cheeks. I then took my Illamasqua Sculpting powder duo which I tend to use for natural contouring to the face and with the Illamasqua fluff brush I swept the champagne highlighter above the bronzer across the high parts of the cheek bones to create a highlighted illuminate affect.

Using fellow make-up Artist Nafan's Nars Body Glow, I simply spread the oil over Sophie's body to give a rich shimmer natural glow.

I recommend finishing off with coatings of waterproof mascara and either a nude lip or an in season colour like coral or orange. On our shoot I opted for Kryolan's high shine gloss in shade Catwalk and applied Vaseline to the eyelids for a gloss affect.
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Spain Team - all Manchester based

Photographers: Biggi Ayo and Ryan James Davies

Models: Sophie Smith - of PHA models Manchester, Kira Martin - previous Shameless actress, Mamzy Ahmed

Hair and Make-up Artist: Nafan Neil Beanz and myself
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 07:28

Backstage At TMC Season 8 Final

Photo Credit: Mikey San
Thursday, 29 May 2014 21:08

Gentle skin care in the sun!

The hot summer days are nearly upon us and so is holiday season. I love the sunshine, the light evenings, sunbathing, cocktails sipped by a pool or on a beach while I work on that tan. But we ladies all know how harmful the sun can be on our skin. It's a known fact that sun, sea and chlorine have damaging effects on the skin and can make skin problems become a nightmare.

So whether you're off abroad, to the English coast or simply enjoying the sun in the comfort of your garden or Local Park why not try Biorderma cleansing water.
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This product was created to suit the needs of those who experience skin redness and irritation. ( sensitive skin ) but it perfect for those summer months where everyone's skin is extra dry and sensitive from too much sun. It's an alcohol-free product that soothes and cools as it cleanses the skin. Designed to be used on both skin and eyes it cleanses and removes impurities and dirt while keeping the skin's natural ph balance. It removes all make-up including waterproof mascara.

I always have this product in my professional make-up kit and will be my go to product this coming weekend while working away on a photoshoot in Marbella, Spain. My models skin will instantly feel fresh and perfectly clean with no irritation. I may even use it on myself ;)

This product can be bought at any good local pharmacy.

Come back next week for my tips and behind the scenes images from my Spain trip and how to create that golden goodness look for summer.
Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:51

Colourful Summer Look

Hello Lovilies!

So, last Friday I was lucky enough to work with the incredible London based photographer Zoe Michelle on a colourful shoot. I worked my magic brushes on two lovely models, Alisa in the morning and Larelle in the afternoon. The concept was 'Colourful'.

Various outfits had already been chosen by the models and Larelle's personal stylist and business partner Joelle for the afternoon shoot. They were bright, colourful and powerful. I needed to create a make-up look to fit in with all designs each model would wear as shooting an editorial outside on location at London's Southbank on a busy sunny day would be too hard to keep changing the make-up look.

So I went ahead and created a look on both girls that complemented the outfits. Quick lip colour changes were done but the overall look stayed the same throughout the shoot.

I posted some behind the scenes images on my personal social media platforms and found I got a massive response from one of the looks from my followers asking how I created it.

So today I'm going to tell you all how....

To create a beautiful summer look with colours you need to work with colours that compliment each other and also your model. Look at your model's skin tone, hair colour, eye colour and look at the colour wheel.
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1, I began by using 'Myron Velvet Serum' to even out Lorelle's skin, fill in any lines or problem areas making her skin completely flawless. (not that Lorelle's skin needed filling in- her skin was flawless) but always use a primer no matter how good your skin is as it will make the make-up last longer.

2, Taking 'Myron's HUD Celebre Pro' foundation in shade ME1 and Mac 187 Duo fibre brush stipple on the product over the entire skin including eye lids. Buff the foundation into the skin using the same brush in circular movements.

Then take a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and buff the foundation into the skin even more, I then used a Real Techniques Stippling Brush to buff and polish the skin giving it that flawless finish. Finish off areas around the nose and eyes with a beauty blender.

3, Apply 'Alaska skin base lift concealer' in shade 2 underneath the eyes and corners of the eye.

4, Fill in the eyebrows with powder if required then use 'Ingot Eyebrow wax' to set the powder and hair, comb through with a disposable mascara brush to set into place.

5, Using a 'NYX Jumbo pencil' in shade milk glide the product over the eyelid and blend with your finger.

Take the 'mehron Intense powder pigment palette' using the brush provided in the palette press on the 'yellow spark' colour across the entire eyelid up to the crease line. Blend the colour slightly above the socket with a Mac 217 blending brush.

Taking the Mac 219 pencil brush sweep the shade 'Inferno' across the socket line like a car windscreen motion and down onto the lid on the outer corner of the eye.Go back with the 217 brush and blend.

Then taking a second clean 219 pencil brush sweep shade 'Purple Heat' half way across the socket line and again onto the outer corner of the eye lid. Continue to blend or adding extra colour until you are happy with the result.

Bring the colours to underneath the eye and highlight with 'Bourjois 01 highlight' shadow underneath the brows and tear duck. Finish off with coating of 'Clinques High Impact' black mascara.

6, Using a blusher brush ask your model to pout and place 'Mehron Powder blush' in shade Tropicoral underneath the cheek bones and round to just over the temples.

Taking the 'Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo' shade the key areas of the face, (jawline, sides of forehead and sides of the nose) with 'Bobbi Brown' eye blending brush. Clean the brush and using the same Illamasqua palette use the highlighter and highlight above the cheek bones in a sweeping motion, the centre of the forehead, centre of the chin, down the bridge of the nose and above the top lip (cupids bow).

7, Apply 'Kryolan High Gloss' in shade Apricot to the lips.

8, We finished the look by applying ready made false nails by Sarah Wright in a ombre orange affect.

Mehron make-up can be bought from Treasure House of Make-up
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:17

Shoes fit for a fashionista!

A few weeks ago Chatham UK asked if we would test out a pair of there shoes. As you can imagine we were very excited as we love all thing fashion.
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We chose the on trend for summer is Soho the new baby blue suede brogue style from Chatham which is a delicate take on the brogue in sumptuous soft suede. We can confirm these shoes are incredibly comfortable and from the moment you slip them on.

Now ladies you know that as soon as you wear NEW shoes what do you get??? A BLISTER or some other discomfort somewhere on the feet and this can go on for weeks until they stretch and adjust to your feet. Well let us tell you these brogues were worn for 6 hours, no socks or tights and guess what? Not only did they turn heads and generate comments like 'Wow, those are fab!' 'Where did you get those shoes? to top it there were absolutely no blisters rubbing or other at the end of the day.

This is what you call a good pair of well-made British shoes!

Teamed with Beige skinny jeans and powder blue top but the Soho looks fab with pretty much anything you team it with weather it's jeans or dresses.
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The Soho from Chatham UK is also available in coral and beige RRP: £59 head on over to www.chatham.co.uk where you can shop till you drop.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:51

Beach Babe Hair

Summer is just around the corner and so is holiday season. I love nothing more than relaxing on a beach with beautiful golden sands listening to the waves, catching some rays with a cocktail in hand. But we ladies all know how harmful the sun can be to our hair. It's a known fact that sun, sea and chlorine have damaging effects on the hair.

So whether you're off abroad, to the English coast or simply enjoying the sun in the comfort of your garden or Local Park special hair care in the summer is a must!

The Solution???

Mark Hill has brought a holiday hair care range out ideal for the summer months. His expert team have put hair through the toughest conditions to create products that are excellent for protecting the hair through the summer season along with great smelling products.

There are 7 super products in this range that come in mini size bottles ideal for overseas travelling at the check-in desk.

1, Holiday Hair Sunshine Shampoo
A luxurious shampoo to gently cleanse the hair clean keeping moisture locked in to sun stressed-out hair. £1.99
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2, Holiday Hair Sunset Smoother Aftersun Conditioner
A super affective nourishing and repair conditioner for sun-damaged hair. £1.99
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3, Holiday Hair Cover Up Protection Spray
A product to cover up/provide a barrier on the hair and scalp from the sun helping to replenish lost moisture. £5.99
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4, Holiday Hair Sun, Sea, Frizz-free Anti Humidity Spray
A simple spray to not only help protect the hair from the rays but also keeps the hair smooth, frizz free and glossy. £5.99
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5, Holiday Hair Beach to Bar Shampoo
If you don't have time to wash your hair between the day and evening out then this product will get rid of the sand, sea salt and chlorine refreshing your hair and style. £5.99
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6, Holiday Hair Beach Babe Sea Salt Wave Spray
This product instantly revamps or creates soft beach babe waves in your long locks ready for a day at the beach. £5.99
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7, Holiday Hair Summer Loving Protection Serum
This is ideal for adding extra moisture to sun-stressed hair. Use on damp hair and dry hair to define.
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Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:17

Pops of Colour using Mehron

It's no secret that this past few weeks I have been using the make-up brand Mehron from Treasure House of Make-up on a lot of my make-up jobs. I've always been a massive fan of one of the products I am going to tell you about today, but I fell in love whilst using the brand at Paris Fashion Week in March 2014 and even more in love 3 weeks back at Fashions Finest show Renaissance in Nottingham. As well as one of today's products being one of my favourite make-up products EVER their Velvet Serum Primer is now my favourite primer I have ever tried too. Every product I have told you about over the past 3 weeks has come from an honest opinion from a professional freelance make-up artist (myself) and I'll say it again... this brand won't let you down!!!

So today I have to tell you how amazing some of Mehron's eye colours are.

Intense Pro Pigment Palettes - £51.18

WOW these palettes of pigments are as the title says...INTENSE.

They come in 3 different intense palettes of pressed shadow pigments each containing 8 different colours related to the name of the palette. The shadows are matte and so strong and rich in pigment that all you need is one swipe over the palette with a flat brush and when placed on the eye or skin the colour beams straight back at you with an intense wash of colour. The texture feels velvety and to look at it looks silky and matte with a strong pop of colour. All the shades are either bright or deep and rich. I find the variety of shades Mehron have put together in these palettes in the 3 colour combinations all work together so well.

The palettes come in 3 names; EARTH – which I think is perfect colour match for creating a sophisticated look, WIND - to create an edgy look and FIRE - creates a bright look.

They are also available as single shadows ideal if you cannot afford the palettes or would like to test or use only one colour. - £7.31

Metallic Powder and Mixing Liquid – £8.68

This product is incredible! One of my all time favourite products in my kit and has been used over and over. The product is a loose pigment powder with a "molten metal" effect. Nothing like your normal loose pigment shadows, this is something different. The powder is ultra-fine and so easy to use. Can be used dry for an intense powder pigment shadow on the eyes with a metal likeness to do it or it can be mixed with a product from Mehron called 'Mixing Liquid'. Now this is where things get exciting! Have you ever seen a full body paint where the model looks like metal? Well this is the product!!

Simply mix a small amount of mixing liquid with metallic powder and by magic it creates a metallic liquid makeup. Simply apply it over the body or desired area with a brush or sponge or even pop it into an airbrush gun and watch the transformation. I absolutely love this this product! The affects you can create are endless. Whether you want boldness, beautiful, dramatic or that full on metal body paint affect this product is the one to use! Comes in 4 colours of, gold, silver, bronze and copper.

Precious Gem Powder –
Mehron's loose pigment powder comes by the name of 'Precious Gem Powder' and wow it really is a precious gem! Very strong pigmented ultra-fine powder that gives an intense affect with a small amount of product. The powders are shimmery and glittery making them idea for that night out or to create a dramatic high fashion or glamorous look. Simply apply dry with a flat brush or can be mixed with the mixing liquid for a wet application making the colour even more intense. Quick, simple and incredible results.

All of these products including the full range of Mehron Make-up can be bought in store or online at Treasure House of Make-up in Stockport. Friendly helpful staff and quick delivery. Perfect for any make-up artist or home use.

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All product can be found here via MerhonUK and Treasure House of Makeup 
Monday, 05 May 2014 19:44

Top Model of Colour Pre shoot

Top Model of Colour pre final shoot 12 April 2014, 'In it to win it'.
On Sunday I worked on a photo shoot with a photographer I have worked with many times before in Nottingham and a model I had been in contact with for a while over Facebook but had not yet met. As always I planned the hair and make-up looks I wanted to create before arriving at the studio in Nottingham by assessing the models features, skin colouring and hair through images only. I decided to use Mehron Make-up apart from the odd product here and there as I had had such fabulous results the weekend before using the brand at 'Renaissance' where Mehron had been the make-up sponsor. The make-up was provided by Treasure House of Make-up based in Stockport.

For this particular look on my photo shoot on Sunday I decided I wanted to create a classy, sultry beauty look on a red head. I had to make sure the products were right as my model was very fair skinned and anything too dramatic would be too much. I have to admit, that once again Mehron didn't let me down.

After skin prep I began by using 'Mehron's Velvet Finish Primer Serum'. I had previously tested this on my skin and my gosh my skin had never felt so silky smooth. This product is exactly what it says in the title a 'Velvet Serum'. It feels very much like a hair serum, and we all know how amazing hair serum is! It's a rich serum product that glides onto skin very easily leaving the skin looking matte, along with all the benefits of hydrating and protecting the skin and decreasing the appearance of fine lines and working as a primer I can promise you your skin will never feel so good. Being a make-up artist I have tried a lot of primers and I can honestly say from the heart this is the BEST I have ever used. This primer is perfect for dry skin but also perfect for oily as it absorbs oil. I recommend EVERYONE to go out and buy this product, whether you're a make-up artist or someone wanting to use an amazing product at home. This is more than a 10/10 is a 100/10 product. My professional kit and home care routine for myself will never be without this product again. £18.28

I created the base on my model using the 'Mehron Celebre HD Foundation' as spoke about on last week's blog only this time I set with 'Mehron Celebre Pressed Powder'. I absolutely loved the finish of this powder. It is so good at absorbing oil that I didn't have to top up my model's face once throughout the whole shoot from the many hot lights beaming down on her. The finish on her skin felt almost satin and gave an even finish all over. Perfect colour match and so easy to apply. I used a powder brush and swept over her skin giving perfect results. £11.88

I am a massive fan of cream blusher for many reasons. Personally I feel cream products on photo shoots under lights and flashes look better. They set better; they look better and apply better. The 'Mehron cheek cream palette' did not disappoint me. It contains 8 beautiful varied colour tones from warm, cool and rosy hues. I personally use a contour stipple brush (duo fibre) to apply cream blusher. By using this brush little colour is picked up and goes onto the models skin in small dots like an airbrush effect. I then use a clean stipple brush to blend and work that cream into the models skin. The Mehron palette gave incredible results. The product is a rich cream with a strong pigment and only one application of cream on your stipple brush is needed. This palette will last for so long because of the high pigment in the product. The colours will compliment every skin tone. On my model Rosa I used shade Bronze. £36.56

For my model's eye make-up I used an NYX Jumbo pencil in shade bronze and Mac scatter pigments over the top to give a slight glitter pigment affect. I finished off by using 'Mehron' mascara in black. It performed superb. My model's eyelashes were enhanced with no clumps and I think you will agree that those lashes look long! £7.31

To finish off the look I used 'Mehron Lip Night palette' it contains 8 rich colours that come in the form of a lip cream. The Mehron lip creams are an excellent product to apply colour to dry lips as the cream contains a conditioning formula to keep them smooth and supple. The product was so easy to apply and looked incredible. Throughout the shoot I did not need to top up the lips as the staying power of this product was strong. Mehron also do a 'day palette' again 8 different shades. These 2 palettes combined are all you need to have a variety of extreme fashion lip trends. On my model I used 'Oh Chocolate' from the night palette. £36.56

All of this make-up used on my look and the full Mehron professional make-up range can be bought from Treasure House of Make-up in Stockport. You can also order online at Treasure House of Make-up any questions feel free to comment and I shall get back to you.
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Photographer: Rubicon Photography
Model: Rosa Dela
Make-up and Hair: Victoria Davies
Make-up: Mehron, NYX and Mac