Illamasqua Generation Q launch

Friday 29 June 2012

This Wednesday night just gone, I was invited by the lovely people at Illamasqua to attend the launch of their AW12 collection - Generation Q.

The last collection if you remember (here) was about an explosion of your alter ego and reversing traditional beauty.

This season's collection stems from the Beauty Before Age campaign earlier on this year where they scouted for real people of all ages to use in this campaign (as opposed to models). The collection is about beauty having no age limits, or prejudice of gender or colour.. and about lots of shimmer!

I have to say it got me thinking about how I view makeup now and how much I love colour and probably always will.. I definitely don't agree with the industry norm of sticking to "safe/matte" colours once you reach a certain age and have never told clients/customers to steer clear of brighter colours/glitter. In fact I've loved applying a bit of glitter or colour on an older lady, there's something about the sparkle that makes you feel happy and why should more maturer ladies not feel that?

At the launch of the collection we were able to have a play around with the products and get a feel for them whilst everyone filtered in. My first impressions were: omg lots of purple, LOVE!
In true Illamasqua style there were cocktails in mismatched teacups and iced tea in cocktail glasses.. which was a fantastic idea!
We sat down next to a few of the products from the range (and glittery popcorn fitting with the cinema theme) whilst David Horne and Alex Box (my most favourite makeup artist!) explained further about the new collection and what it means to them, explaining that more maturer ladies are made to feel like they should hide under a sea of beige when in fact it's these women who hold the wisdom and confidence to pull off whatever they like. I couldn't agree more, I'm not afraid of getting older but that's because I believe you're only as old as you feel and it showed in the lovely Evelyn (72) who was one of the chosen models for the campaign and who attended the event too.

The collection is actually amazing, not only because of the purpley-ness but also because it's very wearable by pretty much anyone. 
I managed to get swatches of a few of my favourites, such as the gorgeous powder blushers (Sophie & Allure) and the unique Opulent lipgloss described as a "rainbow beige". I found Allure to be more pigmented than Sophie although both have great colour payoff. Sophie is aimed more at lighter skintones so anything too pigmented would have to be used very lightly anyway. The Opulent lipgloss had me mesmerised with its purple tones standing out more to my eye!
My personal favourites; the Opulent lipgloss reminds me of pretty fish scales/shells!
Other favourites of mine include the Wisdom Precision Ink liner (olive/antiqued gold), Magnetism lipstick (above) and the matching wine-coloured nail polish Charisma (below). Creator nail polish was being sported by the lovely Evelyn too who rocked it beautifully!
The other Intense lipgloss Boost (a metallic blueberry violet colour) and Underworld lipstick (blueberry violet shimmer) were lovely colours but not something that I think would suit my full lips.. it'd be more suited to going out or used in a photoshoot.
The rest of the range includes two new palettes (Complement and Empower) and their Gleam highlighter in Aurora (a light champagne pearly finish).
I managed to get a pic with Alex Box too who I also managed to meet at the IMATS last year (here):
All in all I have to say I'll be looking forward to the release of this collection in September (yes it's that far away!) but hopefully will be able to review in full closer to the time!

What are your favourites from this collection? Do you worry about getting into a rut with makeup once you're past a certain age? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Sedona Lace 120 Palette review

Sunday 24 June 2012

A couple weeks back I received a lovely package from Sedona Lace with a couple goodies to review. I only ever thought Sedona Lace was an American brand til I realised they shipped to the UK.. woop!

I thought I'd try their 120 Pro Palette and chose the second edition as I have a First Edition Manly palette from eBay (click here for blog post) and have bought a second edition Manly palette too.
They also sent their "Stick It To 'Em" eyeshadow primer which I thought I'd compare to my UDPP. 

120 Pro Palette - Second Edition

Packaging: Compared to the Manly palette, the outer packaging of the Sedona Lace palette has a matte texture and feels sturdier than the shiny plastic with Manly. I once ordered a Manly palette and received it with plastic outer case cracked and a couple shadows broken. The Sedona Lace palette does feel somewhat more durable.
The biggest difference for me as a MUA is the fact that the shadows in this palette are not as delicate as the Manly ones; I tested to see if the eyeshadows would fall out by turning the trays upside down and lightly tapping also and none of them fell out. Big thumbs up for me, as I can't describe how frustrating it is to have shadows fall out if a tray gets knocked over on a job!
Colour & Pigmentation: One thing that was a downer for me about the Manly palette was the inconsistent pigmentation of the shadows.. There were some vibrant and pigmented colours, but a lot of the pastel colours were so poorly pigmented I had to rub quite a few times to get any colour out of them! 
Thankfully, Sedona Lace's palette is consistent with pigmentation; they all have fairly good payoff, although the white isn't as pigmented as my La Femme single white shadow. All in all though, thumbs up for the colour selection as well as the colour payoff.
Texture: The shadows in this palette are less chalkier than in the Manly palette with some shadows feeling quite creamy as opposed to sheer and light.
Longevity: So far I've only tried the Sedona Lace palette for FFF makeup looks and the colours have held pretty well for the duration of doing so. Paired with a good primer I'm sure the shadows would last considerably longer.
Price: For $28.95 (approx £19) it's not a bad investment; of course you could start with the Manly palette or other eBay palettes as I did, but once you realise that some colours are unusable in that palette, I think this is the next step!

FrootiFactor: Overall I'd give the palette a 5/5 because it ticks all my boxes so far!

Stick It To 'Em Eyeshadow Primer
Straight out of the tube
Blended - tried to capture the slight sheen
Packaging: I quite like the packaging of this primer, aside from the metallic red colour I like the fact that its a tube design as with the new UDPPs. I find it much more hygienic than having a wand that goes on the eyelids then back in the tube and also find that the product remains how it's supposed to without constant air being pumped into it. You also get more product out of the packaging with this squeezy tube design.
Colour & Pigmentation: This primer is transparent when blended and has a peachy-pink tone when not, as with the original UDPP. 
Texture: The texture of this primer is much more creamier than the UDPP, which feels lovely, but remains somewhat greasy (as shown above). Compared to UDPP and Too Faced Shadow Insurance, this is different as they are also fairly creamy but dry within seconds so that it's no longer shiny/greasy and a great surface for shadows to stick to.
Longevity: Because of the creamy/greasy texture this primer doesn't seem to last as long as the UDPP which has always been my favourite!
Price: The Stick It To 'Em primer is usually $14.95 (approx £9.60) but currently on sale for $9.95 (approx £6.40). If the primer wasn't so creamy I would have said it's worth it because of the packaging and colour, but unfortunately for me I need to work fast and have a primer that can keep up with drying time and longevity!

FrootiFactor: I'd have to give this primer a 2.5 out of 5 as it doesn't dry as fast as I need to and hasn't proved crease-free yet.
Overall, I'm very happy with the 120 Pro Palette but didn't find the primer was for me. I am however looking to try more Sedona Lace products in the future so keep an eye out for that!
You can purchase the products from the Sedona Lace website, with deliveries to the UK too which is great.

Have you tried any Sedona Lace products? If so, what is your experience and which would you recommend?

FFF: Purple-Green-Gold makeup look

Friday 22 June 2012

I decided to do a makeup look of a very popular Asian dress colour combination - gold, green & purple. So many clients have this colour combination with their dresses and I tend to do the same/similar thing for each of them, changing the colour of the gold, green or purple to match their outfit. 

Products used:
> NYX JEP in Milk
> Sedona Lace 120 palette (2nd edition)
> MAC fluidline in Blacktrack
> UD 24/7 eye pencil in Covet
> Daniel Sandler Jumbo Jet mascara
> Khuraira ACC in Light
> MAC Studio Finish concealer - NC35
> UD Tinted Moisturiser in Bodyguard
> UD Baked Bronzer in Toasted
> UD lipliner in Wicked
> MAC lipstick in Spitfire

After priming the eye with UDPP & NYX JEP in Milk I applied a shimmery gold colour from the palette to the inner corners of the eyes and a purple to the end of the eyelid. A matte brown shadow was used in the crease buffing it upwards slightly, followed by a peachy-pink matte colour on the brow bone, blending it down the matte brown.
I used MAC fluidline in Blacktrack for the topliner and UD Covet liner for the bottom liner.
Daniel Sandler Jumbo Jet mascara was used on top and bottom lashes followed by matte brown and black eyeshadows from the Sedona Lace palette for the brows; Khuraira & MAC concealers were then used under the eye:
For the rest of the face I used UD tinted moisturiser in Bodyguard and UD bronzer in Toasted along the cheekbones; for the lips I used UD Wicked lipliner and MAC Spitfire lipstick:
I've posted previous examples of this look on clients here and here, it's the most flattering for people who want a pop of colour but don't want to be too OTT!
Hope you like it, I'll be posting a review on the palette used very soon too =)


Monday Mehndi

Monday 18 June 2012

Before I went on holiday I attended a lovely Indian Mehndi with my cousin Farah where I helped add glitter & diamantes to the brides henna.

The event was lovely, colourful and fun and as ever, my cousin's henna didn't fail to amaze. Paired with the matching glitter to the bride's clothes, everyone commented at how beautiful it looked and I had to agree!

Here's a few pictures from the day:
Hope you like! If you're interested in booking us for makeup, hair or henna in London you can contact us through our Facebook page: Safrah Beauty or email me: =)


Monday Makeover

Hey guys!

As you may or may not know I've been away on holiday (to Dubai again!) so apologies for the lack of posts! I'll be doing a collage of pictures from Instagram that I've posted of the holiday so you can see the lovely sunny scenes I enjoyed whilst there.

I've also been busy with organising party and bridal makeup/makeovers and in this post you'll see a lovely makeover I did for a bride this weekend just gone.

She'd had an awful experience with a bridal trial and it was all very last minute, however she was very very happy with my trial and also how she looked on the day which always makes me happy!
I myself had a very stressful wedding, first with a mess up of my dress that I was suppose to wear, then finding a makeup artist (I felt I'd be too nervous to do it myself on the day!). I ended up going with a great friend and ex-colleague who I knew I could trust with my makeup and was very glad I did as I didn't look like I'd been punched in the face!

I do think it's really important for brides to be happy with their makeup and not just settle for someone because someone else is paying or suggesting the MUA. It's a personal day, so a lot of choices need to be your own or you'd regret it looking back at the pictures!

Anyway, I managed to get a before and after of the bride to add to my portfolio as well as my combined business with my cousin Farah who does henna and hair for Safrah Beauty.

Before (already primed with UDPP + NYX JEP!):

After (with Farah's hair and the brides jewellery):
The classic pose putting on jewellery!
And finally with the dupatta setting:
All in all it was lovely to make a bride feel like a bride and be happy with her makeup on the day; weddings always want to make me want to get dressed up again and be pampered!


Recent shoots

Friday 1 June 2012

To make up for the lack of posts lately, I've decided to double post today haha!

Before I go on holiday I'd like to share some of my recent shots from photoshoots I've done, so I hope you like!

These pics were from an Asian Bridal shoot with two models, one Eastern European, Alexandra (to change it up) and one Asian looking model too (Leanna). It was a group shoot with four photographers: Nav, Andy, Izabella & Anne.
The first picture was made to share so feel to do so on facebook, twitter etc! ;)
Here are my favourite images from a jewellery shoot I did with a stylist's jewellery range Cuff and Neck:
Love this necklace! Went well with our Jubilee/Brit themed shot
And some portfolio pics for me; the first one is very Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism inspired (neutrals and teal lips):
There's still another shoot from Wednesday to post about so look out for that after I'm back!

Which pictures do you like best?

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