Tuesday 26 June 2012

Photoshop & Makeup - The Debate

Photoshop & Makeup - The Debate

I'm feeling quite philosophical tonight and I found this image and look I created a couple of months back. The whole debate regarding makeup is something that is most likely to carry on for years and many have mixed views to if it should be used at all.  My own views when it comes to using photoshop for advertising is mixed, I can see reasons to why it should and shouldn't be used, but at the same time, if a company needs to advertise a mascara, it's rather hard to show what it does without extra help.  But then surely by creating lashes from nothing but a photoshop brush is false advertising, but then I guess they are advertising the features of the mascara.  The list really goes on and there really is no right or wrong answer to any of them as there seems to be so many counter arguments.
The trouble is, there is no set limit on how far companies can go, and this then creates a perception of beauty that many aspire to, but can never reach.  The perception of beauty today has only started to create a generation of people with misguided and false views to what they can achieve and the future holds two options.  There's the extreme beauty side which seems to be dominate currently in the form of Toddlers and Tiaras, where beauty is really being pushed to the very limit, and then there's the other extreme of going and looking completely natural which would devastate makeup companies on a global scale.
I hope that future generations are taught all about photoshop, and re-touching, and what can be changed, added and taken away in post production.  I take knowing these things for granted as I clearly have a passion for makeup and brands, in fact I'm surrounded by similar minded people too.  It's not until I talk to people who have no interest in makeup, that I realise they don't actually realise when things are retouched, or when there're not.  This creates a mixed view to these people, and they really have no idea which brands to trust.  And that's not even my point for this blog.
My main point is that I adore Alex Box, and her makeup skills are ridiculous, as in fabulous, her makeup skills are truly amazing and inspirational.  Alex creates looks for each Illamasqua collection and they are on point, precise and perfect.  When I show an Illamasqua booklet to another person, their first reaction is always 'oh that's been so retouched', and in reality, it really hasn't.  From watching behind the scenes videos and Alex in action myself, I know that very little re-touching will be carried out after a shoot.  The fact people think the images have been retouched to the extreme not only affects the brand, but also the makeup artist.

I really went off on a tangent just then, that's the problem with this whole debate, it's everlasting and covers so many different aspects of makeup and beauty.  I guess my point is don't just assume somethings been retouched, don't say how awful adverts are that use 'fake' lashes to show is a mascara curls - then the next second look for a mascara that does just that, and finally do your research.  Most advertising in magazines will say if false lashes have been added, or what colour the model used to dye their hair so you have a few quick answers to your questions right then and there.

The trouble is, I think beauty companies should and shouldn't use re-touching...

And to the main point of this entry - Many of the makeup looks I create on this blog go through a mixture of no re-touching, to a lot of retouching.  The majority of looks are shot in a studio setup and it's refreshing to find images like this that are just taken off a webcam.  I see amazing talent everyday on Facebook when it comes to makeup skills, and those people are so inspirational, and I guess it sounds big headed of me when I'm reminded like those people, I don't need to retouch my images either...

I really have gone off on a tangent now...

Sunday 24 June 2012

Falling from cloud 9, crashing from the high

Falling from cloud 9, crashing from the high - Katy Perry

For the first time ever, this makeup look wasn't taken by me so all credit goes to Jessica Hadden to this image!  This shoot was intended for another purpose but things never go to planned so I thought I would share it with you all here!  On another note, I've been having the strangest dreams, and I seem to be having almost a case of Inception in the morning when you can start to wake up and fall back to sleep in the same dream.  The thing is, sometimes I don't want to fall back into the same dream as it seems most of my dreams have been nightmares.  All nightmare and no vanity.

Reality can be harsh to wake up to, and sometimes I'd rather stay in those nightmares that come to me at night.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Imagination, life is your creation

Imagination, life is your creation- Aqua
This look initially drew inspiration from Mass Effect 2, and yes you heard me right, an Xbox 360 game.  I was playing the game one day and thought, wow there are so many amazing makeup looks here just waiting to be created, so I gave my own twist on things.  This look was a rather a last minute shoot and I wasn't terribly happy with any of the results, just because I wasn't able to edit them how I wanted.  So anyway this was actually the last picture I took, and changed the original Xbox idea into an Aqua Barbie Girl one.
I've told you this whole process I went through because as cheesy as it sounds, life is your creation, and it all comes from your imagination.  Things sometimes don't go the way you initially planned and the only thing you can do is imagination something else up, and create that thought into a reality.

Friday 22 June 2012

Show me your teeth

Show me your teeth - Lady Gaga

So I thought I would share this image with you all,  I completely forgot about this collage until I saw this at Graduate Fashion Week.  This piece was a direct result of conducting a street style report within Soho, London.  A trend booklet was created and this collage shows a brief overview of the textures, colours and the overall experience of Soho.  Soho is by far my favourite place in London and it has a real balance of feeling unsafe, but completely safe all at the same time.  I say unsafe due to the fact around every corner is some kind of XXX rated shop, and when it's not a shop, a burlesque or strip club.  But then there's the clubs and theatres and overall it's just a very welcoming place for people who go there all the time, and for people who are on their very first visit.

Soho - Proving to everyone that there's more to things than what meets the eye.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

ELLE Intern Update!

Well it's been only a couple of days, i think two now since I put my entry up to ELLE.COM and already the support I have received has been amazing and completely unexpected.  I mean I thought i would get a few likes but not this many!  And so many people have helped with re-tweets and Facebook sharing, it's really quite over whelming so thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I thought I would create this blog entry as my cover now has the most shares for the position of Art Editor, which is amazing!  The outcome isn't decided just on votes so I obviously know that I still have just as much chance as everyone else!  So thank you again, I don't think I've said thank you so many times in a blog post before!
There are also some amazing entries for the other intern positions so if you have helped me out, or not, please check out the others too!  Other people want this internship just as much as I want it, and I'm sure some can do with the support and help.

Thank you again and if you haven't checked out my cover yet please click HERE

And to check out other entries please click HERE

Thank you again everyone! x

Monday 18 June 2012

Spring/Sumer 2012 Aquatic Atlantis

I just realised I never actually posted this as a blog entry!  This is what I created for my FMP at university.  I set out to create a new collection for makeup brand Illamasqua, and I wanted this collection to open the brand up to new customers with new and exciting products.  After months of research into all aspects of the brand, from bags to marketing, I settled on a product range.  The main featured products were glitter nail varnishes and a glitter lipgloss.  Other products include a white and black fat pencil and two new bronzers.  All of these products were part of the collection which was for Spring/Summer 2012 and it was entitled 'Aquatic Atlantis'.

The lookbook layout is in keeping within Illamasquas graphic style and all that was left for me to do, is create a lookbook that looked the real deal.  So heres the book and feel free to click through!  There are a total of about 6 images that aren't mine within this book, ones that this include are the S.O.P.H.I.E images and FREAK perfume.  Theres also 1 image from The School Of Make-up Art, so apart from that, all photography is mine, as you may or may not already know!

Let me know what you think! x


Sunday 17 June 2012


So I've applied to try and get an internship at Elle magazine!  I saw this competition quite a while ago actually, most likely in the first couple of days it was up.  Stupidly I didn't do this sooner, when I initially saw it I was going through one of those 'i'm only going to get rejected' phases, I mean there's only so much ignoring and rejection one person can take!  Anyway, I finally decided to apply and create my own cover!  There's nothing I can really do but sit back and defiantly not relax, I have ALOT of catching up to do, but if anyone can do it, it's me.  So I apologise in advance for bombarding everyone with this, but I really want this, and to quote Cheryl Cole in any sentence - Anything that's worth having, is sure enough worth fighting for.

Oh Cheryl you beauty, and talking about another beauty, here's Kristen Stewart on the cover I designed for Elle!  If you like it, which I obviously hope you will, please click the link and click 'like', even share it if you can!  I would, and do go out the way quite happily to help others get a little bit closer to their dream, so I'm asking just this once (ok maybe ill ask for something else in the future) to like my submission!

Thanks in advance! x

Heres the link - MARK SMALL ELLEUK INTERN 2012

And one more thing, the deadline is TONIGHT as in 12 - This is really for all you future viewers of this post, so I guess the competition is now closed for anyone who reads this after tonight!

Unlimited, our lives are unlimited

Unlimited, our lives are unlimited - Wicked

It's been a long time since I've posted a makeup look inspired by lyrics, and for some reason I cannot get enough of the wicked soundtrack right now.  The first time I saw Wicked was the 16th of November 2006 and it was really a life changing night.  I don't think I've ever been so inspired by something in all my life, and I'll never forget that night.  I was lucky enough to see Idina Menzel in all her glory and I guess no-one really can do it better than her, you can never do better than originals.

Not only is this look inspired by Wicked, but also by the beautiful Illamasqua.  To say I love this lipstick is an understatement, and it really stands for everything Illamasqua is about, which is great.  I remember watching an Alex Box interview and Alex mentioned something about teal being an opposite of red on the colour wheel, and something about tricking your mind with colours.  I'm not entirely sure with the science of it all, but what I am sure about, is how perfect this lipstick is for any skin tone.

I guess this look is something Elphaba (if you don't know the Wizard of Oz or Wicked - shes the 'wicked witch of the west') would wear in OZ, that is if Illamasqua was sold in OZ, and It most likely would be.  Who knows, maybe Glinda buys skin base foundation?!

After all, her skin is flawless!

So if you want to try this beautiful teal shade for yourself, get down to an Illamasqua store or counter now! 
For now here's a little link for the lipstick (you can buy online aswell) ;)!
Illamasqua Apocalips

I always like to end a post on some kind of moral, but I don't need really need for this lyric, it says it all.  Our lives are unlimited, and never forget that.

Saturday 16 June 2012

End of year show

Took a trip down to sunny Southampton yesterday to see our end of year exhibition.  It was more of the same things that the Brick Lane and GFW had to offer but this time everyone had their work on display, including portfolios.  Every discipline had their own section within each room and it was great to see everyone's completed projects since half the time everyone was working on them.  It was interesting to see a range of portfolios and finally match up names to work I've seen during each of the shows.  There was a real divide between the quality of work, and it is most likely down to the fact 2 years of our courses didn't count towards our final grade.  So if anyone who's going to university, or studying now who reads this - always put 100% effort into any project, any experience is good experience, and always take proud in what your working on.
My tutor told me something early in my second year that I abide by, and that was - If your not happy with something, do it again - and that's really the key to the success of your work.

So although university is now over for others and myself, this journey that so many have taken isn't completely over yet, soon it will be results time.  So until then I will be bringing you lots more makeup inspired looks inspired by everything and anything, and I mean lots more, it's been a while!

Friday 15 June 2012

Vanity Nightmare at Graduate Fashion Week

What with the Brick Lane show and GFW, I have been rather busy this month and last.  Later tonight I will be visiting a week long exhibition at Southampton Solent University and that marks the end of these exhibitions.  I visited GFW on wednesday and attended the Gala 2 event, including the awards and drinks reception after.

Within the exhibition, each university had their own space to present students work.  GFW has always been mainly based around fashion design, and design was extremely dominant throughout the space in Earls Court.  Matthew Williamson and Daphne Guinness were just a few of the faces that cropped up throughout the event and it was a shame that there are not more people from the industry that come visit and discover new talent for themselves.  I was pleased to know that my University were not just showing off fashion designers work, but all work from all fashion courses.  After all, fashion design is just a small section of the fashion industry.  Without photographers or graphic designers, fashion weeks all over the world would be merely more than a whisper in the media, so I was pleased to see that our space showcased a range of fashion disciplines.  I was also pleased to see that 4 of my photographs were exhibited within the space and these can been seen above.
It will be interesting to see how GFW changes throughout each year.  Hopefully it will start to become less focused on fashion design, and more on photography, graphics, styling, makeup and marketing.  So congrats to students everywhere, thanks to the people who helped out, and thanks to all the people who attended the 21st Graduate Fashion Week at Earls Court 2012.