Two Magazine by Pixiwoo

I’ve long been a fan of the Pixiwoo sisters and was very privileged to be the subject of their artist’s profile in the recent issue of Two Magazine. Thank you ladies for the lovely write-up and quotes such as, “I like make-up to look like it belongs to the person wearing it; like it’s been lived-in.” If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, as it’s widely-read for good reason!

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Night At The Museum With 1436 Graeme Black


It was my great pleasure to be invited by INCA Productions to do the makeup for the first British show from Chinese luxury brand and cashmere house 1436 Erdos, designed by Creative Director, Graeme Black. I’ve worked with Graeme on his own label and really enjoyed collaborating with him again. Sitting in the huge double height hall of the National Museum, a small group of London-based fashion editors joined a full house of Scottish fashion lovers and Chinese supporters – including Chinese Vogue’s Angelica Cheung. It was a very elegant affair, and fittingly opened Edinburgh Fashion Festival.


When I met Graeme for the show fitting, he told me that the models would be wearing layers of the finest cashmere, on possibly the hottest day of the year. I suggested that we keep the skin lightweight – a silky cotton juxtaposition. I was supported by M.A.C and their Pro team, headed by Claire Mulleady who was extremely helpful and professional, introducing me to some basic products that I hadn’t met before. We used Mineralize Charged Water Lotion, Natural Radiance, Mineralize Moisture Foundation and Concealer, Prep and Prime Loose Powder, Extended Play Mascara, Posey Cream Blush, Dirty Blonde Impeccable Brow Pencil and Brow Set.


Our work began at the Waldorf Caledonian Hotel where the lighting was thoughtfully organised to match that of the venue – daylight and beauty dishes. The makeup and hair preparation was very hands on, with massaging of skin as our first important step, a technique also employed by talented hairdresser Lyndell Mansfield (also at CLM) and her team. Lyndell’s number one, wonderful Meggie, can be seen below with one of the young men in the show (and in the background, proof that models do eat!)



The makeup was minimal – the ‘no makeup makeup’ that takes about ten products to achieve! It’s all about layering with thin veils of products, rather than one heavy application. Massaging enables you to discover bone structure and observe where the colour rises, as well as nourishing the skin and preparing it correctly for the foundation. Graeme wanted the models to look like Scottish girls who’d been walking in the Highlands, so we boosted their blush for windswept health and their brows for character. Freckles were added to give a Celtic complexion and lips balmed to keep them nourished and flushed. Lashes were well curled for an eye opening effect and mascara added to top and bottom – it helped to have the right disposable wand.



A couple of hours before the show started, we were transported to the venue which was awe inspiring. My assistants, Hannah Paul and Lucy Pearson, were told quite sternly by a security guard not to go exploring! Actually there was no need to, as backstage there were all kinds of (stuffed) creatures, past and present, floating above and around us. We checked the makeup during rehearsal which is always key, as the light dictates how it’s seen. I decided to add more blush, matching the models’ natural lip colour.



My favourite moment during shows is when the models are lined up in their first outfits (they’re in their own clothes above) and we perform our final checks, which can involve hands, feet, legs and arms – skin doesn’t stop at the neck! We also have to keep an eye on changes as that’s when different body parts are exposed and things can get disturbed. It’s a fine line between being on top of everything and not getting in the way. There’s always a little stress but it was extremely well organised by INCA and my team were very willing and capable. The result was a beautiful show and a happy designer.


With special thanks to James McCauley for permission to use his photographs

And to INCA for making it possible. You can read more on their website:

And of course to M.A.C for their generous sponsorship


As Long As I Got You

Lily’s new video, shot by director Chris Sweeney, is my favourite so far! Maybe it’s because it brings back so many fond memories of Glastonbury, and maybe because everyone’s happy, and maybe because it celebrates her love for husband Sam, who she met last time she performed there. That was five years ago and now they have two gorgeous girls who watched their Mum from the side of the stage for the first time. Lily has been going to the festival with her father since she was a baby – she loves Glastonbury and it loves her back!


I did Lily’s makeup for the video in the morning – signature black eyeliner and lashes with silver holographic glitter under-eyeliner and stars to match. As she was on the move, I gave her a hot orange lipstick pencil so she could touch up her colour, and for her performance in the afternoon, added fluorescent pink and orange eyeliner. Everything was shot on the same day, featuring Lily walking and dancing around Worthy Farm, singing along with fans and generally having a hoot. There’s also footage of her set, which was almost cancelled due to a heavy thunderstorm, but the sun came out at the last moment, and Lily shone.


If you looked closely you may have seen me behind the scenes, backstage at the Pyramid. It’s the first time I’ve ‘appeared’ in a pop video (albeit briefly) and it was my first festival experience (it won’t be my last!) Glastonbury is indeed magical and joyful, a real celebration of music and the arts. Lily was a star. Even the Daily Mail said she looked utterly adorable!


Hair by Alex Brownsell of BLEACH fame and nails by Michelle Humphrey.


Maybelline NY and L’Oreal Paris and Essie Beauty Trends AW14

I had a really good time at the Maybelline NY, L’Oreal Paris and Essie Beauty Trends AW14 Press Event today, working alongside L’Oreal Paris makeup and hair ambassadors Lynsey Alexander and Syd Hayes, plus nail technicians Michelle Humphrey, Lorraine Griffin and Jenni Draper. The canapes kept on coming and so did the beauty editors… it was like being backstage but with more space and less hassle. Not only was it exciting to talk about the trends we’ve got to look forward to, but to play with the products that we can recreate them with. As pictures speak louder than words, I’ll let them do the talking. Here are some photos by talented makeup artist (and not a bad photographer!) Athena Paginton

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Roland Mouret Resort Show

RM doorflowers

It’s not often that you get to work with your favourite designer, stylist, hairdresser and team members, but this morning I had exactly that opportunity and it was a real pleasure. Roland Mouret’s first resort show took place at his beautiful building in Carlos Place, Mayfair, at 10am. Which meant that we had to arrive bright and early for 6.30am to ensure the models looked fresh and feminine (as one of the photographers described the makeup).

close up touch upmakeup set up

casting    Sharon touch up

At the fitting, Roland told me that the makeup needed to be quick – a little something that the girl had added to her glowing summer complexion. The stylist, Sophia Neophitou, is always brilliant with her direction so between us and superstar hairdresser Lyndell Mansfield, we created a youthful beachy Bardot for now. Skin had to be worked – Sophia wanted it to look slightly tanned with a lustre that had nothing to do with shimmer. And she suggested a faded vivid orange lip which echoed the colour detail in some of the strappy shoes with a mere slick of mascara on upper lashes only and a touch of lip balm to pick up the light in all the right places. Our hero products were M.A.C’s lip mix in Orange, Cream Blush in Ladyblush, clear Brow Gel; Maybelline NY’s Baby Lips and St Tropez Instant Glow for face and body. The simplest looks are often the hardest to achieve, because the eye tries to find a flaw. My fabulous team made sure there weren’t any! Thanks to everybody on board for making it a cruise to remember, especially Lucy Pearson and Athena Paginton (pictured below).

stair line up Team Dowsett


High Brows

My friend and ex-assistant, the talented makeup artist Athena Paginton, is visiting today and showed me this image below. Apparently you can see lots of drawn on eyebrows if you search for #nomakeup!


It reminded me of an old editorial I did for Jane magazine in 2001. As I’ve been archiving recently it was easy to find and I thought I’d share it here…

Natasha eye browsdouble eye browsLaura eye browred eye brows

To prove that drawn on eyebrows can be cool. Thanks to photographer Michelangelo di Battista (with whom I worked with last weekend – some relationships last). Models were Natasha Prince, Mirjana, Diana S, Laura Delicata and Mirelle, hair by Madeliene Cofano. The credits read that I used Maybelline NY Lineworks Felt-Tip Eyeliner in Basic Black. With advice to be brave!


Colour Chaos

Colour Chaos

Going through the archives today, finding all kinds of historic stuff, including this photo by Simon Emmett for L’Officiel. Mainly reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing something I love. And sometimes getting paid for it too. Having the urge to be creative!


Hats Off to Lily!


Congratulations to Lily Allen for her number one new album! In honour of which, I’m posting a piece written by my friend and neighbour, Jud. He’s added an extra ‘l’ in Lily yet goes mad if you spell his name with two ‘d’s, but it’s original and heartfelt…

Lily 1 Lily 2

Jud has kindly mentioned me but I’m not the only makeup artist Lily works with – fabulous, LA based, Gregory Arlt ( did her makeup for the album cover and my friend, the amazing Andrew Gallimore, often makes her up in London. He created four characters for the Sheezus video, which you can see here…

Yes, I’ve got a fan girl crush on Lily and why not… it’s harder to be her than it looks. She’s smart, funny, talented and always up for experimenting with makeup. She loves it!