The Best Of…

By Hannah Paul

So today is my last offical day at Dowsett Land as Sharon’s first assistant. The past two and half years have flown by and I’m very sad to be saying goodbye. I’m looking forward to moving onto the next stage of my career but I’m sure I’ll still be part of Team Dowsett and visiting this make-up haven in the future.

Here in my view is the best of being an assistant…


As an assistant part of the job is being the make-up model! Different designs and ideas get tested on you before the real work begins. Plus in the studio we get to try and review lots of new products, making notes, comparing and choosing what we like. It’s heaven for us make-up artists!

Makeup MNY

Makeup Chanel lipsticks


London Fashion Week

The most intense but fun time of year! I love London Fashion Week and all the mayhem that comes with it. We get to watch Sharon be creative at tests, work with our team on shows and most of all have fun with make-up. Plus we have such great support from Sharon’s agent Cassandra and her team Sorcha and Maisie May at CLM. No matter the call time, they keep everything in order and help in any way they can. It’s a real buzz making sure everything goes right in such a short time and all the models look perfect before they head down the catwalk.

LFW Backstage

LFW Ashish AW15

LFW Sophia Webster show

LFW David Koma show

LFW Ashish SS15


While assisting Sharon I have been really lucky to meet lots of different people. From celebrities and photographers to designers and beauty journalists, I couldn’t keep track of everyone I have been introduced to and had the chance to work with! However, most importantly I have met other make-up artists, who I have got to know, laughed a lot with and learnt from and can now call my friends!

FriendsFriends backstage

Friends with Lucy

Friends Team pic

Maybelline NY

Sharon is the Make-up Director of Maybelline NY and so we are sponsored by them at London Fashion Week. Throughout the rest of the year we also get to work on two trends days, product launches and special events. They have a great team who support us and we always have fun. I love discussing anything to do with make-up and skincare, I could go on all day, so it’s great for me to meet Beauty Journalists who are just the same.

MNY Trends

Maybelline events  MNY MegaPlush event

MNY Lip launch MNY Lip event


I love to travel, whether it’s to relax, sightsee or visit family! During my time with Sharon I have had the opportunity to work away from home and I have loved it. While we do work hard we also get to see amazing places and hopefully spend time in a warmer climate.

TRavelling Italy

Travelling Edinburgh

Travelling Knebworth House


I met Sharon by luck on a GQ Germany shoot the day after her previous assistant had left. They say everything happens for a reason and I’m sure that it’s true! It’s been such a great opportunity for me to assist and work alongside her. I have brilliant memories and most importantly knowledge and skill that can only be learnt from such a great make-up artist!

Sharon Shoot Rankin  Sharon Backstage Lucas

Sharon Vogue event

Thank you Sharon x





My London Fashion Week AW15 with Maybelline NY

I usually post my London Fashion Week round-up after Paris Fashion Week, but as I’m working on location tomorrow (very early) there’s no time like the present. The AW15 show season was possibly my favourite ever! I was fully supported by my agency CLM, Team Dowsett and Maybelline NY, who sponsored all the shows and provided the products. Huge thanks to everyone, including the hairdressers, nail technicians, production and casting (credits listed below). I’m posting my mood boards to explain the looks, along with a few of my team’s images, plus some from the Internet, with links to articles and interviews. Check out #maybellinelfw and #teamdowsett on Instagram for more images and look out for the next issue of Marie Claire Runway.


photo 1

Before the shows started, I had the pleasure of sharing a platform (literally!) with beautiful Jourdan Dunn, supermodel and spokesmodel for Maybelline NY. I last worked with her when she was sweet sixteen, on a photoshoot with legendary stylist Judy Blame. Years later, she is still a joy to work with and we had fun introducing the new Rebel Bouquet collection of lipsticks and nail polishes to the beauty press.

Jourdan Dunn Press Event Jourdan Dunn Press EventJourdan Dunn Press Event


Fyodor Golan moodboard

Fyodor Golan Eye

My first show and the first time I’d worked with this duo. Together with Anders the stylist, we created a futuristic, sharp shaped eyeliner based on the pale pink and fluoro green boots, photos from The Hunger

FyodorGolan_AW15_001-534x800 FyodorGolan_AW15_002-588x882

Wonderland magazine have interviewed the gentlemen who say that we can go to Tesco in a big gown if we want!

FG Wonderland FG Wonderland 2



Lucas Nacimento moodboard

Lucas wanted ‘beautiful skin’ so we created a ‘cashmere’ complexion to complement his knitwear. Sometimes the ‘no makeup makeup’ look takes more know-how and products to achieve than a flamboyant creation. Here’s our pick of Maybelline NY products for this show including their new The Nudes Palette and Dream Flawless Nude Foundation:

Lucas Nascimento products

Kaltblut magazine have posted some great photos by Karl Slater featuring Elaine Lynskey and Rhea le Riche, working to ensure models’ skin looks perfect. We traced a line of pearl (using a pale, shimmering eye shadow) from the nosebridge to the decollete


Lucas1Karl Slater 

imageimage (3)



Sophia Webster moodboard

Theatrical greasepaint was applied in a halo to create white bases and we added White Kajal to Petal Pink lipstick (from the Rebel Bouquet range) so that lips looked luminous. The set designer Shona Heath did a fantastic job of interpreting and making the costumes, inspired by the Triadic Ballet. The makeup followed the balletic theme.

photoSophia Webster colour.

Check out the AW15 diary of our backstage guest, the immaculate Victoria @inthefrow

SW face and lipsIMG_8621


The models had to stand in their outfits for two hours during this presentation. It was cold and uncomfortable but they were brave and professional. And looked stunning! We were thrilled to discover that Sophia Webster’s presentation made the front page.




Osman moodboard

Osman wanted fresh faces so we used Baby Lips mixed with White Kajal to create eggshell white highlights and then injected some glamorous grunge with a simple line of Black Kohl – no mascara kept the look ‘fresh’ and the black kohl kept it ‘edgy’.


Dazed Digital have posted some gorgeous photos by Chloe le Drezen … #LFW

Osman CleD Dazed.jpg 21111108

Hair was beautifully tended to and every part of exposed skin was perfected. The models were lined up in colour groups of white, red and black – you can see how striking this looked on the catwalk in this photo by Kensington Leverne for the BFC:




Ashish moodboard

Red also featured at Ashish, most notably in the shoes and boots, which inspired the red lips along with the direction ‘trashy luxury’. Lashes and lips were the make-up focus and I encouraged the models to do it themselves. I love it when looks are characterful!


I was very pleased that I invited Jamie Baker backstage, who took these beautiful photos below, capturing the models’ individuality. You can see more images on his blog:

Ashish backstage blogAshish Model blog

Ashish makeup blogAshish close up blog



Team Dowsett are: Hannah Paul, Lucy Pearson, Rhea le Riche, Sian Lidgate, Lucie Norris, Elaine Lynskey,Emmanuelle Monblanc and Caroline Young from the Artistry Network Hannah Dinmore and Athena Paginton (not pictured above but there in team spirit!) Thanks to Rachael Peck for the photo.




Divine Inspiration

Writing earlier about beauty in the mid 1500s, I remembered a shoot for US Vogue in June 2000, featuring Carmen Kass, shot by Michael Thompson, styled by Tonne Goodman with hair by Serge Normant and make-up by me. It was titled Divine Inspiration and compared designers’ inspiration with their interpretion. Helmut Lang was inspired by Zurbaran’s 1640 portrait of Sainte Elisabeth de Portugal, “Borrowing a detail that doesn’t exist today,” for his Fall 2000 collection. I like that notion and feel encouraged anew to scan old paintings for similar inspiration – there’s always a rosy cheek, shadowy hue or white highlight you can lift!





I was very inspired by BBC2′s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall on Wednesday night – a future classic, firing on all cylinders yet a slow burn drama, allowing time to relish the details and digest the complexities. Refreshing in our age of quick fixes and fast edits. It’s a treat to watch stage actor Mark Rylance (as Thomas Cromwell) on TV and I found the acting superb, particularly Claire Foy as a deliciously annoying Anne Boleyn. Hilary Mantel wrote a piece in today’s Sunday Times News Review, saying that our fascination with the Tudors endures because they are just like us (only bloodier!)
In fact, women ‘bled’ themselves to look paler, as this was a prerequisite for courtly beauty, signifying nobility, wealth and delicacy (not having to work outside in the sun). Make-up wasn’t fashionable during the reigns of early Tudors; it was Queen Elizabeth 1 who set the precedent, wearing lead white to cover up her smallpox scars and signs of ageing, along with vermilion to redden cheeks and lips. Make-up became heavy and was sadly often poisonous, but women have always been prepared to suffer for beauty!
What gave the actresses in Wolf Hall authenticity was their apparent lack of make-up, thanks to the work of award-winning make-up artist Morag Ross. Of course, we know that ‘no make-up’ often entails quite a few products, and can often be the hardest look to achieve. We all want pure, flawless, healthy looking skin, and the balance between a light touch yet still covering blemishes, is something most women want, and that hasn’t changed throughout history.



Today we have so many products to choose from (fortunately non-poisonous in the main) and it’s fun to experiment, but also confusing. Make it easy for yourself by having a basic set of products and techniques to create your ‘best version of yourself’ face – your ‘no make-up’ make-up. You may use primer, foundation, concealer and powder or a tinted moisturiser/BB cream – depending on your skin type and the season. Include a blush and you’ve immediately portrayed health – I find cream blush to be the most natural looking, applied low on cheeks (like the flush in old oil painted portraits). Also add light – we’re always thinking about shading and not enough about brightening. You’ll be surprised at how refreshing a buff of pearlised powder on bones can be. Brows really do frame your face and a little definition with pencil or powder increases contrast, aiding a youthful appearance. Dot a brownish black eye pencil along the lash line to make them appear fuller and darker, curl lashes and tickle them with a light coat of mascara. Nourish lips with balm and boost shape with a natural lip colour pencil. If you don’t normally pay this much attention to your make-up, it sounds like a lot of products and effort, but you’re worth spending time on. The routine will become quicker and once you’ve got your base right, you can add whatever ornamentation you fancy on top, whether that’s a singular or signature statement – a crafted lip, slick eyeliner, smoky eye shadow or cheek contour – or a balanced make-up that includes all features. Or you could skip everything and just don a crown…


Roland Mouret Pre Fall 15 Collection

Our working day began this morning while it was still dark! Luckily we had plenty of lights set up backstage at Roland Mouret’s Pre Fall 15 show so we could start making up our models at 7am. With a great M.A.C team on board and reliable products at our fingertips, all models had their ‘individually defined beauty with a punk edge and Mayfair polish’ applied in time for the 8.30am rehearsal! Nails were painted deep navy by Ama Quashie using Morgan Taylor. Hair was teased and tousled by Lyndell Mansfield and her team who created a fun atmosphere with their music and energy.



Sharon workingLyndell

In fact, Lyndell’s make-up provided some of the inspiration for the show, along with a pinch of Gwyneth Paltrow in the Royal Tenenbaums and Sissy Spacek in Badlands. Also Sophia Neophitou’s eyeliner, who art directed the looks and styled the show. Each model had their own singular statements to suit, ranging from an intense black liner around the eyes with layers of cloggy mascara; heavy, spidery lashes with black kohl in the waterline or a matte red lip with blurred edges. Skin was kept fresh and with minimal amount of concealor applied. Models looked boyish rather than pretty – tough but chic. By 9.30am it was time to get organised for the model line up. M.A.C artist Dominic came prepared with his clip on lights to check for any imperfections…


Margarita and Sharonlipstick application

models 2BrontetwinsModel 2

Showtime was just after 10am and by 11am we’d left the building and the Instagrams were in full swing, capturing the mornings events! I can’t imagine a better way to end the year – I’ve worked with Roland since the 90s so it’s wonderful to watch his evolution. I’d like to give thanks to M.A.C for their support; the brilliant Jude Paternoster for her fine organisation and humour; Inca Events for their elegant production; Sorcha Adamson at CLM for being there and my two fabulous, loyal assistants, Hannah Paul and Lucy Pearson.

10 Magazine Instagram10 Magazine Instagram 2Lyndell InstagramSorcha's Instagram Dominic Instagram CLM Instagram


SS15 Maybelline NY Trends Presentation at Dowsettland

By Hannah Paul

Last week we welcomed the UK’s top beauty press to Dowsettland! We were very excited to have guests and it seemed appropriate that our first event was for Maybelline NY’s SS15 trends presentation…


With warm welcomes out of the way and everyone seated Sharon took us through a demo with various looks that weaved in lots of inspiration from our latest trends. Our journey started with the most important essentials for every woman, that could take her confidently to the gym, off to work or shopping. We were then treated to a crafted eye look that included shades of champagne and an elegant eyeliner for that important working lunch or afternoon off. We finished with a Friday night out look and the option to create the perfect lip with various layers to determine staying power or an updated smokey eye with a flash of vibrant turquoise suitable for a weekend festival or late night gig! Our model for the day, Georgie Hobday carried off each look beautifully..

demo 6  Georgie Hobday model

demo 2  Georgie Hobday

During the demo Sharon laid out the make-up she used on the beauty bar for the journalists to play with. As you can see from the picture below she found it hard to choose her favourite products and instead ended up using 34 Maybelline NY items to create the end result.

demo 4 Journalists

We also had the brilliant nail technician Michelle Humphrey with us to take us through nail trends for SS15 and a chance to see the latest capsule collection Maybelline NY have brought out for Christmas. It doesn’t matter what we meet for, discussions always stray to another season!

Trend images  Trends booklet

The studio took on a real transformation with the Maybelline NY team making their mark. Our beauty bar had the trend book laid out for referencing during the demo and our bookcase featured the season’s key looks, while cleverly displaying the perfect products to achieve them. Our guests had the opportunity to have a closer look after the demo and it was great to also see them peeking at Sharon’s work, books and masses of make-up she has built up through such a successful career!

trends book

In the afternoon we enjoyed some delicious treats and squeezed in some time to celebrate Georgie’s birthday, with a surprise visit from make-up master Andrew Gallimore – a perfect finish to a great day!

Afternoon treats  Georgies birthday

Group shot  Frontdoor

It was sad to see everyone leave Dowsettland but we loved that they enjoyed the day and filled Instagram with some great pictures. Even our lovely model, Georgie said it was the ‘Best day at work ever!’

Georgie's instagram  Georgie's instagram 2  Georgie's instagram 3

Stephanie Instagram  Now instagram  Marie Claire Instagram

Michelle Humphrey  MNY instagram  Andrew Gallimore

Images by Hannah Paul, Lucy Pearson (Sharon’s assistants) and Sharon Dowsett.



Gold Rush

Harrods magazine has just published this beauty story, All That Glistens, photographed by David Ferrua, featuring model Valerija Sestic and written by Jan Masters.


I’ve been discussing the use of gold in makeup with my assistants, Hannah and Lucy, who say that it’s brilliant for ‘saving’ a look, eg if the eye makeup is too heavy or loses control. With the party season upon us, it’s also ideal for adding glamour and glitz.

For this beauty story, I mainly used CHANEL products, particularly the Christmas collection and my favourite foundation, Perfection Lumiere Velvet, with illumination provided by CHANEL Soleil Tan De Chanel. Other products I enjoyed using:
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Multi-Usage Dry Oil Golden Shimmer, By Terry Ombre Black Star in Beyond Gold, Gold Leaf by Julia Townend
and MAC Glitter in 3D Gold and Maybelline NY Color Tattoo in Eternal Gold.

Make-up by Sharon Dowsett using CHANEL

Hair by Federico Ghezzi at CLM Hair and Make-up using Kiehl’s

Nails by Ama Quashie using CHANEL at CLM Hair and Make-up

Fashion Editor Victoria Gaiger


Face Savers


I never used to care much about skin care, because there was always make-up to cover it up! Now that I’m older and definitely wiser, skin care is an important bridge to make-up: it’s fundamental. For the past few years or more, I’ve been a judge on the Annual STYLIST Skin Care Awards – although I’m not a skin care expert, I have lots of experience in using products practically. The fifth annual awards were held recently which prompted me to consider what are the products that I consistently reach for… what are my face savers? I’m very lucky that brands are generous and send quality products for me to try out, but that can sometimes be confusing (for the skin too!) I must admit that my favourites do change, sometimes on a whim and sometimes according to the season or specific skin needs, but here’s what I’m using in my kit and bathroom at the moment:

Clarisonic - this machine cleans skin six times more efficiently than manual cleansing and helps skin care products to be more efficient.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream - simple but effective, hydrating and glow giving. I love having these little mini pots in my travel kit.
Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer - I’m always reaching for this stress-minimizing daily hydrator, and so is my husband. Their Rosa Arctica Eye Cream’s great too.
Maybelline NY Baby Lips – I use this balm more than any other product during fashion week: not only to nourish lips, but to give freshness to skin, especially cheeks.
Embryollise – I never leave Paris without a few tubes. I find this moisturiser is the most useful in my kit because it seems to suit everyone.Good value for money.
Erborian BB Flash Essence - a serum from a new Korean range which I’ve only just started using, and I’m most impressed with the brightening effect.
NUXE 24HR Soothing and Rehydrating Fresh Mask - does exactly what it says! I use this at least once a week, and I especially enjoy applying it after a sauna and steam.
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels - I like Skyn’s no-nonsense, straightforward approach and these eye gels have come in handy on a few occasions.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm – you only have to unscrew the lid to be transported into a spa! The oily base cleanses effectively, lifting make-up from skin.
CHANEL Gentle Biphase Eye Make-up Remover - it’s the best! The combined water and oil formula lift off the most stubborn, waterproof mascara. Reliable.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - of course I’m a fan of Bio Derma, but this comes in a bigger bottle for half the price and does the same job in my opinion.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - this gentle exfoliant is a classic and has never been off my bathroom shelf. Just make sure you rinse properly!
L’Occitane Creme Divine – rich and creamy for when I feel like I need extra moisturising, either in the morning or at night. Luxury.
Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate - for a long time I avoided oil because I have oily skin, but this blend helps to balance it. I use it alone or with other night creams.
This Works No Wrinkle Midnight Moisture - created by beauty guru Kathy Philips who knows her stuff. Smells relaxing, sinks in easily and doesn’t make too many claims.


Straw Blowing and Air Brushing

I’ve been going through my archives recently, whilst moving into my new studio (aka Dowsettland). When I came across these two old stories from i-D and Dazed, photographed by Mark Alesky (with hair by maestro Malcolm Edwards), my assistants asked how I did the make-up. For the top three looks, I asked the models to lie on the floor while I crouched over them with a straw and some diluted aquacolour. I dropped a small amount of paint and blew it through a straw, then repeated the process until I was happy with the pattern. Thanks Kim and Molly! It was quite risky and random, but that’s how I liked it in those days. For the bottom four looks, I used an airbrush in a very amateur way, trying to imagine where the shadows would fall and recreating them. We were shooting in soft daylight so I really had to use my imagination! The make-up on the title page, Textbook Definition, was inspired by the shadow cast by George’s glasses (from Gilbert and George). My only regret was that I never mastered the equipment but I was ever so pleased with the published story. In fact, it’s one of my favourites! You can view Mark’s portfolio at:

Mark Alesky straw blowing jpg

Kim Mark Alesky Straw Blow i-D.jpg 2 Molly Mark Alesky Straw Blow i-D 2Mark Alesky Face Airbrush page 2 Mark Alesky Dazed Air Brush 2Mark Alesky Face Airbrush 2Mark Alesky Dazed Air Brush (2) 2


Toby Neilan for I-Shadow

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been looking through past archives and enjoying old work immensely, especially collaborations with other creatives. Toby Neilan is a graphic artist who accompanied me on many shows, in London, Paris and Milan, taking photos and manipulating them, giving a beautiful extra dimension. For the AW04 season he created these mood boards which really express backstage: the models, make-up, hair, styling, clothes and accessories. You can see more of his work at but here are eight great works featured in my previous site, I-Shadow issue 4.

PS Ashley Isham MB TN



GIBO by Julie Verhoeven, London

PS John Richmond MB TN


PS Maska MB TN

MASKA, Milan


PPQ, London

PS Veronique Branquinho MB TN


PS Evisu Donna MB TN

EVISU, Paris

PS Iceberg MB TN


PS Temperley MB TN