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!



United Makeup Artists Expo

Andrew and me

I had such a brilliant time at the UMAE on Saturday that I returned on Sunday with my favourite makeup artist, Andrew Gallimore. We enjoyed every second, leaving with bags full of useful tools and products and heads full of inspiration as well as admiration for the talent we witnessed. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with people who make the makeup, support the artists, act as mentors and write about them – good to meet up again with Emma from which is now a blog-zine.

Charles Foxchange your life product

We spent a lot of time with the Charles Fox crew, who really know their stuff, and who have recently started looking after Screenface too, where the wonderful Irene is in charge. Paul Merchant, their PR, is also a makeup artist so he knows what he’s talking about. Apparently the makeup blend by Kryolan (pictured above) is a ‘change your life’ product – you can sheer out dermacolour and it helps to rejuvenate dry areas on the face, such as around the nostrils when foundation has ‘caked’.

craft and graft Monsterpalooza

I loved watching makeup artists practice their art and craft… with special effects makeup, it’s more like graft! Quite humbling to see how much work is involved with prosthetics and body painting. I think sometimes we have it relatively easy in fashion, as you don’t have to be as methodical or disciplined as in film or tv. One of my favourite makeups of the day was on George (below), son of Victoria Lee at Charles Fox. He was made up on their stand by talented Mona Turnbull ( I also loved the skull face makeup by Rachel on the M.A.C Pro stand, and it’s good news that you can now order Pro products online from

George Foxskull face


male makeup upJT Makeup Studio

I enjoyed bumping into David Horne (, makeup artist, creator and mentor, who has always been very generous with his ideas. He was there to launch his new makeup book, The Art of Male Makeup, in collaboration with makeup artist Mark T Bowles (above). They shot this ‘visual statement’ in just one week, representing a portrayal of the male in makeup in a non feminized manner. Also Julia Townend, who is such a great supporter of makeup artists and offers short courses in body painting, airbrushing and career development (email Plus she’s got jars of chunky body glitter and metallic leaf, which made Andrew very happy.

Artistry Network waterArtistry Network

We were becoming quite thirsty at this point, so it was a relief to see Caroline and Louise of the Artistry Network, who sensibly provided water in chic, personalised bottles. They have set up a website to help makeup artists create online portfolios, manage their invoicing and generally guide them through the industry. If you’re starting out or already established and need extra help or advice, sign up to

short apronmakeup artist not magician

I was impressed by makeup artist Emily Jane and her range of tool belts, kit bags and aprons – I bought two of the above (short!) one washable and one wipeable. I’ll certainly be returning to the website to order more ( as she makes the biggest brush belt I’ve ever seen! There were so many interesting stands at the UMAE that I’m not going to mention them all, but please check out the website where you can read about the events, attendees and speakers – Oscar winning makeup artists who worked on films and tv shows such as Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mrs Doubtfire, Aliens, Dracula, the Dallas Buyers Club, Oz, Star Trek and Doctor Who to name but a few. You can also buy Tshirts, hoodies and capes with makeup slogans printed on them (like the one above… I’m fond of saying, “It’s a brush, not a magic wand!) Many congratulations to organiser Chris McGowan for having the vision and energy to pull such an intimate and professional exhibition together. I’ll certainly be visiting again next year…



Our Time

Lily Allen’s new video shows that she’s a cracking actress as well as writer and singer. It’s very, very funny and you can see it here

Three Lilies

Lily plays herself as four different Lilies and we had fun creating the different personas with hairdresser Ali Pirzadeh, stylist Richard Sloane and creative director Aimee Phillips. Well, as much fun as you can have in a wet car park on a cold November day, waiting for it to get dark! My assistants Hannah Paul and Lucy Pearson helped to keep things jolly and Lily ordered an extra wardrobe van so that we weren’t too squashed.

Lily Lily 2

Innocent LilyLary LilyHot Dog Lily

The climax of the video is a fight scene when fancy dress Lily (dressed as a hot dog) and lary Lily have a cat fight outside a chip shop, but I must admit to having a soft spot for innocent Lily (seen smoking above, which is ironic as the real Lily has given up!)

Now we have the launch of her new album SHEEZUS to look forward to, on April 28th.



Vogue Festival

I had a great day at the Vogue Festival yesterday and wanted to share a few photos -mainly of me, but you can read and see more about the weekend event on Vogue’s website (link below). It was my pleasure to join Vogue Beauty’s Funmi Fetto and Lottie Winter (pictured below) alongside gorgeous make-up artist Rachel Singer-Clark, to give advice at the Vogue Make-up Bag Surgery. Mary Greenwell, Terry Barber and Lynsey Alexander had all taken part, so we were in very good company.


It was interesting and inspiring to look inside women’s make-up bags – I think I took more notes than they did! What’s apparent is that women, young and ‘more experienced’, really know what they’re doing and buying. Most questions related to skin care and foundation, which is where beauty starts. My assistant Hannah Paul was also on hand to provide expert guidance (and take pictures of me) while Rachel dispensed advice generously, to us as well as the ‘patients’.

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The Vogue Beauty Team had organised the bar beautifully and I even had my own plaque with my Maybelline NY title, UK Director of Make-up. It was a democratic affair – we had a selection of the latest products from various brands to try out and demonstrate with, plus Rachel had brought the range from &OtherStories, which is covetable and affordable I was impressed to find out that Lisa Butler, one of the make-up artists I admire the most, had a hand in its creation.

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One thing kept puzzling me as women were approaching the bar, because they all looked perfectly made up. I told a few that whatever they were doing, they were doing it right, and they explained that the CHANEL specialists had just made them up for a Vogue cover shoot! For £10 you could be turned into a cover star and not surprisingly, the queue didn’t diminish all day. The make-up artists worked cheerfully and gracefully throughout a long day and the results made me proud, as I’d trained most of them!

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I took the opportunity for a wander around the foyer upstairs and buy a Vogue sweatshirt from the Vogue shop (I’m just as excited by the Vogue plastic bag!) when I saw a couple of my old Vogue covers and couldn’t resist a quick pose. All the festival goers were extremely well turned out and passionate about fashion, judging by the queues for the debates and talks. My favourite popstar, Lily Allen, was invited to participate in a conversation with Grayson Perry on the subject of  ’Good Taste, Bad Taste: The Shock of the New’.


As always, Lily had lots of interesting and thought provoking things to say, which you can read at She looked amazing and I have to show off a little here because I’d done her make-up that morning – she sports eyeliner and lashes so well! There were many fashion luminaries who took part, sharing their philosophies, insights and advice, which you can read on the Vogue post

Vogue pamphlet

Finally, to top off an eventful day, I was invited to step on stage for a styling session with Vogue’s Fashion Director, Lucinda Chambers, who is rightly regarded as one of the world’s greatest stylists. Lucinda demonstrated how she made outfits interesting for a photographer, sharing her inspirations and creative process in a dynamic half hour. Her assistant Lucy was on hand with belts, ribbons, flowers, socks and scissors and I was asked what make-up would work with each look. Our muse was the elegant and joyful model Alewya Demmisse from Storm. We were excited it had gone well and took a photo to capture the moment with Alewya’s polaroid camera. It made a change to have a print rather than a screen shot – maybe that’s why we still prefer reading magazines like Vogue than looking online, because you can hold it in your hands.