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 www.warpaintmag.com 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’. www.charlesfox.co.uk

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 (www.littleprecious.co.uk). 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 www.maccosmetics.co.uk

George Foxskull face


male makeup upJT Makeup Studio

I enjoyed bumping into David Horne (hausofhorne@yahoo.com), 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 JTMakeupUK.gmail.com). 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 www.theartistrynetwork.com.

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 (www.theEMJcompany.com) 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 www.umae.co.uk 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 www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfACIxjsuu0

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’.

photo (3)

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 http://www.stories.com/Beauty. 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.

photo (5)

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!

photo (4)

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 http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/vogue-festival-kim-kardashian-cover-3302953. 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 http://www.vogue.co.uk/special-events/vogue-festival-2014/vogue-festival-2014/sunday.

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.







Art Holiday in Goa

I recently had the enormous pleasure and privilege of being taught basic art techniques by fine artist Mark Pearson in Goa. He and his wife Nicola have been running an art course there for the past five years (www.artholidaysgoa.com). It was a real adventure in colour and light and I’d like to share a little of my experience with you.


My first lesson was how to work with watercolour paints – apparently three washes are enough. Somehow I managed to make mine look like lipsticks, but I suppose old habits die hard! Later in the week, whilst painting figures and scenes, I learnt that it’s important to know when to stop – overworking can ruin a picture. Also leaving space gives light.


My second lesson was how to work with acrylics, which are a totally different medium from watercolour paints as they’re much thicker. I learnt that white is a body colour – you need a lot of it. “Don’t be tight with the white!” became our catchphrase. After this session I was walking around and identifying how many different hues exist within one colour - such an eye opener!


Mark paints from life and the environment – for the above studies he was inspired by moving figures on the beach but took the colours from a young lady’s sari. He helped me to look at the world through different eyes and reinforced my favourite mantra – ‘taking inspiration from the everyday is a powerful source of creativity’.


Mark told me that if you make a mess to start with, it can’t get any worse! Precisely the opposite of how I work with makeup, as I prefer to find beauty, create perfection and then f**k it up! It was quite hard to let go and be free with colour and form… I kept returning to my safe lines.


One exercise which helped to free me up was painting sunsets as we only had a limited amount of time (about 20 minutes) to capture the scene. We were joined by the lovely Lucys – Pearson and Tucker – and you can see our efforts above. Inspiration below (photo by my husband Tony Relph).

Goa 2014 (168)

On my last day, Mark suggested that we work on a big canvas so that I could attempt to express myself more freely, and I chose something small to portray. My husband Tony had collected some seashells for me to sketch and I’d done a few studies, but reverted to working small… they looked like makeup designs. This was my chance to make it big!


We tipped the shells out onto a sarong (featuring the deity Shiva) and set up on easels outside my beach hut. Mark helped me with the outlines and I got going with the watercolours. The paper was quite thick which enabled us to wash off the paint at intervals, a process which I greatly enjoyed. Perhaps I was missing the fact that you can remove makeup at any point and start again.


OK this is my first painting ever (unfinished) and I don’t think it will be my last. I’m not particularly proud of it but my husband insisted on bringing it home (where I’ll probably unfurl it and overwork it again!) At the point when the photo below was taken, Mark had advised  to “Give yourself something dark to react against”. He also said if you give a painting a title you’ll like it more, so this is called ‘Sea Shells on Shiva’.


Mark told me not to take my art hat off when I return home and to continue drawing in my sketch book. Like everything, it’s practice that pays off. Mark said that you’re opening new pathways in your mind and firing up new neurons, a notion that I love. I found sketching totally relaxing and a wonderful way to pass the time without realising!


Many thanks to Mark and Nicola for their fantastic tuition and organisation. Also heartfelt thanks to their daughter (and my assistant) Lucy for not minding her ‘boss’ coming on holiday! I thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in expanding their artistic abilities and to having a fantastic time in India. It was the best holiday ever and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.






London Fashion Week AW14 Step by Steps

All products by Maybelline NY. Makeup and photos by Team Dowsett.


TODD LYNN – ‘Ready for battle in clothes that are unconventionally layered, inspiring unconventional placement of makeup.’
1. Create a flawless base with Superstay Better Skin Foundation and Concealer. Nourish lips with Baby Lips Quenched.
2. Apply Color Tattoo in Turquoise Forever on the inner corner of brow bone, working up to brow, using your finger.
3. Apply Eyestudio Mono Lagoon Blue with the ‘dolly dabber’ to build up intensity of colour.
4.Use a socket brush to fade the Lagoon Blue towards the nose and out to the temples.
5. With another socket brush, intensify with Eyestudio Mono Couture Blue.
6. Apply Big Eyes Mascara to top lashes only.
7. Mix Baby Lips with White Kohl to give luminosity high on cheekbones.


RICHARD NICOLL – ‘Sporty Lady. A small, simple detail that’s just right: a blocked off, horizontal, light metallic eyeliner.’
1. Create a flawless base using Baby Skin and Better Skin Concealer. Nourish lips with Baby Lips Quenched.
2. Apply surgical tape to map out a straight eye liner.
3. Use Color Tattoo in a metal chosen for the model’s skin tone, stopping short just past the last lash and angling up to under the tape.
4. Fill in brows with Master Drama Brow Pencil and groom into place.
5. Apply Dream Touch Blush in Apricot to the apples of the cheeks.
6. Pat Color Sensational Stripped Nudes in Honey Beige or Naked Brown onto the lips, dependent on model’s skin tone.
7. Apply Fit Me powder to reduce shine on the T-zone.


ASHISH – ‘Teenage prom princess (she likes pink!) who gets dragged through a hedge backwards on her way home…’
1. Apply Better Skin Foundation and Concealer.
2. Line outside V of eyes with Master Chromatics Magic Magenta.
3. Highlight inner corners with Master Chromatics Vibrant Gold.
4. Whiten balls of eyes with Big Eyes Pencil using finger.
5. Add same white pencil to the water rim.
6. Add a light touch of Color Tattoo in Endless Purple to white on balls of eyes (creating a luminous lilac).
7. Apply a sheer round wing of Hot Plum Color Sensational Lipstick to outer eyes with finger. A cloud of colour!
8. Give model her own Big Eyes Mascara and ask her to apply top and bottom. Lots!
9. Use a foundation brush to place Dream Touch Blush in Berry high on cheeks.
10. Intensify Blush with Fuschia Flash Color Sensational Lipstick.
11. Highlight tops of cheekbones with Baby Lips Pink Punch or Berry Bomb, dependent on skin tone.
12. Dab Fuchsia Flash Color Sensational on lips and gloss over with gloss.
13. Powder T-zone and add more concealer under eyes.


OSMAN – ‘Young jet-set bohemian with an opulent eye. A modern day Cleopatra. She’s expensive!’
1. Conceal imperfections with Baby Skin and Better Skin Concealer.
2. Create a rounded, elongated wing shape on the lid with Master Kajal in Lapis Blue.
3. Intensify with Eyestudio Mono in Couture Blue.
3. Line under eyes and stretch out with Master Kajal in Gold.
4. Apply Baby Lips in Quenched to the cheekbones to highlight and to lips to nourish.
5. Coat top lashes with Great Lash Mascara.
6. Powder the T-zone with suitable Fit Me Powder.


Air Balloon Beauty

It’s been such a busy year that I haven’t had time to blog but I couldn’t resist this picture of Lily Allen with furry friend from her recent video shot in Cape Town, South Africa. She was very brave cuddling up to a predator and also sat aside a zebra! You can see the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9Fja5x04o

Lily and cheetah

Lily had been on holiday and developed a gorgeous tan, which we enhanced with Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonderglow. I smudged a thin line of black kohl pencil on her upper lashes, using old favourite Feline from M.A.C. I applied a natural set of Eyelure lashes and because her fringe was long, I brought attention to her lower lash line in a ‘fresh’ way, by placing small dots of black eyeliner (Maybelline NY’s Master Duo was perfect because it has an integral applicator that ends in a small ball). First of all I was going to keep the lips balmed, but couldn’t resist the bright pop of M.A.C’s Candy Yum Yum. Lily can certainly carry colour! She’s great fun to work with and has a gorgeous face, and I especially like doing her makeup when she’s relaxed (or asleep…)

Lily asleep

It was very hot (96 degrees!) and we were working outside in the wilderness. When you’re on location you have to consider products other than makeup – sun protection, insect repellent – and skin care needs to cover more eventualities than usual (cooling aftersun and anti-histamine cream).

Cape Town location

I use Garnier’s Ambre Solaire range (and take enough bottles for the crew!) plus a great spray on insect repellent I found online (Repel 55 from www.pyramidtravelproducts.co.uk) that makes the skin gleam as well as protecting it from bites. The last thing you want is to be covering up any extra redness.

Cape Town set up

You also have to work in a tight space so every product has to count. Above you will see my favourites and fundamentals including my Dermacolour palette from Charles Fox (www.charlesfox.co.uk) where I also bought my trusty kit bag (pictured below) which I never travel without!

tool belt and bag


Air Bubble Beauty

air bubble

With most of my new year resolutions fallen by the wayside, I wanted to face February with a fresher face and was delighted to be invited by the ladies at the Josh Wood Atelier in Holland Park to visit their new beauty rooms and be pampered with Natura Bisse products. My colorist Agi had already told me that she’d experienced The Cure facial before Christmas and hadn’t needed to wear makeup on her skin for ten days, so I opted for that one. Apparently it’s often chosen as a red carpet treatment and I can see why – I soaked up the compliments at an awards event the following evening (and then undid some good by sleeping in my makeup, but I’m only human). The treatment takes place in an oxygen tent which is very energising and gave me a real buzz afterwards. The therapist Carol trained as a medical asceticist, so she really knows her stuff and said that she’s increasingly impressed with the products’ penetration and hydration. I was impressed too and will certainly be going back for more, especially now that the Atelier has become a one stop shop for beauty – they do lashes too and Marian Newman will soon be in residence for nails. I always leave feeling like a lady!


Real World Inspiration


I’ve been paid a visit by makeup mistress and ex-assistant Athena Paginton today and she brought along a book called ‘Earth’ by Nicholas Cheetham, featuring aerial photographs of earth, water, air and fire (such as the Arabian desert above). Athena told me that she looks at this book when she needs inspiration. It reminded me of how I like to find inspiration in the real world, although sometimes in smaller (and less obviously beautiful) inhabitants like this moth…


To quote Edward de Bono again, “Finding inspiration in the the everyday is a powerful source of creativity,” you will never be stuck for an idea if you keep your eyes and mind open to the world around you. Here follows some pictures from three editorial stories I shot with still life photographers Coppi Barbieri, inspired by the natural world.



rose eye







Real Women Inspiration

I often quote Edward de Bono, “To find inspiration in the everyday is a powerful source of creativity”. It’s become my motto. I also sometimes find real life more interesting than art, particularly how women really wear makeup. This striking metallic lined lip was inspired by a lady who worked on the till at Mothercare, who kindly allowed me to take her photo. I recently came across it in a drawer and thought I’d share it.

metal lips

Mothercare lady


Lily’s Look


Congratulations to Lily for her number one status! I really enjoyed doing the makeup for her video because she loves a look. Fresh skin can carry dramatic eyes and Lily can work a flash lip too… fluorescent orange for a loud mouth pictured here but we had four lip looks on the day, including clear gloss, midnight navy and shimmering pink. The eyes stayed the same - nothing catches the light better than crystals. They’re easy and effective once you get the hang of it and like eyeliner, worth practising. Dot a little eyelash glue on lids and apply crystals one by one with a dampened cotton bud. Pop videos entail long days but they’re fun, and I loved working with the talented hairdresser Alex Brownsell, stylist Richard Sloane and nail technician extraordinaire, Michelle Humphrey. We team up together for Maybelline NY so she’s a real creative collaborateur. We’re looking forward to whatever Lily wants next…