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




i-shadow logo

I’ve been enjoying looking through my archives in my new Studio and found this postcard which was designed for my company by the illustrator and artist Fiona Wylie (the original ‘eye’ logo was designed by Reed Wilson). This discovery triggered a jaunt through my previous website (accessed top right) to look at Fiona’s trend inspired images for, SS04. They’re so vibrant I thought they were well worth a revisit. You can read the text by fellow make-up artist Lee Pycroft and myself at:


LOUD MOUTHS AND BIG BROWS inspired by Tracy Boyd


COLOURAMA inspired by J Maskrey


SUPER NATURAL inspired by Julie Verhoeven for GIBO


NAUGHTY NOUGHTIES inspired by Collette Dinnegan


HEAVENLY EARTHLY inspired by Warren Noronha

Fiona’s work can be viewed at:

Thank you Fiona!


Liberty’s Lips

I’ve just moved into my new Studio and the best bit has been going through old files and finding photos like these, taken by Andrew Gallimore in the days when we worked together. These lovely lips belong to beautiful model and actress Liberty Ross, who has always been elegant, graceful and fun to work with. We sneaked these shots in whilst working with photographer Donna Trope… Naughty! But nice.

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Vogue etc by Venetia Scott

I’m very pleased to see the story in Vogue that I was part of, Halcyon Days, photographed by Venetia Scott, styled by Bay Garnett and shot on location at Wembury House in Plymouth, with hair by Neil Moodie. It was delightful to work with models Grace Hartzel, Julie Hoomans, Holly-Rose Emery, Matilda Lowther and Danni Witt, pictured below, dressed up for a prom-night full of promise.

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And here’s Danni Witt again, on a park bench and not a bed this time, for the Blugirl campaign which Venetia shot in April. You get the sense of early Spring (it was cold!)with these behind-the-scene photos from Vogue Italia online:

Blugirl on bench by Venetia Scott

BTS Blugirl Venetia Scott Blugirl

Sharon at Blugirl

In May and June, Venetia shot and styled a black and white story for i-D magazine, featuring three models in Brighton and Hove. It’s hard not to fall in love with these girls! You can watch them, in colour, and get a breath of sea air at i-D Vice magazine online:

id Venetia 1

Finally (for now) Venetia has just published a story for Muse magazine called Fourteen Faces, and I did make-up for seven of them, two of which are pictured below. You can see the others on Venetia’s portfolio

Fourteen Girls


Hunger Beauty


One of the thrillis of LFW was crossing the road towards Somerset House and seeing this poster for the seventh issue of HUNGER magazine, advertising its eight covers (one of which I did the make-up for, on rising star Hollie-May Saker, above). Most exciting was the beauty story inside, inspired by CHANEL’s Fall Collection États Poétique. The idea of Gabrielle Chanel writing love letters at her desk was updated into the narrative of a young girl in her bedroom, dreaming of fronting her own band. We called the story ‘Pop Star Punk Poet’ and you can see the film of Hollie-May rocking out to Wolf Alice’s song, ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, in the specially created Hunger bedroom (set designed by Lucy Cooper, at

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Hunger beauty 2

Hunger beauty 1

Photographer Rankin, Director Vicky Lawton

Fashion Editor Anna Hughes-Chamberlain

Make-up Sharon Dowsett using CHANEL Rouge Allure Gloss and Fall Collection 2014
Make-up Assistant Athena Paginton
Hair Federico Ghezzi at CLM Hair and Make-up using Kérastase
Nails Ama Quashie at CLM Hair and Make-up using CHANEL Le Vernis

It’s such a pleasure to work with Rankin and his team – the studio is like a picture making factory! This shoot was particularly special because it was commissioned by my ex-assistant and incredible make-up artist Andrew Gallimore, who is now beauty editor at large of HUNGER magazine. Buy the issue to enjoy his amazing beauty stories too!


SS15 LFW Ashish

Ashish Mood Board

Ashish was inspired by trashy celebrity magazine and fan art, sending models down the runway in  sequinned sportswear. Ali Pirzadeh, Michelle Humphrey and I matched him for sparkle with gem encrusted chaos on eyes and nails and tinsel throughout the hair.

Bridget March at Cosmopolitan describes the look:

An Ashish catwalk show is invariably a vivid affair, the designer’s sequin passion is central to the garms, and this season it was at the heart of the beauty look too. The London Fashion Week show for Spring/Summer 2015 had an all-black model line-up, including awesome America’s Next Top Model Contestant Chantelle Brown-Young (aka Winnie Harlow), who is also a spokesmodel for the skin pigment condition vitiligo. Off the catwalk, Cosmo met her backstage where she was getting glittered-up to work the party trend: “showgirl without the drag”. It was incredible.

nrm_1410947549-ashish_clp_rs15_5494Ashish makeup and nails

On makeup was Maybelline’s Sharon Dowsett (their marv UK Makeup Director) who made the outrageous festive faces actually party-appropriate, the secret being “no liner and no lashes”. This gave the glitter look – crystals bordering the bottom lash lines and gem-encrusted chaos on the top eyelids – a cool, rather than kitsch, feel. Try it!Maybelline Nail Expert Michelle Humphrey (who works closely with Lily Allen’s killer talons), gave girls “Cosmic Cluster” nail art using some of the same crystals in the makeup look.


Photo by Hannah Dinmore

We protected the skin from glitter by creating a tissue mask with surgical tape, a technique that Lily Allen shared with me. Hannah Dinmore had just ten minutes to do Betty’s makeup, as illustrated (below) by Lily Melrose who wrote a review on her blog:

Betty at Ashish Ashish SS15 (Lily Melrose blog) 2

Ashish SS15 (Lily Melrose blog) 3

Hair at Ashish Lily Melrose

Ashish works really closely with the stylist Anna Trevelyan who always gives great direction to hair, makeup and nails. She’s an inspiration herself. The best thing about the Ashish show, apart from the stunning clothes, is the atmosphere. Ashish walks around saying “Amazing!” which is encouraging! Everyone enjoys the process – even though it can be stressful, we’re all smiling. The best smile award goes to beautiful Cheyenne Maya Carty at Elite who was the first exit at her first show, when she walked for Ashish two seasons ago. She’s grown up gorgeous.


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Photos by Philip Trengrove

I love these backstage photos by Asia Werbel for 1883 magazine online:

Ashish and Anna


Ashish lineup

Ashish Cheyenne

iD instagramAshish Winne Harlow

Instagrams courtesy of i-D magazine @id_magazine and Winnie Harlow @winneharlow

Styling by Anna Trevelyan

Hair by Ali Pirzadeh and team @ CLM Hair & Make-up for L’Oréal Professionnel

Make-up by Sharon Dowsett and team at CLM Hair & Make-up for Maybelline NY

Nails by Michelle Humphrey at LMC London for Maybelline NY

Production by Family, PR by We Are Village

Watch the show:


SS15 LFW Osman

Osman mood board

In the designer’s own words, “The Osman SS15 woman embodies a sense of adventure.” At the fitting, stylist Joanna Schlenzka advised that the theme was ‘luxury Woodstock’, so we imagined an elegant, pampered festival girl, who stayed in a teepee and not a tent. Hair was very natural and so was the make up – fresh skin with an excited flush, minimalist lips and an earthy element on the eye for a graphic focus.

Osman close up doubleOsman close up open

Osman festival vibe

Instagram courtesy of Fran Lee Done @frandonemakeup

The festival vibe was kept up backstage and despite the early hour (6am call time) Carly Jemma Hobbs @carlytoptip was on tip top form and the atmosphere sedate.

Carly Top Tip


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osman-Stephanie Yt

Photo by Stephanie Yt


Instagram courtesy of Michelle Humphrey @nailsbymh


The team at InStyle loved the collection:

Styling by Joanna Schlenzka, Hair by Nick Irwin for Tigi

Make-up by Sharon Dowsett and team at CLM Hair & Make Up for Maybelline NY

Nails by Michelle Humphrey at LMC London for Maybelline NY

Production by FAMILY, PR by Nick Collins

Watch the show:


SS15 LFW David Koma

David Koma mood board

Supple fabrics, sporty details and tonal colour blocking in summery whites, yellows and blues.

David Koma sent us a moodboard with the following description for the make-up: minimal, sleek, healthy, young, clean, fresh, dewy. With the help of stylist Kim Howells, we created a parallel eyeliner set off by pearlised white pop. Skin was lightly tanned by my long term partner in healthy glows, Nichola Joss from St Tropez.

ss15 moodboard - david koma models David Koma

The lines had to be perfect and the whole team struggled with the ‘tram track’ eyeliner challenge at first, but it did turn out perfectly in the end, even on the models who arrived just before the show started. Apart from the one who arrived when the show HAD already started!

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David Koma SS15 4

DavidKoma-Tristan Fewings_Getty Images Europe

DavidKoma-Tristan Fewings_Getty Images Europe2

Photos by Tristan Fewings for Getty

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Richard Nicoll Asia Werbel

The photographer Asia Werbel @asiawerbel took some incredible shots!

David Koma Hannah DinmoreDavid Koma instagram
Elle UK instagram David KomaVogue instagram David Koma

Instagrams courtesy of Hannah Dinmore @missdmore, Sian Lidgate @sianlidgate, Joely Walker @jgwalkerelle @elleuk and Lottie Winter @lottieawinter @britishvogue

Styling by Kim Howells, Hair by Nick Irwin for Tigi

Make-up by Sharon Dowsett and team at CLM Hair & Make Up for Maybelline NY
Nails by Michelle Humphrey at LMC Worldwide for Maybelline NY

Tans by Nichola Joss and Jules Hepstonstall for St Tropez

Production by Bacchus, Casting by Piergiorgio de Moro

PR by The Communications Store

Watch the show:


SS15 LFW Lucas Nascimento

Lucas Mood Board

Transparency, fluidity and the female form. The juxtaposition of soft, sheer organza with thick, raw edged leather.

A modern, romantic goddess with alabaster skin, wet highlights and a graphic white lined eye. I’ve worked with the stylist, Karen Langley, on many occasions, and it’s a smooth process when you’ve built up trust. It was my first season with Lucas and he couldn’t have been more charming. I was impressed by how he made knit look new.

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Photos by Ian Gavan

Review and photos at


Photos by Piczo for i-D Vice

Betty at Lucas

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Photos by Lea Colombo (aged 19!) for Dazed Digital

Lucas Nascimento, Ready To Wear Collection Spring Summer 2015 in London

Review and gorgeous catwalk photos on Deux Hommes magazine:

At SS15 Lucas Nascimento, nothing was as it seemed. Dresses were deconstructed – spliced in half revelling matching structured bra tops, whilst shoulders were draped and hemlines were chopped, slashed and re-imagined in innovative ways creating a truly unique aesthetic giving the collection a strong visual identity. Playful texture was a reoccurring theme throughout with raw-edged leather, sheer flesh exposing chiffon, double faced silks and knitted jacquards all present in the collection, whilst colour came in the form of tangerine, mustard, lime and teal hues. Each look was complete with a pair of pointed ballet shoes, whilst hair was slicked back at the sides. The Lucas Nascimento woman is fierce, self assured and effortlessly stylish this spring.

Lucas Nascimento, Ready To Wear Collection Spring Summer 2015 in London Lucas Nascimento, Ready To Wear Collection Spring Summer 2015 in London

See more at:

Lucas Sian Instagram

Instagram courtesy of Sian Lidgate @sianlidgate

Styling by Karen Langley, Hair by Kenna for ghd

Make-up by Sharon Dowsett and team at CLM Hair & Make-up for Maybelline NY

Nails by Michelle Humphrey at LMC London for Maybelline NY

Production by Bacchus PR, PR by Rainbow Wave

Watch the show: