Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids Lipsticks

This is a drugstore find under $10, so good I bought several colors after trying them out on myself and a client. The Maybelline Vivid lipsticks have been around for a few months. There are about ten colors all ranging from various pinks to orange/ red, ideal for a statement lip, they photograph super well (see my Instagram – Norahlovesmakeup_mua). My verdict is MUST-BUY. Maybelline Vivids are bright and packed with a lot of pigment for a long lasting tint. One thing to remember, these are not super moist lipsticks, they are a semi matte in finish, not a lot of moisture so make sure your lips are not dry or else it will not look pretty. What I liked most is that there is not much feathering or a greasy feel to it, I removed the color using a baby wipe and still had a nice lip tint underneath!

Pro tip – Use a lip liner that is matte for a long lasting effect, blot and re-apply as needed. I used the L’Oreal Colour Riche LeMatte lipcolour as a base before applying the Maybelline Vivid Electric Orange shade 912, the finish product was gorgeous. ** See my own I-phone selfie IMG_4178.

Skincare Favorites Day and Night

IMG_2595A few months ago, I posted this image on Instagram. Here is a short version of my skincare favorites, used both day and night (the cooler temperature has a lot to do with the choices).

1) Mario Badescu Facial Spray (Good for refreshing skin texture day or night)
2) Hada Labo Lotion (My daily shot of hyaluronic acid, an essential ingredient for the best moisture)
3) Embryolisse Moisturizer (No matter how dry the skin, this is fantastic for making skin feel radiant)
4) Bioderma Sensitive Skin Makeup Remover (I will not use another remover on clients or myself, it is the best and it does not feel harsh).

If you want to follow me on Instagram, go to Norahlovesmakeup_mua

Brush Love For Bdellium Tools

“The brush is an extension of the hand and is a fundamental tool for a makeup artist whether he/ she is a professional or amateur makeup artist, his canvas is the face.”
– Dany Sanz Make Up Forever creator

When I first started using brushes to apply my makeup I had no idea what I was doing or the importance of having a decent set of brushes, my first brush ever was from MAC cosmetics. FYI – a decent set of brushes do not need to be fancy or expensive, these days drugstore brands make really good ones. The average user needs five at most [blusher, eyeshadow blender, foundation and an angled for eyeliner/ brows]. A makeup artist depending on the level, craft, field needs a lot more variety of brushes especially if you are working regularly and with different mediums (TV, bridal, stage, editorial, film, HD cameras). I must also point out, cleaning your brushes is essential! If you do this regularly, your brushes and application will always remain good. In my case, I have brushes more than 10 years old and I clean them religiously.

This post is just a recommendation for Bdellium Tools brushes which had been on my radar for a while. Unfortunately, Bdellium Tools was not for sale in Singapore and shipping costs made it twice the cost. This year while at the Makeup Show NYC, I spent time looking and testing as well as being fortunate enough to receive a complimentary brush in my goodie bag.

I ended up buying several eye blending and shading brushes from the Pink and Yellow bambu series, my pro-discount at the show was very generous. For retail I also think Bdellium are totally affordable much more accessible than MAC or Sephora brand. The Pink and Yellow series are eco-friendly and vegan soft synthetic bristles, they are amazing and so far, I am very happy with my purchase. For a while I’d been looking for an alternative to my MAC 217 blending brush and the Real Techniques shading brushes. If you are looking to buy/ try these lovely makeup brushes, here is a list of where they are available.

I’ve Been Away

Sometimes we need to take time out from the stress and I did exactly just that. January was pretty busy with work then I embarked on a break and two journeys which were much needed but fret not, I have new skincare reviews coming up! BTW, my Pinterest boards have been en fuego – I have been very active on them, please check them out. I have a super popular Karl Lagerfeld board, plus my other hugely followed Makeup How-To where I’ve assembled advice and guides on how to apply your makeup and skincare, infographs and useful information for all types.

How To Keep Your Makeup From Melting This Holiday Party Season

It’s been a hot minute since my last entry and updates there will be, as in some minor cosmetic changes to my blog plus more. I have been trying new spas, going to events, working events all throughout the month of November.

I have compiled some GOOD advice on very simple steps that will keep your makeup fresh and looking pretty this holiday season. This is my personal routine when I am out and know there will be little time for touch ups.

Before applying makeup - Prep your skin with a good primer! This is basic makeup 101. A primer will create a nice first layer to hold that foundation or tinted moisturizer. If you are going out in the daytime, use something like Dermalogica Age Smart SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30, I blogged about it back in November, great product for the most sensitive skin types.

For an evening event, I like Smashbox Photo Finish Light Primer, it is an oil free formula and very good for those of us living in humid conditions or if you are going out to a party where lots of dancing, eating and/ or drinking will be involved.

Seal your makeup – once the eyes, face, blusher, lips are done, I highly recommend using makeup setting spray, one of my top favorites is Skindinavia which ships worldwide and is a staple in my kit. Of course makeup primer will be very useful in this party prep process but for the ultimate all day/ night secret weapon, use makeup setting spray at the end. I spritz using a tissue under my eyeliner, over my eyelids and all over the face. One word of advice I give is to make sure you cleanse very well before bed, use a makeup remover like Bioderma or if your eyes are closing and you can’t get to a sink, use makeup remover wipes! Do not sleep with makeup on, that is an open call for clogged pores and bacteria.

Blot. Blot. Blot – I love blotting paper, it is the best invention since makeup spray! Blotting paper removes a thin layer of shine and oil, it is so easy and practical, I feel it is infinite times better than applying powder. Months ago, I also blogged about my love for blotting. I use Gatsby, Muji and Clean and Clear, found at most pharmacies and beauty stores. When you blot, focus on the T-zone and pat gently to remove excess shine.

Image credit

Want To Learn From The Pros? (Makeup and Styling)

Want to personally learn from the makeup pro? If you are in Singapore, join me and Carla K stylist on August 30th, 2012 from 6-10pm for a very unique workshop on learning how to dress according to your body type, shape, skin colour AND incorporate your makeup look. You get to work with a stylist and a professional makeup artist for the evening! Do you want to learn how to shop for your body shape, colour tones and personality? Get all the latest trends and how to wear/ mix them? This is your chance.

To get your advanced ticket, go to this link, book your space. This will sell out!

If you have always wanted to book a stylist/ makeup artist, our event is an informative and fun way to experience being styled while learning what suits you best from a fashion and makeup perspective. All important aspects of personal style will be addressed in one evening of fun, friends and good wine. Attendees will receive insider tips on the best online and retail stores in Singapore. There will be door prizes too! Don’t miss out.

Cannot wait to meet everyone!

New Favorite Gel Liner

Currently living for my new Tarte emphasEYES™ Amazonian clay waterproof liner & brush, it glides on beautifully and is waterproof. It is a cruelty free formula – not tested on animals. It comes with a double ended brush for smudging and lining, it takes practice but it definitely works very well. My advice is to take your time with it, line gently and build your wing using tape around the end of your eyes. See this very helpful Pinterest tip here and here also.

PS. I bought mine at Sephora in the USA, not sure if it is available in Singapore (check Sephora outlets).

Back From Krabi / Some Fab Products Used

Krabi, Thailand. It is a slice of heaven, relaxation, lovely waters and sun. A good friend of mine from London and I spent five glorious days in this small beach called Railay. The sun was intense and though as per usual I spent a good portion under an umbrella/ hat, there were days when the waters and sand lured me in. It was so hard to resist! Being in a remote location is wonderful, I’ve been lucky this is my 2nd holiday since the year began. (Please see my smile on the left and all the people on our boat – life was grand!).

While on this trip, I tried out a couple of new products from Palmer’s and Organix (Ps. I am a regular Palmer’s body cream user, I love cocoa butter). First was Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Wash, as most days I spent it outdoors and trying to shield from sunburn, this body wash seemed like the perfect solution, it is gentle as a daily shower cream, leaves my skin soft and contains no sulfates, success! Cocoa butter is the perfect ingredient for dry/ sensitive skin and sun exposure.

As for my hair, it was very tough keeping it from frizzing so on the days that I managed to get it blow dried straight/ neat for the evening (I had it up in a bun most of the day), Organix Cherry Blossom Ginseng spray is what I used. Salt water and chlorine do lots of damage to hair. Most days, I found myself spraying generously. The results were fantastic, shine and very manageable hair. Organix Cherry Blossom is a sulfate free spray. Basically sulfates dry and damage hair shaft so it is best to avoid them if you want to keep your tresses healthy.

Palmer’s and Organix are available in Singapore at most pharmacies island-wide (Guardian, Watsons, Robinsons, John Little).

Oil Control After Makeup

For the last weeks I’ve been working on a print commercial for a big client. The days have been long and some of the shots were done outside in the middle of the day at a million degrees. There were beautiful locations like Siloso Beach and an ultra modern condo in the CBD area of Singapore. *CBD stands for Central Business District. We also shot in a football field for a couple of days, different conditions every time, all mostly warm. There were photography studio days of course.

The makeup always had to look great and the skin in both male and female talents was to be shine free. How did I manage this? I used a lot of blotting paper from Gatsby! **The oil blotting paper was sponsored. Basically I test drove it under the grueling humidity of Singapore. It worked extremely well! The main ingredients are talc and silica which have oil absorbing properties.

After the makeup was done, I used the blotting paper to keep the T-zone shine free (forehead and nose areas), using very gentle strokes to collect sweat/ shine. The Gatsby Oil Clear Sheet was excellent for removing oil/ dirt before makeup and before toning the skin/ using primer in some cases. After using the clear sheets, the skin was matte and the foundation glided on nicely without looking greasy. While we were outdoors on the beach, the Gatsby Powdered Oil Clear Paper worked its magic; I used it mostly on the male talents who were moving constantly and had to pose in the hot sun.

I am very happy to recommend the Gatsby blotting sheets, they are easy to work with and definitely deliver good results. **Gatsby is a Japanese brand available here in Singapore at most pharmacies and shops islandwide.

Beauty Wisdom

“After years and years of trying different hair products, and makeup, I can say I have had everything—long hair, straight hair, frizzy hair, short hair, no hair, a lot of lipstick, a lot of fake eyelashes, have tried everything. I understood very late that after a while, you have to be a bit comfortable and that people are not looking at you precisely—it’s a general feeling. But it took me years to understand that they are not looking at how your eyelashes are, except maybe if they are a professional makeup artist. It’s sad that all that you know when you are old, you learn when you are old. You try things, you have the feeling that you need things, when you are young. You think that if you have the right nail color it will change your life.

It is good to have few products that are very good quality. Listen to professional people so you can learn, read the magazines, so you learn things about looking better—I think everybody can look better. It’s good to have foundation on—it protects your skin from the weather, and nowadays it’s so easy to put it on.

I think there are a lot of people that still think makeup is painting on your face. But really makeup makes you feel better, and if you feel better then you look better. That is what I’ve learned, really—that I feel cleaner and neater if I have some makeup on.”

Excerpt taken from an interview with former face of Chanel and Lagerfeld muse, Inès de la Fressange, to read the whole thing, click here. (Thank you Into the Gloss). Ines is 51 years old and looks timeless.

When I read these words, it was like music to my ears, I even heard cherubs singing, stars and lights galore. One of the reasons why I got into makeup is the fact that everytime I applied a little bit, it always made me happy, radiant and the reactions I got from people were positive mostly. Makeup is about feeling good from the inside looking out.

Photo credit Vogue UK// Ines de la Fressange from her new book Parisian Chic © Paolo Roversi