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Artist Spotlight

Lan Nguyen Grealis

By | Education, Lan Nguyen Grealis, Uncatagorized | No Comments

PicMonkey CollageHello fellow beauty lovers!

I recently assisted the amazing Lan Nguyen-Grealis, she is one of the busiest, most respected makeup artists in the world with many awards and accolades under her belt. Lan has a very broad international C.V to date with her work in publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan, to name but a few. She is self taught with an art background which is very apparent in how she is capable of such beautiful and fashion forward makeup that she creates. The intricate and delicate mix that she blends with beauty and high fashion was one of the reasons that I wanted to do this masterclass. We as makeup artists are inundated with requests to produce a beautiful makeup but when prompted to mix it with an artistic ‘out there’ feel it can be very difficult to strike the right balance, which Lan seems to do so effortlessly. When working on a model it is reminiscent of an artist working on a canvas using building blocks of colour and various different products in order to create depth and texture. She has an innate ability and understanding of the human anatomy which allows her to highlight, contour, correct asymmetric features and disguise what we deem to be imperfections resulting in a small piece of art. Lan demands respect for her art through this ability.

When I heard that Lan was coming to Dublin to do one of her Masterclasses I jumped at the opportunity to assist her. Having attended two of her masterclasses in London, I knew this was a great course to do so recommended my assistant Orlaith do the course. Here she describes her experience:

Lan Nguyen Makeup Masterclass Ireland

I, as a makeup artist, am always looking for inspiration and ways to push the boat out so to speak and this masterclass did not fail to disappoint.

The first call of action was a glimpse into the secret kit of Lan Nguyen Grealis 🙂 What I personally liked so much about this was the simplicity of it. By this I mean that she had a certain amount of interchangeable colours and products, allowing any one product to work for any number of uses. I love this methodology.

Initially Lan demonstrated a ‘simple’ dewy high fashion look. This can be one of the most difficult looks to achieve as not only requires skill but a vast amount of restraint! With an intimate group of seven people she talked us through each step allowing for questions and giving thorough and comprehensive answers.

Following this she did a demonstration on darker skin, explaining the skin tones and suitable colours to use. I found this hugely beneficial as I have up to this point mainly dealt with lighter skin.

Smokey eye, statement lip.

Finally Lan delved into the more artistic side of the masterclass experimenting with highlighting, contouring with colours, concentrating on a feature lip with different textures and colour, blocking out eyebrows and how to use facelace. This was probably my favourite part of the class as not only was I inspired but gained a little confidence in that aspect of makeup with the tricks and tips we were given.

Then….we were let loose on one another. As we highlighted and lined Lan passed through the class giving advice and discussing our technique. This was invaluable and even though I made one or two (to say the least :)) mistakes I managed to create something that not only was I proud of but allowing me to continue learning even after Lan has stopped demonstrating.”

Emma Lan Masterclass

This is Orlaith’s recreation of the look on me. I am not a very good model 🙂 Lan is coming back to Dublin this year for another workshop, so if you are interested in partaking in the course get in touch! I will be helping her organise it again and am putting together a list of people. Last time the workshop sold out, so don’t delay in putting your name down so you are not disappointed.

Hope to see you then. Lots of love,


Professional Beauty Judge

By | Beauty News, Gary Cockerill, Paul James Merchant, Uncatagorized | One Comment

Professional Beauty Warpaint Judge

Hi Beauty Lovers,

Hope you are keeping well. This has been a fantastic year so far and I feel like it is just whizzing by! It has seen me travelling alot over and back from London a few times as well as Marbella! In February one of my trips was for the Professional Beauty Awards, I was a finalist for the Make-up Professional of the Year UK & Ireland. I will tell you more about that next time. While I was in London, they asked me to be a floor judge for the Warpaint Professional Beauty London Competition with fellow make-up artists Gary Cockerill and Paul James Merchant. Gary is the Warpaint Ambassador and organised the whole makeup competition as well as the criteria for judging.
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Inspirational Makeup: James Kaliardos

By | Artist Spotlight, James Kaliardos, L'oreal Professionnel, Make-up Artist | 3 Comments

James Kaliardos Makeup Artist

Another make-up artist that I love is James Kaliardos I first came across his work about 4 years ago when I entered a competition run by Elle Magazine in association with L’oreal. He was the creative consultant for L’oreal Paris at the time, he was the first makeup artist to hold that position in the company. The competition was to win work experience with James, which I obviously didn’t win 🙂 but since then I have been a huge fan of his work.


James was born in Detroit, USA. His mother was a hairdresser and encouraged his creative side. At the age of eighteen he attended the Parsons School in New York, where he studied Art, Design, Fashion, Photography, Theatre, History and Film. It was there that he met the photographer Steven Meisel and showed him his portfolio. Steven was particularly impressed by James’ make-up ability and helped him to develop his talent.


After this time he decided to go to Paris and become a make-up artist. In Paris he worked with photographers Stépahane Sednaoui and Ellen Von Unwerth. He moved back to New York and has since worked with every well known photographer out there including Annie Leibovitz, Steven Klein, David Sims, Steven Meisel, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber, and the late Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton.


James brings a unique combination of glamour and chic minimalism to his work. His style is clean and he prefers to focus on making one feature really pop. One of my favourite things about his esthetique is the clean glowing skin that features heavily in his work.


His work can be seen in American, British, and Italian Vogue, Allure, W and V magazines. He has created looks for campaigns and runway shows for Balenciaga, Chanel, Hermès, Fendi, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent, Rodarte, Dior Homme, Y-3, Rochas, Preen, as well as campaigns for L’Oréal, Revlon, Shiseido, Cover Girl, and Victoria’s Secret.


Some of the celebrities Kaliardos has also worked with include: Beth Ditto, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Julianne Moore, Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Tyra Banks, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Björk, and Chloë Sevigny.

So what do you think of his work? Are you a fan?

Until next time.

Lots of love,


Inspirational Makeup: Leona Lewis Trouble Music Video by Lottie

By | Artist Spotlight, Lottie, Make-up Artist, Uncatagorized | No Comments

Leona Lewis a Whole Lot of Trouble Makeup

I was watching the music video Trouble by Leona Lewis and thought to myself, that is such a pretty make-up. Of course, my next thought was who did it? I was delighted to see that it was non other than Lottie. She is one of my favourite make-up artists at the moment, who’s work can be seen at fashion weeks across the globes, music videos, advertising campaigns and red carpets.

Leona Lewis Trouble Music Video

How beautiful is Leona Lewis in these pictures? The make-up is absolutely flawless, from gorgeous and natural, to smokey elongated smokey and then a pop of colour with this dramatic red lip.

Lottie Makeup Artist

So who is the fantastic make-up artist that created these beautiful looks? Lottie was born and raised in Southern California. Like many other talented artists, she didn’t start out in the beauty industry. She did graphic design in college and moved to the UK where she worked on many exciting projects. A few years later, Lottie found her true calling and moved over to the world of make-up artistry.

Her career sky rocketed and she can now be found keying fashion shows in New York, Milan, Miami and Los Angeles. She works freelance for print and advertising worldwide for many high profile clients including Dove, Joico, Guess?, Versace, Make Up For Ever to name a few. She has had many celebrity clients including Robert De Niro, Taylor Swift, Beth Ditto, Solange Knowles and Juliette Lewis.

Leona Lewis “Trouble” from Raúl B Fernández on Vimeo.

What do you think of this video? Do you love it?

Lots of love,


Inspirational Makeup: Caroline Saulnier

By | Caroline Saulnier, Fashion, Uncatagorized | No Comments

Caroline Saulnier Skull Make-up

So week two of my inspirational make-up feature is another make-up artist that I aspire to be like Caroline Saulnier. I absolutely adore her work and love her collaborations with Rankin. I really love this skull make-up that she did for their new book. You can see a video of it here as well as some other looks that she created that are awesome!!!!!!

I really hope to buy this book soon. I also really want to go to one of Rankins exhibitions. I love his work and I think it is fantastic the way that he collaborates with Make-up Artists in such a big way. I have his Alex Box book and it is out of this world. One that I will definitely do a review of soon.

What do you think? Are there any inspirational make-up artists that you would like to share with me?

Lots of love,


The Review: Makeup is Art Book

By | Book Spotlight, Lan Nguyen Grealis, Make-up Artist, Uncatagorized | One Comment

Hello Again!

So this is the new installment to the blog called The Review. This is where I talk about my opinion on make-up related things, but with a little twist. So rather than products, I am going to review beauty books, videos, makeup counters that kind of thing.

Makeup is Art

So my first review is the book: Make-up is Art.  I have had this book for a couple of years now. I picked it up at the IMATS I think it was. Needless to say I was delighted as it is a book filled to the brim with fantastic images and information on how to achieve them.


One of the things that I loved about the book was that it featured images of a lot of different artists work. The make-up artists featured in the book are at the top of their field and people that I really admire! Their work can be seen in magazines, catwalks and television in the UK and abroad. This meant that the type of work and style of make-up was quite varied. It showed everything from a beautiful skin, to a full on glitter-thon with lashes.


The book is not a step by step guide, so anyone buying it hoping to learn how to do each step might be disappointed. However I found that the descriptions were really informative and you would be able to achieve all the looks with a little trial and error.  It is a very inspirational book and will leave you with loads of creative ideas of your own.


The images are really clear and not over photoshopped and this book is visually stunning. It is definitely something that you could proudly display on your coffee table. I think even non-makeup aficionados would find this book enjoyable to flick through as it is an array of colourful vibrant imagery.

For once you can judge a book by its cover, this gorgeous cover invites you in and the contents certainly don’t disappoint.

Value for Money: 10/10
Images: 10/10
Description: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10

Below are some images I found online of the behind the scenes of some of the photoshoots from the book, so I thought it would be nice to share them with you. Lots of lashes there!

False eyelashes laid out for photoshoot

Images of inspiration for makeup

Makeup for photoshoot fashion

Makeup and Pigments set up and ready to use

Lan Nguyen_AOFM

Hope you enjoyed this post. I will be back again next week for another review! If there is a book in my collection that you spotted that you would like me to do next, let me know. Your wish will be my command.

Lots of love,


*Image Sources: amazon.co.uk, fashion stylist

Beauty News: M.A.C January 2013 Collections

By | Beauty News, MAC Cosmetics, Uncatagorized, Val Garland | 2 Comments

MAC Apres Ski Visuals by Val Garland

Isn’t this visual just gorgeous? I absolutely love this shoot. Make-up was done by none other than Val Garland for MAC Cosmetics latest range of colour cosmetics. I absolutely adore her work and if you don’t already follow her, do check out her instagram feed, she updates it regularly with her inspirational work.

So as part of my new weekly “Beauty News” feature, I would like to share with you the latest range of products released by MAC Cosmetics:

MAC Cosmetics have just launched their Apres Ski collection.


MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow

Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage.

The shades available are:

Winter Pursuit Ice Silver Birch Frost at Midnight Fireside

Zoom Waterfast Lash

MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash

The fast-to-act drama of creamy, velvety Zoom Lash in a tear, sweat, humidity, waterproof formula. Curls and lengthens with flexible, sculpted application that provides up to 12 hours of smudge-proof wear.

MAC Pro Longwear Eye Liner
Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage.

Pro Longwear’s long-lasting eye liner delivers creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly. 12-hour waterproof formula stays put and smudge-free.

The shades available are:

Black Ice:
Rich Black
Rich Experience:
True Brown
Mountain Air:
Vibrant Teal
Night Trail:
Deep Navy Blue
Snow Shadow:
Purple Violet


MAC Lipstick

Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M·A·C famous.

MAC-Apres-Chic-Lip Gloss

Mineralise Tinted Lip Balm

A liquid lip balm that adds moisture while providing the right pop of color and mirror-like shine. Enriched with a special, nourishing 77 Mineral-Rich Complex. Can be worn alone or over other Lip products.

MAC Apres-Chic-Blush

Mineralise Blush
Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer. Available in Amber Glow, Alpine Bronze, Gentle

MAC-Apres-Chic-Mineralise Skin Finish

Mineralise Skin Finish
A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face. Available in Porcelain Pink and Stereo Rose.


Nail Lacquer
Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes – Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protection. Go hi-lacquer! Available in Hangin Loose and Dangerously Fun.

287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush
A rounded, medium sized, double-chiseled, paddle-shaped brush. Perfect for applying and blending Eye Shadow. Made from a blend of soft, natural bristles and synthetic fibres, allowing for a light wash of colour.

187 Duo Fibre Foundation Brush
A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.

Apres Ski Products

You can buy all these products in the MAC store Brown Thomas Grafton Street and Henry Street as well as in the airports.

What do you think of the selection? Is there anything you would like to try?

Lots of love,


Inspirational Make-up: Pat McGrath for Vogue

By | Make-up Artist, Pat McGrath, Uncatagorized | 6 Comments
Inspirational Makeup

Photo courtesy of http://inspired.com/

I am always inspired by the fantastic work of other make-up artists from home and abroad. I have decided to have a weekly feature on the blog where I share some of my favourite make-up that I have seen from the world wide web.

Pat McGrath Vogue

Photo courtesy of vogue.com

The first in this new series is a post dedicated to Pat McGrath and her recent work in Vogue Italia which was photographed by Steven Meisel. She created a classic look that has been described as “one of the most iconic images of our generation!” Giving the actress Fei Fei Sun a glamerous but modern starlet look.

Pat McGrath Vogue Fei Fei

Photo courtesy of http://streeters.com

I adore this flicked block coloured eyeliner with an exotic coloured raspberry red lip. Her cheek bones are well defined with sculpting. The face is kept clean and matt with no blusher or shimmer.

Photo courtesy of Streeters.com

What do you think, do you love this look? Who inspires you? Have you seen any images you would like to share with me?

Lots of love,


Review of Avant Guarde Make-up Academy Drogheda

By | Bodypainting, Course Spotlight, Make-up Artist, Review, Uncatagorized | No Comments
Make-up Academy Emma Woods

Grand opening of the Avant Garde Make-up Academy

I often get emails from aspiring make-up artists about what schools to attend to become a professional make-up artist. Well I can really recommend Avant Garde Make-up Academy in Drogheda. Emma Woods is the beauty and brains behind this fantastic school. She wanted to create an elite training academy that has the highest standard of education to  realistically prepare you for a career in Make Up Artistry.

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