Category Archives: BEAUTY

Sonia Allen for The Beauty Bible

I wrote this article for The Beauty Bible and I’d love to share it on here with you too, it’s about brands innovating in the beauty industry, something I’m very passionate about as I have a low tolerance for BS and BS claims.

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Strobing, chroming, baking, faking… It seems every day there is a new beauty “trend” sweeping its way across the Internet. But are these so called “trends” really relevant to the modern woman? Or would we benefit more by staying informed of exciting advancements to skincare and technology and incorporating these into our beauty regimes instead? There are so many great brands at the moment innovating some phenomenal products and ingredients rather than selling trends. Brands like 3ina, Gilded Cage and Deciem the Abnormal Beauty Company.

Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company

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Deciem is a concept in itself. It’s a boutique (stores in Toronto and soon to launch in Melbourne, Sydney and Seoul)…

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And an umbrella of different functional beauty brands: Hylamide, Niod & White Rx (skincare), Hand Chemistry (hand and body care), Fountain (beauty supplements), Hif (haircare), AB Crew (mens fitness and grooming) and Inhibitif (hair removal).

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The brands which fall under the Deciem umbrella

 

Their approach to beauty is to deliver the latest technology in beauty and skincare into the best formulations possible. CEO Nicola Kilner explains, “technology in beauty and skincare has moved on and it’s really important to continue to innovate. If Apple introduced an iPhone today to remain as it is for the next 10 years, they wouldn’t survive. In beauty, somehow formulations remain on the market for up to 40 years without people questioning if they’re using 40-year-old technology. Skincare technologies have advanced so far yet most skincare brands are still using very old formulations based on old technologies in shiny packages.”

Deciem get around this by doing everything in house, which allows them to deliver new technologies to market quicker than most competitors. Kilner explains, “our bio-chemists, designers and product creators are all under one roof. We have no layers and loops to jump through to move forward, meaning the speed of our delivery model is second to none.”

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I asked Kilner to explain how the Deciem brands innovate in an industry often saturated by “trends” that aren’t necessarily realistic or relatable to the 2016 woman (and man!) and it all comes down to sustainable health.

“There will be a significant shift from causing damage for instant gratification (for example- heat styling) to encouraging hair health and repair for longer term gain. The current mentality is ‘How do I look best immediately’ and the answer is to use instant benefit products. This will lead to irreversible damage of the hair. The mentality will shift to “How do I maximize my hair health so I can look better always?”

These trends are all merging into the same trend to shape the future of beauty. The focus in all of these categories will turn to health – the health of our hair, the health of our skin, the health of our everything. Consumers will start to focus more on longevity than tomorrows result and quick fixes. We call our industry ‘health and beauty’ but it really has to be health. You can’t have beauty without health, they are one.”

Standout Products

From the Hylamide range, I am a big fan of the Photography Foundation and C25 Booster. The Photography Foundation is one of those beautiful products that you can use a million different ways. While it doesn’t exactly provide coverage, you can wear it on its own (layered over or mixed with moisturiser) for days where you want a glow (and I’m not talking disco ball, no glitter in sight!), pore minimisation and a bit of colour correction. You can also mix it into your foundation or tinted moisturiser to make use of the beautiful finish and ingredients. Photography Foundation is available from Priceline at $29.99.

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Hylamide Photography Foundation by Deciem.

The C25 Booster is one of the best Vitamin C serums you’ll find on the market as it has been formulated with a truly stable Vitamin C at a great concentration to target dullness, uneven tone and textural irregularities. Layered under moisturiser once or twice a day and your skin will say thank you in radiance.  Great to use in the months leading up to big events or holidays, when you really need your skin looking its best!  C25 Booster is also available at Priceline for $49.99.

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Hylamide C25 Booster by Deciem

From The Chemistry Brand, I always carry a Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex Hand Cream in my handbag because it ticks all the boxes- instant hydration without greasiness, subtle fresh fragrance, anti-ageing ingredients and lightweight compact packaging. Available from Priceline at $13.99.

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Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex (hand cream) by Deciem.

And finally from the NIOD range, the Copper Amino Isolate Serum (available online from Adore Beauty, $90) is one of the most impressive cocktails of cutting edge ingredients that pretty much keeps the skin in a constant state of repair. Used as the first step after cleansing, before any other skincare either once or twice a day. Also the packaging is incredibly chic and modern for those who enjoy looking at a stylish bathroom cabinet/shelf.

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NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum Activator by Deciem

Gilded Cage

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Gilded Cage is a new Australian makeup brand that focuses on celebrating individual beauty, where there is no “one size fits all” format. The products are designed in Paris and made in Italy and include cream eyeshadows, lipstick and lipglosses.

Founder Rhys Williams set out to create products that highlight women’s singularities, the things that set them apart from others and explains, “Gilded Cage is a glorifier of singularities: it protects and highlights them in the most beautiful way. There are so many ways to be beautiful which is why we believe that smooth, commercial beauty is boring”.

Standout Products

The Revelation Eyeshadows (available online from Gilded Cage, $38) are beautiful cream eyeshadows that come in ten timeless shades. Worn on their own for a sheer finish or layered underneath powder eyeshadow when you want more punch, there is a lot of flexibility with how you can use them. The felt tip applicator makes applying the cream a two-second job and they are very long wearing. Nice and compact, these have become a firm staple in my pro kit.

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Revelation Eyeshadow by Gilded Cage

3ina

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You can’t help but pay attention when a brand claims, “makeup should enhance rather than alter” which is the exact message European 3ina is putting out. Pronounced “mina” and co-founded by dynamic duo Pablo Rivera and Mark Eve. Neither had a background in fashion or beauty when they set out to create 3ina and they explained to me that this worked in their favour when designing their range, “when you’re not from a fashion background, you don’t have preconceptions of what is and isn’t possible to do in the industry. We broke all the rules in the industry when meeting with producers to discuss formulas or packaging”. And break the rules they did. The range has 450 products across six different categories (eyes, lips, face, nails, skincare and tools) with vibrant and experimental shades forming the heart of the brand.

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The flagship 3ina store in Covent Garden, London.

 

It’s refreshing to discover a brand that is playful yet accessible to the majority of women. You might not want to try a yellow or pink mascara, but then there’s 448 other products to choose from. There are currently two stores in Melbourne (as well as stores in London, Greece, Italy and Malta) and they’re only just getting started.

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Love everything about 3ina’s approach beauty!

Standout Products

The Pen Eyeliner is one of the best liquid liners I have tried. They spent a long time getting the formula and packaging right and the result is a waterproof satin finish that doesn’t drag across eyelids, so no more wobbles when you’re trying to wing that liner! Available online from 3ina ($12.95) or in the Melbourne stores (Cheltenham and CBD).

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The pen eyeliner by 3ina

The Highlighter comes in two shades (pink and gold) and delivers a glow that looks like creamy skin ($16.95).

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The highlighter by 3ina

The Micellar Gel is an alternative to micellar water for anyone with sensitive, acne-prone or broken skin as it removes makeup quickly without the need to rub at the skin. Poured straight onto a cotton wool pad, it removes all traces of makeup without leaving an oily residue ($10.95).

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The Micellar Gel by 3ina

And there you have it, no crazy contour techniques, no ridiculous claims, no over-inflated prices and no animal testing.  Instead, a fresh approach to product development and beauty innovation… and quite frankly, that’s refreshing.  Be sure to check out The Beauty Bible for more product reviews and beauty advice.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Why we all need to facial…

You know your list… we all have it… the “one day I will…” list? Well on my list somewhere between catch up on Game of Thrones so I can join in on conversations in society and learn how to make Jerk Chicken the authentic way, it said, “get a facial”.  Why? Because I never do. Not because I don’t believe in them, on the contrary I have seen first hand the difference they can make (I’ll get to that part later). But because I used to think I would just manage with skincare and a balanced diet.  But my clients are always asking me to recommend facialists in Sydney and so I thought I better try for myself first. And then I had a facial. The MOTHER of all facials. Like your best friend who can’t keep a secret, let me fill you in on why I gave it a million out of ten and like your other best friend who talks to everybody, enjoy my chat with skincare gurus behind the facial and the products, Natasha and Jess from Vigour Skin Therapy.

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Graphic courtesy of fashion illustrator Aaron Favaloro as commissioned for Vigour Skin Therapy.

I booked for my facial with Natasha Duarte Skin at her beautiful Gladesville treatment room. I was treated to tea and a full skin consultation before we commenced treatment. As someone who used to work in hospitals in the medical health industry, I was very impressed by the level of detail in the consultation and by Natasha’s knowledge of skin health and body wellbeing. I immediately knew I was in good hands and couldn’t wait to try her signature facial using products from her organic skincare Vigour Skin Therapy range.

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Images courtesy of Vigour Skin Therapy

My facial was SO relaxing I didn’t want it to end. Not the kind of relaxing that only lasts for 5 minutes until you get up and life slaps you back in the face. The kind of relaxing where you are floating on air for days afterwards. Really. I never expected the stress relief and relaxation component of the facial to be as powerful as it was. After my treatment not only did my skin glow (literally, I went to an event that night… sans foundation!) but I felt like I had just discarded excess tension and nervous energy I didn’t even know I was carrying around… oh and my skin glowed and it looked really amazing… did I mention that part?

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Who else used to watch this show? I do love Lucy!

A veteran of 15 years in the beauty scene, it was inspiring and refreshing to learn from Natasha.  I learned things about my own skin and how to better take care of it and so I decided to feature Jess and Natasha in this post because I think what they do is wonderful and we could all do with a dose of wonderful in our lives.

Also I ask some pretty honest questions in the interview- the stuff we all want to know but may get overwhelmed by all the misinformation out there. Makeup artists, brides-to-be, models, awesome friends who read my blog and everyone else- listen and learn!

 

Why do you think it is important to have regular facials?

In healthy skin, cells turnover roughly every 28 days. So approximately after one month, the cells that have been treated and improved by the professional applications and processes during the facial and are able to come to the surface where the nucleus dies. 

Treating the skin to monthly exposure of a professional service creates a permanent maintenance that doesn’t allow the cells to regress and slows down future damage. It also teaches the skin how to fire at all cylinders, igniting the functions within the skin to work at their optimum. Basically, home care is your diet and we are your skin’s personal trainer!

“Home care is your diet and we are your skin’s personal trainer…”  Brilliant!  Wish someone had told me this years ago.

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What is the one key skin myth you wish people didn’t believe?  How do we set them straight?

TASH: One of the biggest myths is that the more expensive or the more notoriety a product has the better it is. Not true! It’s all about the ingredient content and the percentage of those ingredients. You want a high amount of good quality content that is specific to your skin type and conditions with minimal chemicals. There is no one wonder in a jar. What’s good for one skin can actually be a hindrance to another. So get a consultation if you’re unsure!

JESS: A lot of people ask why they need a serum if they are already using a moisturiser? My easiest explanation to help people understand what the difference is: serum is like fertilising the garden implanting deep slow release nutrients and moisturiser is like watering the garden quenching the soil with hydration.

So the take home messages:

  • Know your ingredients and which ones your skin needs/doesn’t need… Big budgets don’t necessarily equal big results; and
  • Use a serum. It’s like fertiliser for your skin while moisturiser is your hydration.

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What is your favourite product from your Vigour Skin Therapy range and why?  

This is a hard one because we love them all but the Organic Jojoba Oil Cleanser really deserves a special mention.

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It is the first step within the vigour rituals, removing the day, rebalancing the skin and allowing you to take a moment whist you massage it in and warm compress it off. Jojoba oil is the closest to our skin’s own natural oil (sebum) which means it is able to regulate a breakout prone skin, protect and strengthen a sensitive skin and/or nourish a dry skin. It will give you the deepest clean you’ve ever experienced as its emulsifying properties are second to none, being able to even remove water proof mascara.

It can also be used for purposes other than cleansing…. Including as a oil press in the evening (especially in the winter), a cuticle oil, as a nourishing weekly oil application for the scalp prior to washing and to apply before body brushing to name a few. We love it so much it is an ingredient showcased throughout our range of products.

The jojoba cleanser was used in my facial and I luuuuurved it! A nicer alternative to over-priced mineral oil cleansers and I love the fact that it’s multi-use.

 

FOR PRO MAKEUP ARTISTS, which product do you think is key for us to carry in our kits and why?

The Repair Conditioner

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This product is an all-in-one for both skin prep and setting and refreshing makeup. 

It can be used to on-the-spot to cleanse the skin by spraying onto cotton disks and wiping across the face. Repeated, this step really helps to minimise the pores, wipe away grime, excess oil and surface dead skin whilst boosting the skin’s hydration and antioxidant levels. It leaves the skin really clean and hydrated. Due to it being laced with chamomile it is extremely calming and anti-redness. Once makeup is applied, it can be lightly spritzed over the top to set powder. It’s also great for the artist to spray over their own face during long days on set and onto their brushes.

I bought this Skin Conditioner after my facial as I was looking for a great setting spray (that wasn’t just water in a can!). I used it on myself then it went straight into my pro kit (then back into my bathroom then back into my pro kit!). I now have ONE product that I can use to cleanse and hydrate skin during skin prep and to refresh and set makeup with. It smells amazing and I also love the fact that it works on even the most sensitive of skins. WINNING.

I also love the Organic Lip Slather as it is multiuse- a lip balm (non-sticky!), highlighter, skin sheen where needed.

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FOR BRIDES, which product do you think is key to invest in and why?

Renewal Mask & Exfoliation Hybrid

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Prepping for any special occasion can be a busy time let alone the “big day”. The exfoliating hybrid is a bit of a multitasking superhero and that’s just what you are after when in the midst of organising a wedding. This product instantly brightens, exfoliates, hydrates and deep cleanses all in one. It’s a perfect twice weekly pick me up to keep the skin healthy and in check as well as quickening the cell renewal cycle to create that beautiful bridal glow. This product creates an instant result after just one application but with regular use it will chip away at the conditions of the skin that are trying to be eradicated, creating the perfect canvas especially for makeup application on your day.

Brides- get on it!!!

 

FOR MODELS (who regularly have makeup applied and removed and re-applied throughout the course of one day), which product do you think is key to invest in and why?

A triple answer is required here…

1) Revive Treatment Cleanser
2) Renewal Mask & Exfoliation Hybrid

3) Radiance Elixir Marine Collagen and Seaweed Extract Complex

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They definitely should invest in a good cleansing routine. The Revive Treatment Cleanser will remove day-to-day build up quickly and can be used conveniently in the shower or in between looks if a sink is available. Exfoliating is paramount for keeping the skin smooth and ready for makeup application to provide the perfect canvas. Just prior to a shoot our radiance serum will brighten and hydrate the skin and can be used around the eyes to dissipate puffiness and dark circles as well as naturally plump up the lips with its star ingredient collagen.

And finally the question I like to ask everyone who appears on this blog…

What is your favourite part of your job?

Unlocking someone’s knowledge of their own skin so they can then continue on the path to ultimate skin health long term. It is not just the on the spot result but healing the skin from within. We are all about creating escapism and wellbeing. Each facet of the facial is a sensory journey making sure mind body and spirit (and skin!) all leave feeling rejuvenated.

Mission accomplished ladies!  Thank you so much for sharing your products and knowledge with me.  I can’t wait to see you for my next facial!

Vigour Skin Therapy products can be purchased online at the website.

To book a facial with Natasha in Gladesville, you can contact her via:

Mobile: 0410 378 070
Email: hello@ndskin.com.au

And to book a facial with Jess in Balmain, you can contact her via:

Mobile: 0411 357 162
Email: hello@vigourskintherapy.com.au

If you wish to know any more about the products, treatments or facials offered by Natasha and Jess, please leave your questions or comments below.  Also feel free to let me know your best facial experience and we can compare notes.  Now I’m off to watch that last GoT episode!

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Sant Elia ‘Taken by the Sky’ Resort 17 Campaign Shoot

They say sharing is caring, so I’m going to share one of my favourite campaign shoots. Bringing someone’s collection to life and creating imagery that captures the essence of the designs is in my opinion, what a campaign shoot is all about. I recently had the privilege of being asked by Stephanie from SE by Sant Elia to design the makeup for their resort 17 collection, “Taken by the Sky”. A collection that is all about “1970s boho luxury with an effortless twist, European vintage glam and free spirits, reinterpreted into modern and relevant shapes” this is what we created.

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This was shot in a motel that looked like it had been The team behind this shoot comprised:

Photography: Jason Henley // Stylist: Jana Bartolo // Hair: Nathan Cherrington // Makeup: Sonia Allen // Model: Pauline from Chic Management // Creative Direction: Mother Father PR

I loved so many pieces of this collection and my wish list kept growing as the day progressed! I asked Stephanie who she had in mind when she was designing and she told me that she wanted to create a wardrobe of wearable yet show-stopping occasion pieces, that were luxurious and flattering on the female figure.

“The collection has a touch of cheekiness, it’s for a woman who likes to get noticed but doesn’t take herself too seriously”.

My favourite from the collection was the The Edge of Seventeen jumpsuit while for Steph it was the lace co-ord pant and top set from the “Bird in Flight” story which only just last week spotted being worn by Ally from Substance Style Blog to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sydney.

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Photography by Sebastian Petrovski and image courtesy of Broadsheet Sydney.

For the makeup I created a look that I like to call “undone glamour” which took influence from the 1970s but is wearable for the modern woman. The skin was creamy and glowing, the cheekbones illuminated, the eyes were metallic golden amber with lots and lots of lashes and liquid liner. Brows were groomed and defined while lips were a mix of pink and brown lipstick blended with Egyptian Magic balm.

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For the skin I used the Hylamide SubQ Anti-age serum for that lit from within glow, the Natralus Pawpaw Lip Butter to prep and condition the lips and the Jane Iredale Pommisst Hydrating Spray to refresh the makeup throughout the day. For the complexion I used the Touch In Sol Feels Like Honeymoon Primer for the most wonderful surge of moisture, the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser and the Jane Iredale Enlighten Concealer to brighten under the eyes. For the lips it was the Avon Luxe Lipsticks in “Nude Citrino” & “Diamante Rosa”  mixed together with some Egyptian Magic balm for that perfect cream texture.

You can follow the SE by Sant Elia label on Instagram or get in touch via the website.

I loved being part of this campaign shoot and I hope you enjoyed reading how it all came together.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the products used or how I worked with them. Now I’m off to do some shopping!

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Adam Dixon: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Tanja, our model when I profiled Adam Dixon for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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A modern contemporary upstyle with a sleek finish was the vision I had when creating the hair for this shoot. Think Kate Middleton crossed with Emma Watson…

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Which looked a little something like this…

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And like this from the side…

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The key to achieving this style was building the volume while keeping the hair looking glossy and neat. To do this I worked the Label M Sleek Blow Out Cream into Tanja’s damp hair (works as a lightweight heat protector while sealing in moisture) and blowdried in the volume. I then tonged the hair into loose waves and applied the Soufflé to help define the curls once I brushed them out.

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In action!

Before constructing the shape of the upstyle, I backcombed the crown section for some extra height and sprinkled on the Resurrection Style Dust for maximum root lift- the ultimate styling product for building and maintaining volume and texture!

Once I finished pinning the style into place I set it with the Hairspray and finished with a light spray of Shine Mist.

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Tanja had oily combination skin and so I had to be careful not to use products that were too rich in texture for her skin. I used the Indeed Labs Hydraluron serum on the T-Zone in place of a moisturiser and then followed with the Hydraluron Moisture Jelly for the rest of the face.

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Skincare by Indeed Labs.

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I wanted to create a timeless makeup look to work alongside Adam Dixon’s gowns and I drew inspiration from the 1950s, in my opinion one of the most beautiful eras of makeup! Glowing skin, soft diffused shades of bronze and taupes on the eyes, lots of lashes and a bold lip. This look would be perfect for those who aren’t afraid of colour yet want a romantic look.

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I used the Make Up Forever Mattifying Primer along the T-Zone to prevent excess shine and then stippled the Face & Body Foundation, building in areas where Tanja needed more coverage. Imperfections were corrected using the Full Cover Concealer and then I set everything with the Super Matte Loose Powder (great for mattifying without losing the “creaminess” of the skin texture).

I highlighted cheekbones with the Star Powder (in 943 “with pink highlights”) and used the Sculpting Blush in “Orange Coral”.

For the eyes I used the Aqua Cream in “Taupe” as an eyeshadow base and set with powder eyeshadows in similar tones. I drew the winged liner with the Graphic Liner Pen and finished with generous lashings of the Aqua Smoky Lash mascara.

I took Tanja’s lips from matte berry (Lip Liner Pencil in “26 Dusty Pink” with Rouge Artist Intense “34 Matte Light Raspberry” over the top) to glossy berry (by adding the Glossy Full Couleur gloss in “7 Fresh Rose”) then to a matte red for the finale (Aqua Lip liner in “08C Red” with Rouge Artist Intense in “M8 Matte Bright Red” over the top).

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Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.

For Tanja’s lashes, I used the Ardell Natural 117 black lashes to lengthen and thicken her natural lashes and bring balance to the overall look.

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Et voila!

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Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M.

I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  You might like to see which other products and techniques I used for the other the models in The Bridal Series Sydney:

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Moira Hughes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Jennifer Regan: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Mira Mandic: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

And that officially wraps The Bridal Series Sydney.  Thank you everyone who collaborated on this project.  I will forever be proud of what we created and hope it was enjoyed by all.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Mira Mandic: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Elsa, our model when I profiled the Mira Mandic for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.

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Originally I was going to do a relaxed braided upstyle for this shoot but when I saw Elsa’s gorgeous hair, it reminded me of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s effortless style and I decided to take this direction instead and incorporate a bit more wave. It was also a good pairing with the makeup, which was bold yet soft.

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One of my favourite style icons Charlotte Gainsbourg- the British-French actress and musician who is the daughter of British actress Jane Birkin and French singer Serge Gainsbourg. She always looks polished but not “too done”.

And it translated to this…

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To achieve this style, I started by saturing Elsa’s hair with the Protein Spray (to protect against heat and to regulate moisture levels) before working in a small amount of the Sea Salt Spray (for that “undone” texture) followed by the Volume Mousse at the roots (easy application spray mousse that also protects against colour fade without weighing hair down). I blowdried Elsa’s hair with plenty of root lift before tonging from the mid-lengths down.

To finish I backcombed the crown and sprayed it with the Texturising Volume Spray (for volume and long lasting root lift) before brushing out the curls. I used a small amount of the Miracle Fibre cream to provide elastic support and to control the direction of the waves created. I love the finish of this cream, it’s undone glamour at its best!

Throughout the shoot flyways were tamed with a very light misting of the Rejuvenating Oil Mist which I would either spray from at least an arms length away or by spraying it into the palms of my hands and lightly smoothing over.

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My hair styling products from Label M.

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Elsa had beautiful skin texture but slightly dehydrated skin (lacking moisture but not dry). To tackle this we used the Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator followed by the Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask for 15 minutes to allow all of the hyaluronic acid to penetrate the skin and work its magic. I used the exfoliator first to make sure there was no dead skin on the surface that would prevent the mask from working as effectively as possible. I then massaged the Hydraluron Moisture Booster (serum) into the skin and around the eye area and finished with the Fillume Volumising Moisturiser for a plump skin finish.

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Skincare by Indeed Labs.

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Elsa is a motorbike-riding leather-wearing rock chick through and through and so I wanted to design a look that complimented her features and attitude. I kept everything minimal and went straight for some dramatic lashes for the rock factor. This look would work on those brides who don’t normally wear much makeup and like a very understated look. You could substitute the full lashes for some more subtle individual ones to suit your taste and eye shape.

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For Ela’s base, I used the Make Up Forever Radiant Primer in Cool Pink (for yellow fair skin) to colour correct and buffed in the Ultra HD Foundation. This provided a great level of coverage for Elsa’s skin and I only needed the Ultra HD Concealer for under the eyes.

For colour I used the HD Blush in “Rosy Plum and matched this tone on the lips for balance. The Lip Liner Pencil in “Cold Pink was used to contour the lips and a combination of the Rouge Artist Natural in “Iridescent Pink Gold with the Artist Plexi-Gloss in “Nude Coral” was layered over the top.

For the eyes I used the Aqua Cream in “Satin Brown” as an eyeshadow base and set with powder eyeshadows in similar tones. I drew the winged liner with the Graphic Liner Pen and finished with generous lashings of the Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara before fitting the false lashes.

For impact, I used the Ardell Glamour 101 Demi black lashes for Elsa’s lashes (very va-va-1940s!).

I set everything with the Mist & Fix spray to increase the staying power of the makeup while also delivering extra hydration to Elsa’s skin (and meant I didn’t need to powder as much while on set).

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Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.

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And there you have it.  You can be a rock chick and retain your style on your wedding day!

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I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  You might like to see which other products and techniques I used for the other the models in The Bridal Series Sydney:

Jennifer Regan: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Moira Hughes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Be sure to keep an eye out for the last designer profiled in The Bridal Series Sydney on Instagram, Facebook and of course, here on the blog.  And as always, feel free to leave any comments or questions about the hair and makeup below.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen MakeUp.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Jennifer Regan: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP By Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Milena, our model when I profiled Jennifer Regan for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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I wanted to design something for the hair that was polished and simple and would compliment the makeup. Milena’s hair was extremely long and I opted to take advantage of its length and pin it up in a full style. I took inspiration from early-mid century prima ballerinas like the legendary Anna Pavlova, Galina Ulanova and Natalia Makarova.  I introduced a side parting for a more contemporary feel and inserted some flowers too.

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And it translated to this…

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Featuring a Wendy Louise headpiece.

To create this style I started by dampening Milena’s hair with the Label M Heat Protection Spray, combing through then working in the Sleek Blow Out Cream. I then blowdried her hair with a slight wave and plenty of root lift.

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I backcombed the crown and sprayed with the Texturising Volume Spray at the roots. Pinning Milena’s hair was a process of ensuring symmetry, placement and hold. I used a combination of braids and twists in her hair to keep the shape looking polished yet interesting. To finish I placed some flowers in the bun and set with a medium-hold Hairspray and a misting of Shine Spray.

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My hair styling products from Label M.

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To prep Milena’s skin I used the Indeed Labs Hydraluron serum for hydration and followed with the Eysilix eye cream around the orbital bone. I then mixed a bit of the Nanoblur (a skin perfector designed to even out skin texture and diffuse light on the skin) with the Fillume moisturiser for the perfect base.

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Skincare by Indeed Labs.

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Knowing that I was going to be shooting Jennifer Regan designs, I wanted to create a timeless and simple makeup look that work well with the simplicity and elegance of Jennifer’s gowns. Milena’s look is all about matte ethereal skin, earthy tones and subtle contouring.

For the base I used the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation and set it with the Super Matte Loose Powder before contouring subtly using the Sculpting Kit and Bronzer to warm the skintone.

For Milena’s eyes I used the Aqua Cream in “Pink Beige” as a base and set with earthy toned matte peach, brown and grey shadows. For the eyeliner I used the Ink Liner for a thin matte black flick and finished with lashings of the Smoky Lash mascara before fitting the Ardell Lashes in Demi Whispies to help fan out Milena’s natural lashes.

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Brows were groomed using the Eyebrow Pencil in “Taupe” with an angled brush and for the lips I used the Rouge Artist Intense in “Matte Violet Pink”.

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Make up products used from Make Up Forever.

And this was the look…

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I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  You might like to see which other products and techniques I used for the other the models in The Bridal Series Sydney:

Moira Hughes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the designers profiled in The Bridal Series Sydney on Instagram, Facebook and of course, the blog.  Two more designers still to go!  And as always, feel free to leave any comments or questions about the hair and makeup below.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Moira Hughes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP By Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Kirsty, our model when I profiled Moira Hughes for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M. as photographed by Natasha Foster.

 

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When styling short hair it’s hard to go past the pixie crops of the 1960s and 1990s for inspiration.

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Left- Actor, model and socialite Edie Sedgwick circa 1965 with the one and only Andy Warhol and Right- Actor and activist Jean Seberg circa 1960.

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90s icons- Linda Evangelista, Winona Ryder and Halle Berry.

I wanted to style Kirsty’s hair with texture, separation and definition.  I wanted it to look effortless yet polished and very feminine.

Like this…

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Flower comb custom made for this shoot by the lovely Nicholas from Pollon Flowers in Paddington.

This was a relatively quick style to create and can easily be attempted at home.  I started by spraying Kirsty’s hair with the Label M Blow Out Spray and alternating between blasting my hairdryer from all different directions and gradually layering more of the spray for UV and heat protection as well as volume and separation.

Once I was happy with the volume I’d built I worked the Mesh Styling cream in between the palms of my hands and worked it through the hair side to side to get an even distribution.  Using my fingertips, I then pieced out certain sections for definition and built some extra texture at the crown.  I love the slight shimmer this gave to Kirsty’s hair and there was no need for hairspray.

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Hair styling products from LabelM.

 

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Kirsty’s skin had a wonderful texture but was dehydrated (not dry) and so I applied the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Mask for five minutes before commencing with the rest of the prep.  The masks come soaked in a hyaluronic acid solution (one of the best hydrating ingredients) and deliver in a slow release.  Once I removed the mask, I massaged in the remaining serum and finished with a dab of the Eysilix eye cream and the lightweight Hydraluron Moisture Jelly moisturiser.

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Skincare by Indeed Labs.

 

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Moira Hughes Couture is all about femininity and exquisite design yet there is diversity amongst her designs.

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Moira Hughes Couture – the Indianna gown (left), the Belle gown (centre) and the Charlotte gown (right).

 

When creating the makeup for Kirsty, I was torn between doing something really soft and subtle or taking the makeup into a more high fashion direction because Moira’s gowns lend themselves equally to both styles.  Having trouble making up my mind, I did both!

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The first look I designed was all about the eyes. Rich taupe and chocolate shades, kohl liner smudged around the lashline and some lengthening lashes.  I kept the base matte and ethereal (like the glow was coming from within) and I worked with Kirsty’s incredible bone structure to emphasise the cheekbones. For the first look I used a soft matte pink on the lips.

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Then I amped it up for the second look by adding a bold red shiny lip and darkening the brows a fraction for balance.  The complexion was left the same.

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My key makeup products from Make Up Forever:

Base: My tried and tested favourite, the Ultra HD Foundation was my base of choice and I only needed slight amounts of the Ultra HD Concealer to correct discolouration under the eyes.  I set everything with the Super Matte Loose Powder in “Ivory” to add that ethereal glow.

Blush & Highlighter: Using a light motion with my angled brush, I swept the Sculpting Powder Blush in “Satin Light Pink” blush upwards along the cheekbones and dusted the Star Powder in “Pearl Gold” above the cheekbones to highlight.

Lips: The soft matte pink I used for the first look was the Rouge Artist Intense in “Satin Fresh Pink” buffed in lightly with a lip brush, no liner.  For the second look it was a combination of the Aqua Rouge Liquid Lip Colour in “Red” and “Pomegranate Pink” and topped with a dab of balm for the sheen.

Brows: I worked with the Eyebrow Pencil to define Kirsty’s brow and when needed for the second look, I darkened them using some matte powder eyeshadows.

Eyes: The Eye Prime eyeshadow base went down first, followed by eyeshadow shades from the Artist Shadows 1 Palette . To achieve that definition near the upper and lower lash lines, I smudged the Kohl Pencil in “1k Black”  and finished with lashings of the Smoky Lash Mascara.

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Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.

Lashes: To achieve fluttery lashes that would compliment Kirsty’s eye shape, I chose the Ardell Glamour 103 lashes. They certainly added an element of drama to the eye design (which is great for photography) but brides after a more subtle look can opt for individual lashes instead.

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This look is a great example of keeping all design elements in balance.  The texture of the hair works with the softness of the skin and the eyes meet in the middle- defined but earthy.  Using the two different lip shades on Kirsty is a great demonstration of the power of a bolder lipstick.  This could be something to discuss with your makeup artist if you are thinking about changing things up between the ceremony and reception (party time!).

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I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  You might like to see which other products and techniques I used for the other the models in The Bridal Series Sydney:

Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the designers profiled in The Bridal Series Sydney on Instagram, Facebook and of course, the blog. Three down, three to go!  And as always, feel free to leave any comments or questions about the hair and makeup below.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Amber, our model when I profiled Rhonda Hemmingway for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M. as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.

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I was inspired by the symbiotic relationships you see growing in nature…  The beautiful shapes that vines make when they wrap and twist, the bends of wild ivy growing on trees…

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I wanted to incorporate these shapes into my design but at the same time, I wanted Amber’s hair to look effortless.  Perfect for a boho-luxe outdoor bride or for brides without a lot of length to their hair as the shapes create interest and the illusion of full hair.

Et voila…

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To create this style I had to create a matte texture to the hair to bulk it up, allowing for the structure of the design.  I  started with the Heat Protection Spray to dampen the hair and spritzed with Sea Salt Spray from mid-lengths (for texture and separation) down while at the roots I massaged in the Volume Mousse (to volumise and hold) and blasted dry with my hairdryer before tonging into loose waves.

Once Amber’s hair  had cooled I brushed out the curls and backcombed the crown and sprayed with the Texturising Volume Spray at the roots and a light dusting of the Resurrection Style Dust for added oomph. Twisting and pinning Amber’s hair was a process of ensuring visual interest, placement and hold. I used a combination of interwoven twists and small braids to create the shape. To finish I sprayed some more of the Texturising Volume Spray and away we went.

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Hair styling products from LabelM.

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Amber’s skin had a wonderful natural luminosity which I really wanted to incorporate into the makeup design.  I used the water-activated Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator (containing bamboo extract, rice bran powder, okinawa red algae, hyaluronic acid & bromelain) to gently resurface the skin while hydrating at the same time.  I followed with Snoxin, a peptide-rich serum that helps with fine lines and the Eysilix eye cream around the orbital bone. After a few minutes, I massaged the the Fillume moisturiser for a gorgeous volumising finish to the skin.

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Skincare using Indeed Laboratories. More on this great brand here.

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Rhonda Hemmingway’s designs are so beautiful and diverse (there really is something to suit all tastes!) so I knew the makeup had to translate across the different styles of her gowns.

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Beautiful gowns from our shoot with Rhonda Hemmingway as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.

I opted to design a feminine yet bold look with the key being the ability to achieve balance between the shading on the eyes and the colour on the lips.  I went for bold matte shades of berry and red for the lips because they made a great contrast against the location where we shot (we all love a bit of drama on editorials!).  However the modern bride could use a more sheer textured lipstick to achieve the same balance without the intensity.

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My key makeup products from Make Up Forever:

Base: My tried and tested favourite, the Ultra HD Foundation was my base of choice and I only needed slight amounts of the Ultra HD Concealer to correct discolouration.

Blush: Using my fingers I gently patted the HD Blush in “Rosy Plum” and set lightly with loose powder.  I wanted this to look like a natural flush to the face.

Highlighter: On the high points of Amber’s face I used a lighter shade of the Ultra HD Concealer and then dusted the Shine On Powder in “Flesh” to luminise the skin.

Brows: Aqua Brow was used to shape the brows and I then worked some of the Eyebrow Pencil in a slightly lighter shade throughout to create texture and keep them looking as natural as possible.

Eyes: The Eye Prime eyeshadow base went down first, followed by eyeshadow shades from the Spring 2016 Palette and a small winged liner using the Ink Liner on the upper lashline for that classic matte finish. For the lower lashline, I smudged some of the Artist Liner in “Iridescent Taupe Grey” and set with shadow.

Make Up Forever

Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.

Lashes:  I emphasised Amber’s lashes with the Smoky Lash Mascara and carefully added some Ardell Double Individual lashes in small and medium near the centre of the lashline.

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And it came together like this…

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I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the designers profiled and behind-the-scenes hair & makeup posts in this Bridal Series Sydney.

The Bridal Series Sydney: KAREN WILLIS HOLMES

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

And as always, feel free to leave comments and questions below!

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Renata, our model when I profiled wedding gown designer Karen Willis Holmes for The Bridal Series Sydney.

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Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M.

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My inspiration for the hair I designed for Renata came from 1940s siren Veronica Lake. I wanted to create loose yet polished waves that looked effortless, feminine and great in every shot.

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1940s Hollywood star and style icon Veronica Lake.

First I prepped the hair with Protein Spray, completely saturating to smooth the hair and protect against heat. I then worked in the Volume Foam and Blow Out Spray before blowdrying with volume.

Renata’s hair was then tonged with a curling wand, pin-curling each section using pin curl clips. Once the hair cooled I used a wide tooth comb to separate curls and to relax into loose fluid waves.

I brushed the hair smooth, backcombed the crown and sprayed with Texturising Volume Spray (benefits of a dry shampoo with the hold of a hairspray!) for the ultimate root lift.

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Tools of the trade with Label M hairstyling products.

To finish I used the Hold & Gloss Spray (sparingly) for all over hold and shine as well as the Frizz Control Serum (on the ends only) for a polished finish.

Et voila…

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Renata’s skin was cleansed with the Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator, to remove any dead skin while delivering moisture at the same time.

We followed with my all time favourite serum, the Hydraluron Moisture Booster for it’s hydrating properties and for the fact it increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture over time (so important when you need the makeup to keep looking fresh).

For the eyes we used a rice grain amount of Eysilix around the orbital bone to create a smoother and more rejuvenated looking eye area.

For the face we massaged Fillume Volumising Moisturiser to keep skin volumised and plump. The perfect canvas for makeup!

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If you want to know more about the Indeed Labs brand, you can read one of my earlier posts here.

 

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When designing this look, I wanted to demonstrate how a darker and well-defined eye could still work with a bold lip without feeling like “too much makeup”. This is a perfect timeless look for a winter wedding or for the bride who isn’t afraid to make a statement.

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In action with designer Karen Willis Holmes and our model Renata.

I kept the coverage on Renata’s face as light as possible using the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation and only concealing in areas where needed using the HD Invisible Cover Concealer. Shading and dimension was introduced using the Sculpting Kit.

I used the Aqua Black waterproof cream eyeshadow as a liner for it’s ability to be as fluid as I needed it to be when building the “drama” on the eyes as well as the Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara for those gorgeous lashes.

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For the first look, lips were lined with the Aqua Lip “Vintage Coral” lip liner before working in the Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in “Orange” (a beautiful sheer orange) with a lip brush and following with a light layer of the Artist Plexi-Gloss in “Golden Pink” to the centre of the lips (to add a touch of pink). The second more dramatic look was achieved using the Aqua Lip “Orange Red” lip liner followed by the Rouge Artist Intense lipstick in “Matte Bright Red”.

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Renata also wears the Ardell Natural Lashes 120 (Demi Black). I curled the Ardell lashes along with Renata’s natural lashes and then coated again with mascara for that extra high gloss finish.

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The final result…

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I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the designers profiled in this Bridal Series.  And as always, feel free to leave comments and questions below.

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Sonia Allen MakeUp Artist launches THE BRIDAL SERIES SYDNEY

A few posts ago I announced that I had something exciting to share and I am so thrilled to be finally be able to reveal what I have been working on.

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For the last eight months I have been working on a project for this blog. A big one! I set out to profile Sydney’s top wedding gown designers in a bid to learn more about these Australian icons and for the opportunity to create some beautiful imagery alongside them. Together with photographers Angela Rose and Natasha Foster supporting me behind the lens, the Sonia Allen Makeup Bridal Series Sydney comes to life.

Featuring the stellar line up of…

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JR Logo Broken Horizontal copy

 

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Here’s a teaser of what to expect…

The Bridal Series will run over the next six weeks on the blog. Each week I will be featuring one designer and showcasing their boutique and couture creations. There will also be a supporting post dedicated to the hair and make-up design where I talk through how I created the look for each model in this series. I will showcase the products used, as well share my inspiration behind the hair and make-up looks.

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If you’re getting married, this Bridal Series is like your direct link to some of Australia’s finest talent. If you love make-up or want to learn more about skincare and hairstyling, read the make-up posts- they are full of my tips and advice. And if like me, you are passionate about supporting Australian designers, enjoy getting to know each one, just as I did.

I’d like to thank Angela and Natasha for your wonderful photography, I couldn’t have shot this without you (literally!).  I’d also like to thank all the beautiful models along with my sponsors Make Up Forever, Ardell, Indeed Labs & Label M for supporting this project and whose products we used throughout the shoots.  As a working makeup artist and hairstylist, these are brands that you will most definitely find in my kit and it was great to collaborate for this project.

It was a privilege to work alongside these designers and I can’t wait to share this project with you all!

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© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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