Category Archives: PRODUCT REVIEWS

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.

Dollar Bills

 

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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Ceramides in Skincare

If you read this blog or know I that I come from a scientific background, you’ll know I don’t buy into fads or marketing jargon when it comes to skincare. However sometimes just sometimes, companies get it right. Recently I discovered the Beauty Aid Cream by Korean brand Touch in Sol. I was intrigued by the molecule which appeared on the packaging and asked my chemistry PhD friend to tell me what it was. Turns out it’s ceramide-3 and it’s the good type of ceramide. Not sure what ceramides are or what makes this one so good (or frankly, how it’s relevant to life)?  Winter is coming, you’re going to want to know. Keep reading!

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Where the idea for this post all started! Image courtesy of Priceline.

The science of ceramides in a lovely infographic I prepared earlier:

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With winter approaching, most people suffer more with dehydrated skin and dry skin lacking moisture. A good time to invest in a moisturiser to address these needs and ceramides can help.

So how do we know if the ceramides found in our skincare are indeed mixed in the correct ratio in order to be effective in skincare?

Short answer- you can’t really.

Say What

Ceramides are good moisturisers but may not be any better than regular lotions (including the less expensive petrolatum!) unless correctly formulated and the way ceramides are listed in ingredient list still won’t tell you.

Loosely speaking, ceramides can appear in ingredient lists as:

Ceramide 1, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 4, Ceramide 5, Ceramide 6, Ceramide 7, Ceramide 8, Ceramide 9, Ceramide E

Or in much more complicated nomenclature ie- moCETYL-PG HYDROXYETHYL PALMITAMIDE (cuz we’d all know what that was!)

More helpful answer- trial and error!

Trialling is the only way you will know whether the ceramide-containing-moisturiser is making a difference to your skin or whether the product is unfortunately just a marketing con.

Here are my top three tried-and-tested picks.

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1) TOUCH IN SOL BEAUTY AID CREAM

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Image courtesy of Priceline.

Why I like it:

  • Been using this one in my kit quite a lot lately. It’s been a big hit because of its texture, divine smell and for the immediate relief it provides for those with drier or dehydrated skin types.
  • Also a fabulous base for makeup no matter which complexion product you layer over the top.
  • Suitable for those with sensitive skin.
  • Oh and I like the packaging- gym bag, travel bag, kit bag and airplane friendly yeehaa!

Key Ingredients:

Ceramide 3 (skin enhancer) / Bifida ferment lysate (antioxidant) / Portulaca oleracea extract (skin calming) / Biosaccharide gum-1(moisturiser) / 5 types of vegetable extract / Shea butter (hydrating)

Availability:

$49.99 from Priceline

2) AVÈNE EAU THERMALE RICH COMPENSATING CREAM

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Image courtesy of Avène.

Why I like it:

  • Because it’s rich in texture but not greasy and is able to be easily absorbed by the skin.
  • Beautiful subtle fragrance.
  • Great option for skiing, sitting in aircon/central heating, air travel.
  • Great for mature skin also.

Key Ingredients:

Biocymentine (ceramides+plant sterols+fatty acids = winning combo!) / Pre-tocopheryl (Vit E a powerful antioxidant) / Glycerin (hydrating)

Availability:

$62.99 from Priceline

$46.39 from Chemist Warehouse

3) FIRST AID BEAUTY ULTRA REPAIR CREAM

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Image courtesy of Sephora.

 

Why I like it:

  • I probably prefer this one more for the body rather than for the face (although it can be used for the face also)
  • Soothing and calming for itchy skin or skin that suffers eczema
  • Not tested on animals

Key Ingredients:

Ceramide 3 (in this case teamed with the fatty acid stearic acid) / Glycerin (hydrating) / Glycerin (hydrating) / Colloidal Oatmeal (calming and soothing) / Shea Butter (hydrating) / Green Tea extract (antioxidant)

Availability:

$58 from Sephora

Hope this article helped dispel some myths and you’ve now got your eye on a new winter moisturiser. If you want to know more about the use of ceramides in skincare or about the products mentioned in this post, please feel free to leave me any questions 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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Overseas Make-Up Adventures

I recently went overseas for five glorious weeks and in between all the holidaying in…

London…

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Montenegro…

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Croatia…

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Bosnia…

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…and Hong Kong….

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I of course managed to sneak in some make-up shopping and exploration.

In London I visited all my favourite places.

Charles Fox

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Charles Fox- great for all things Kryolan and special effects. While here I topped up on some eyeliner brushes I’ve not been able to find here in Sydney.

And bumped into this gorgeous one!

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Claire and I used to work together back in the day and started our careers at roughly the same time. I just happened to bump into her as she was on her way to Paris Fashion Week and also stopping by Charles Fox for kit supplies.

Guru Make Up Emporium

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Guru Make Up Emporium- amazing for set bags, Make Up Forever and things you didn’t know your kit needed. I helped my friend pick out her wedding foundation from Make Up Forever and treated myself to some kit staples.

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Guru Make Up Emporium- One of my all time favourite places to shop for my kit!

Space.NK

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Space NK- for all things skin, hair, body, make up and wellness. I didn’t buy anything here but did enjoy seeing old favourites like Caudalie that you can’t get in Australia as well as discovering new brands that have launched since I was last there.

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Space NK- This was the Kensington Church Street store but I also visited the boutiques in Covent Garden and my old stomping ground, Duke of York Square in Chelsea.

I didn’t quite make it to Screenface but I did get to Selfridges where many many hours were spent in my happy place, the holy land that is Selfridges Beauty Hall.

And then in Hong Kong my highlights included the vibe of this Nars boutique in Pacific Place.

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How awesome are the latest visuals!?

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Love the contemporary feel in this boutique.

And re-discovering Sasa, which is Hong Kong’s answer to Boots and Priceline.

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Sasa- so many niche brands, so many levels and sooooo many products.

These were my standout Sasa brands.

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Kate Tokyo and the Sasa home brand of tools.

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Pupa Milano and Media

Near Times Square I also enjoyed visiting boutiques for Dior

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Make Up Forever

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And Shu Uemura

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So there you have it. When you’re a make-up artist, you really can combine work with leisure and travels.  The key is to barely pack anything in the first place so there is never an excuse not to indulge while on holidays!

If you have any questions about the brands mentioned or stores visited, please leave them below and I will get back to you. Have you tried any of these brands or visited any of these places before?

Hope you enjoyed this post. It sure was fun looking back through all the travel photos. Might just be planning another trip for next year!

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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I Showered With Santa’s Belly

Yep I did.  I showered with Santa’s Belly and it was great.  It was slippery and fun and just a little bit silly and I loved every minute of it.  I am of course referring to Lush’s latest invention to get us through the Christmas season, their shower jelly appropriately named “Santa’s Belly“.

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Santa’s Belly is a shower jelly inspired by mulled wine and filled with star anise infusion, fresh apple juice, red wine and a crisp apple fragrance.

Turns out I’m better at hanging onto this jelly in the shower than Mr Allen, who dropped it five times when I gave it to him to try compared to my one dignified shower slip.  He said it is because I have smaller hands and can therefore grip the jelly better, but I am sure it is because I am a better athlete.

It really surprised me how something so small and novel managed to brighten my mood every time I used it.  The endless jokes about how I was off to shower with Santa (a bit wrong now when I think about it!), singing “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly” while using the jelly, the laughs every time I dropped or almost dropped it, the pleasant fragrance that filled my bathroom along with how soft my skin felt after showering- made this jelly so delightful to use.  Bringing joy back to showering is my mission for the coming months as we descend into Silly Season.

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So ’90s I couldn’t help myself!

A little while ago I was invited to preview what Christmas at Lush is going to look like.

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There were acrobats…

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Tables abound with wonders to try…

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And demonstrations too (that’s Santa’s Belly in her hands!)…

The other shower jelly which took my fancy was the Batman inspired “Nightwing“.  I know a certain four-year-old-Batman-obsessed nephew of mine who will be getting one of these for Christmas!

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“Nightwing” shower jelly is made with fresh lime juice, aloe vera and carob syrup. It is also fragranced with distilled lime for Silly Season induced “headaches”.

A sucker for all things cinnamon, I also liked the “Cinders Bath Ballistic” bath bomb with it’s popping candy and sea salt exfoliation.  Smooth skin here I come!

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Lush-Cinders-Bath-Bomb

The “Cinders” bath bomb is made with cinnamon leaf oil and scented like hot fruit punch.  It contains popping candy and sea salt for a good ol’ scrubbin!

Like a Hennessy Cocktail, the “Celebrate” body lotion has the most intoxicating scent of citrus and cognac and leaves skin feeling sumptuous, not greasy.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Lush-Christmas-Celebrate-Body-Lotion

Celebrate Body Lotion is predominantly citrus scented (limes & oranges) with splashes of cognac, while cocoa butter and almond oil will give skin the best sheen this festive season.

And last but by no means least, the festively coloured “Santa Baby Lip Tint” with its cherry flavour is hard to go past!  It also doubles up as a beautiful creme cheek colour if buffed in lightly with a brush or dabbed onto the skin and blended with fingers.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Lush-Christmas-Santa-Baby-Lip-Tint

Shea butter, carrot oil and cinnamon do the nourishing in the cherry flavoured Santa Baby Lip Tint.

And that’s my roundup from the Lush Bizarre Christmas Collection Showcase!

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Off to shower with Santa’s Belly

For other product reviews, you might like to read:

Hunterlab- an Aussie skincare brand for the modern Australian Hunter

Wedding Day Lipsticks (that won’t ruin your first kiss)

Indeed Laboratories (indeed good skincare!)

The Laura Mercier make-up range

Please leave me any messages or comments if you’d like to know more about the Lush products mentioned here.  Definitely let me know if you also plan to shower with Santa’s Belly!

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Skincare for Hunters (aka Aussie Males)

When I think about male grooming, years of living with Mr Allen had me believe that they only worry about the three verbs beginning with the letter “S”. Sorry, I tried to put that as discretely as possible. So you can imagine my surprise when I was out the other night and found out that the grooming and skincare concerns of Australian men are actually a lot more complex (and a little bit amusing).

Let me set the scene. Out at a party. Arrived late from work.. Everyone else… merry on truth serum. I join conversation with four twenty-something men.

I hear the following things:

Male A: “…or the worst is when you have the dreaded nose hair and you hold the tweezers there for ages because you know the pain that is coming. And then when it does come out, you cry.”

Rest of males laugh in agreement. Then stop and make pained faces.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Hunterlab-Pained-Face

Me: “Why don’t you use nose clippers?”

Male A: “No don’t like them. You can cut yourself and then it scabs.”

Never knew this. I was intrigued to see where else the conversation would go.

Male B to rest of males: “And back hair, don’t get me started on back hair. I once waxed but it hurt so much I want to try laser. Have you guys tried laser? Where is good laser?

This conversation went on for quite some time and more revelations ensued.  I deduced that Australian men are becoming increasingly interested in grooming but they perhaps don’t know where to turn or what services/products exist to address their needs.  This got my blogging brain going…

So I got together with Elliot Waldron, founder of Melbourne male skincare brand Hunter Lab to get his thoughts on the rising interest of grooming amongst Australian men.

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Image courtesy of Hunter Lab.

How did your involvement with Hunter Lab come about and how long have you been at it?

Hunter Lab was born in 2013 when we realised that a men’s skincare revolution in Australia was being held back not by a lack of manly motivation, but by an absence of skincare brands which men associate and engage with, and are not embarrassed to add to their daily grooming routine. Add a desire to craft products made from the best of mother nature and we had the nucleus of a business concept.

Do you think Australian men worry about their grooming and/or appearance more than they like to let on?

Men worry about a lot of things more than they let on! The way you look and feel has a direct impact on confidence levels, so when you’re not feeling at the top of your game it’s often due to feelings of insecurity around appearance and health. I’m not sure if the average bloke worries about skincare, but he’s definitely curious.

Do you think there is much of a difference between Aussie men’s attitudes towards grooming and European men?  What are the most distinct ones?

Europe is further advanced along the skincare path; their serious exposure to skincare began back in the ’90s. It’s taken 10 or so years to reach those levels in Australia, and because of that our attitudes aren’t as developed. So we’ve been slower to get over the skincare stigma and stop confusing wanting to look good and paying attention to our appearance as something feminine (no offence ladies). We are now realising there is no shame in wanting to get the absolute best out of ourselves in all facets and that includes the health of our skin.

During your time at Hunterlab have you noticed trends in male grooming?

The biggest trend has been the amount of guys who are really enjoying using skincare daily, and who have taken it to the next level by adding an anti-ageing product to their routine. And that’s because they have now become aware of the later-in-life effects of the ageing process and, because of their new found confidence to spend time on themselves, have decided to take the fate of their looks into their own hands. Guys are absolutely amazed at the noticeable difference a 10-15 second daily application can make.

How does your brand stand out from other brands marketed to men?

We’re natural and we’re Australian, we’re all about efficacy and pleasure of use, and we’re a brand men are proud to tell their mates about and display in their bathrooms.

I took it one step further and issued some of the guys involved in the earlier conversation (and a few others) with Hunter Lab products to test out for three weeks. At the end of the three weeks I asked the obliging gentlemen to let me know how they found the products and if they would consider making them a part of their daily routine.

Meet the test group:

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Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Hunterlab-Test-Group-2

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Each participant was given one of the following Hunter Lab products to road test:

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Image courtesy of Hunter Lab.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-HunterLab-Product-Description-Anti-Ageing-Elixir

Image courtesy of Hunter Lab.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-HunterLab-Product-Description-Daily-Facial-Fuel

Image courtesy of Hunter Lab.

Without telling you who-said-what, here were their responses at the end of the trial period (some of these guys should consider an alternate career in comedy!):

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Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Hunterlab-Responses-2

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And there you have it, whether they’re 27, 35 or 41; a plumber, a radiographer or a public servant; someone who takes inspiration from Mohammed Ali, Heston Blumenthal or Adam Sandler; these Aussie men on the whole enjoyed using these skincare products and found improvements to their skin.

Gentlemen I hope you continue to enjoy these super natural skincare tools and for anyone else who is interested, you can find out more about the Hunter Lab range via their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Website.  They are stocked

Many thanks to Hunter Lab for their involvement with this story and to the nine gentlemen for participating.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Hunter-Lab-Blog-Post

If you think you can work out who gave which reply, feel free to leave your guesses in the comments below-  see if you can pick the twins and the two brothers!  And if you enjoyed this post, you can also read my other skincare reviews here.

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Curly hair saviour

I have curly hair with a mind of its own. It started from a young age.  Throughout the years I’ve learned that I can only detangle and brush my hair in the shower, otherwise I look like this:

Image via here.

Image via here.

Not a fan of overusing heat styling tools everyday on my hair, I prefer to leave my curls au natural. Great in theory, not so great when they start looking a little more this:

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Than this:

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May have spent a really long time looking for a photo with frizz in check!

But all of that changed when I discovered the Scunci Detangling Comb.

Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Scunci-Detangling-Comb

Image courtesy of Scunci

The shape of this comb and large separation between the teeth means that I can brush through my dry hair without disturbing the curls too much. A light spray of dry shampoo (to add volume) or let’s be honest, in my case it’s usually some serum/smoothing cream to reduce the frizz and I’m good to go.

I loved this comb so much I bought another one (at $5.95AUD why not!?) and added it to my pro hairstyling kit. During session styling, I use it to comb out curls when I want a really soft finish like this.

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Photographer – Natasha Anne Foster, Model – Paris from FiveTwenty Models, Hair & Make Up by me

Yep, I’d definitely found a winner.

The Scunci Detangling Comb - for detangling hair and brushing out loose waves

The Scunci Detangling Comb – for detangling hair and gently brushing out curls when styling hair.

I got curious about this Australian brand and decided to see what other brushes they made.

I discovered they make a WHOLE range of brushes called Brushology.

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Image courtesy of Scunci

In the range, the 14 brushes and combs are categorised by colour according to their usage.

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L⇒R: Detangling Comb, Vent Brush, Dry Shampoo Brush, Wet Hair Detangling Brush

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L⇒R: Straightening Brush, Cushion Brush, Medium Volume Brush, XLarge Volume Brush

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L⇒R: Backcombing Brush, Thick & Wavy Hair Brush, Long Hair & Hair Extension Brush, Paddle Brush

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L⇒R: Mini Styling Brush, Mini Round Brush

I picked up a few and have been experimenting around.

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I like the below combination for straightening curly hair. Detangle with detangling comb, prep hair with styling products, blow-dry with the paddle brush and run straightening irons through with the straightening brush. Never used a brush like the straightening brush before. It’s like a clamp for the hair and gives you a really sleek finish when used with straightening irons.

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For straightening curly hair. L⇒R: Detangling Comb, Paddle Brush, Straightening Brush.

For a sleek voluminous blowdry I prep hair with styling product, use the XLarge Volume brush with hairdryer then smooth the style and dress the hair with the Cushion Brush. Used the backcombing brush to backcomb the crown and give the style a bit of v-v-volume.

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For creating a sleek voluminous blowdry.
L⇒R: XLarge Volume Brush, Paddle Brush, Straightening Brush

My thoughts:

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Sonia_Allen_Make_Up_The_Blog-Why-I-Like-Scunci-Brushology-range

Scunci brushes are stocked in Target, Big W, Priceline and selected salons and pharmacies Australia wide. Visit here for more details on stockists.

If you enjoyed this post, you may like my other reviews here.

If you have any questions, please leave them below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.  If you have tried any of the Scunci Brushology range, please let me know your favourite brush and why!

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Wedding Day Lipsticks (that won’t ruin your first kiss)

The first time your husband-to-be will see you on your wedding day is a moment you will treasure for life. I always think it’s nice to keep a memento of that occasion (in addition to the photos). Being a make-up artist, naturally I’m going to suggest that this souvenir could be your wedding day lipstick. Every time you use the lipstick thereafter, you will always be reminded of your wedding day (good for so many reasons!). So here are my top pick of lipsticks that have good staying power AND are also kiss-conducive. You can kiss and have great lipstick that stays put too!?… Oh 2015 how divine you are.

wedding day lipstick

The lipsticks I’m going to recommend are all a satin finish which is fancy-speak for a lipstick that has less pigment in it than a matte or cream lipstick with a sheer finish. I like to think of them as a hybrid of between a lipstick and a gloss: the staying power of a lipstick with the texture of a gloss (but more balmy than sticky!).

You can always swap to a matte or cream lipstick for the reception if you wish to go for a bolder shade and I’ll do another post with those suggestions later on.

When shopping for satin textured lipsticks, please note that satin/sheer lipsticks have a high oil component so they appear darker in the bullet than they are once applied. Don’t be put off and swatching is always advised.

Ok so the satin lipstick roundup includes:

Chanel “Rouge Coco”

  • Impressive range of colours (neutrals, pinks, reds, berries & orange)
  • Infused with mimosa, jojoba and sunflower plant butters
  • Great staying power
Chanel Rouge Coco

Chanel Rouge Coco in “Olga”

The colour range looks like this:

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Image courtesy of Chanel

Available from: Myer, David Jones and a few stand alone Chanel beauty and fragrance boutiques.

 

Lipstick Queen “Lipstick Saint”

  • 20 shades mostly catering to pinks and nudes
  • Only 10% pigment so a really great option if you like your makeup minimal
  • If you layer enough you can actually build the colour intensity
Lipstick Queen "Saint Lipstick" in Bare Nude

Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick in “Bare Nude”

The colour range:

Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick colour range

Image courtesy of Mecca Cosmetica

Available from: Kit Cosmetics and selected Mecca Maxima stores.

 

YSL “Rouge Volupté Shine”

  • Hyaluronic acid microspheres seal in moisture & Vitamin E conditions lips.
  • Also with an SPF15 so great for outdoor weddings.
  • Great range of sheer bold colours
  • Can’t beat that packaging!
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in “28- Rose in Time”

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in “Rose in Time”

The colour range:

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine colour range

Image courtesy of YSL

Available from: Myer, David Jones, Mecca Maxima & Sephora.

 

Chantecaille “Lip Chic”

  • Brilliant longwear formula (once the sheen wears off you’re left with a beautiful stain of colour)
  • The shape of the bullet makes for precise application (no brush needed!)
  • Are shea butter based so your lips feel nourished the whole time
Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose

Chantecaille Lip Chic in “Tea Rose”

The colour range:

Chantecaille Lip Chic colour range

Image courtesy of Nordstrom

MAC Sheen Supreme

  • Super hydrating
  • The finishes vary between being pearlescent and creamy
  • Small hint of fragrance
Mac Sheen Supreme Lipstick in "Zen Rose"

Mac Sheen Supreme Lipstick in “Zen Rose”

The colour range:

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick colour range

Image courtesy of MAC

Available from: Myer, David Jones & stand alone MAC stores.

 

My top tip:

Keep the Transformulas LipVolume on your lips for the whole morning of your wedding while you are getting ready.  The treatment balm will keep lips hydrated and plumped while the peppermint makes you feel minty fresh.  You can keep a light layer on before adding your wedding lipstick too!

Transformulas LipVolume lip plumper

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other pre-wedding advice that you can download here.  Other bridal inspiration posts can be found here.

If you would like any more information about the lipsticks reviewed here, please leave your questions below and I’ll get back to you.  In the meantime, happy kissing!

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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indeed LABORATORIES… Indeed it’s Good!

Discoveries are the best. You either learn never to go near/eat/touch/experience again (and put it down to life experience!) OR you can discover something that is great. I recently discovered Canadian skincare brand indeed LABORATORIES and couldn’t wait to share.

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Some products from the Indeed Laboratories brand

Those that know me or have worked with me know how passionate I am about skincare and looking after your skin.  This doesn’t mean you need a million products to do so and a higher price point doesn’t necessarily mean better quality or better results. It took me a long time to believe the latter but five years of being in the industry and I can assure you I have learned the hard way!

I also don’t pay any attention to “anti-ageing” claims. They’re always aimed at women (not ok!) and I believe ageing is a privilege. So you’ll never hear me talk about “diminished lines” or “collagen boosting”-blah blah. I look for simple products that are easy and enjoyable to use that really nourish and support skin (and they’re the only ones I’ll be sharing on this blog!).

So lately, I have been testing out the indeed LABORATORIES products on models, actors and brides as well as on myself. Certainly a wide demographic of people and I continue to be impressed.

Why?

Simple products that do what they say?  Check.

Attractive yet recyclable packaging that look chic in my kit/bathroom?  Check.

Reasonable price point?  Check.

No animal testing, cruelty free and animal derivative free ingredients?  Check.

Fragrance free?  Check.

Hi-tech ingredients and modern technology?  Check.

Great textures?  Check.

Here are a couple of my favourites from the Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron range.

Indeed Laboratories: Facial Powdered Exfoliator

indeed LABORATORIES: Facial Powdered Exfoliator

What is it?

An exfoliator in powder form where you add as little or as much water (or get fancy and use a toning mist) as you want to achieve the desired strength.

What’s in it?

  • Bamboo extract- in fine form that won’t cause microtears to the skin
  • Rice bran powder- great ingredient for softening skin (the Japanese have been using it for centuries!)
  • Pineapple enzymes- natural exfoliator and is anti-inflammatory
  • Okinawa red algae- renowned for moisture-retaining properties (algae at the beach = gross.  Algae in skincare = soooo wonderful for you)
  • Hyaluronic acid- adds hydration which is a nice extra property you don’t normally find in exfoliators

How have I been using it?

  • On myself- once/twice a week after cleansing and before moisturising
  • On clients- whenever I feel uneven skin texture before make-up application

Why do I like it?

Easy & fun to use
You hydrate your skin as you exfoliate
Can customise how much exfoliation you need
Can use in the shower (=time saving)
Skin feels so smooth afterwards and you consequently need less serum/moisturiser

Indeed Laboratories: Hydraluron Moisture Booster

indeed LABORATORIES: Hydraluron Moisture Booster

What is it?

Hyaluronic acid that is 100% free of animal derived raw materials and organic solvent remnants that can be used as a serum.

Hyaluronic acid is an incredibly hydrating ingredient that holds up to 10000 times its weight in water, meaning anything you layer over the top will take longer to evaporate off the surface of the skin. Ie- the water in your moisturiser will take longer to evaporate. Hooray for dehydrated skin.

When I use this product I feel so wonderfully hydrated and then I remember this:

Zoolander Merman

Image courtesy of underthetapestry.com

What’s in it?

Water, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ahnfeltia Concinna extract, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

How have I been using it?

  • On myself- massaging all over my face every morning and night after cleansing/exfoliating and before my moisturiser
  • On clients- on anyone with dehydrated skin after cleansing and before moisturising (been using this on pretty much everyone, the packaging is extremely kit-friendly)

Why do I like it?

Ingredients are great (not full of low-grade “filler” ingredients)
Makes skin really soft
Gives skin a beautiful glow
No outrageous claims on the packaging
Easy to use and integrate with other brands and products
Works on all skin types
Increases healing time for acne scarring with prolonged use
Easily-absorbed texture (if it’s sticky, you’re using too much!)

Indeed Laboratories: Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask

indeed LABORATORIES: Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask

What is it?

4 sheet masks per pack, each mask soaked in a hyaluronic acid solution

What’s in it?

Lots and lots of hyaluronic acid

How have I been using it?

  • On myself- after cleansing and drying my face I unfold the mask and place over my face. I press in place (I want all the goodness!) and leave it for 15minutes while I relax (do dishes/answer emails/chat on the phone). Once I remove the mask I massage in the remaining serum (no need to wash off) and follow with a moisturiser.
  • On clients- never have the luxury of time to use this on clients but I always recommend them to brides for the night before their wedding.

Why do I like it?

Soooooo relaxing & cooling
Sorts out skin from any over-indulgence
You can skip serum and go straight to moisturiser
Great for dehydration (and long haul flights if you don’t mind the stares)
Great pick-me-up

In Australia, Indeed Laboratories is available from Priceline and Chemist Warehouse.

indeed LABORATORIES products

indeed LABORATORIES products

I would love to hear from anyone who has been using the indeed LABORATORIES products- which is your favourite and why? And for those who haven’t tried the range, is there any other information you would like to know? Drop me your questions and feedback below.

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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Sentiments from the Beginning

You always remember three key things when you start any new job. The sick feeling you have the week before; the first person to show you around and extend some “professional” form of friendship and finally, the item/object/tool you discover that makes your life easier on the job. This is how I felt about the Laura Mercier brand when I first forayed into make-up artist life all those years ago in London.

With all the brands and products that are available to consumers in this day and age, it takes a lot for one brand to stand out. What I appreciated most about Laura Mercier when fist starting out (and still to this day) was the simplicity of the range. Effective products designed for the modern day woman. While her range is indeed extensive, there are key products that work for everyone and the rest can be customised depending on how you want to wear your make-up. There are no outrageous claims, just well designed products that always deliver.

Selfridges Counter

The Laura Mercier counter at my most favourite place to shop beauty, London’s one and only Selfridges. I once spent so long in here when I went in it was light, when I came out it was dark. No shame!

Singapore Counter

And in Singapore’s Tangs Orchard Mall.  So sleek and contemporary, I adore this design.

Her textures are modern, her packaging sleek, her concealers unbeatable, her tinted moisturiser legendary and her brushes divine.

So who is Laura Mercier?

Laura Mercier

The woman behind the international brand.

The woman behind the brand was a painter before she was a make-up artist, which explains why she has designed such a beautiful array of brushes. In her own words:

“It’s crucial to me to know how colours complete each other or cancel each other, and if you don’t have these basics, it’s lacking. I didn’t know what I wanted to do though, besides being a starving artist.”
“From Carita [now defunct Carita School where she trained] the door opened to becoming a make-up artist. I became friends with Vabre [Thibault Vabre, famous artist] and he took me on as an assistant. That’s how everything began.”

Mercier then became an artist in her own right, working for magazines as a freelancer for six years, as well as teaching make-up artistry. She moved to New York and shook things up as part of the team who launched American Elle.

“America had been stuck in the same type of make-up, that heavy make-up, skin in particular. Elle brought a fresh approach because of the cosmopolitan aspect of mixing models – before you had dark skin magazines or Caucasian magazines, so that was very new.”

She built a reputation as a champion of the natural look, the “flawless face” which has since become her signature.

“I gave everything to my career, I was really settled and felt very safe but at one point I was tired of it. I thought I wasn’t passionate any more. I wanted to do something else and I was passionate about product and textures, and the making of it, putting my fingers in the pots and making colours. I remember saying to myself, ‘one day, if I do my own line, the first product I will ever do is camouflage [a heavy concealer that is used to hide all flaws], because I do not understand why it doesn’t exist.”

And so Secret Camouflage was borne. The rest as they say, is history.

Laura Mercier working

A rare photo of Laura Mercier working her magic.

I have always loved the campaign images released with each new collection launch. These were my standouts from my early days of working with the brand.

This one is my all time favourite.

Laura Mercier work

“Cinema Noir” campaign image for the Autumn 2012 collection.  Inspired by the Hollywood stars of the late 1940’s, the era when black & white film transitioned into colour.

 

I loved this one too. I remember it came out just before I got married and so naturally, I bought the limited edition palette to use on honeymoon.

“Lingerie” campaign image for the Spring 2012 collection.

 

And this had everyone inspired to get their red on!

Laura-Mercier-Art-Deco-Muse-Collection-Promo-1

“Art Deco Muse” campaign image for the Winter 2012 collection.

 

As a professional make-up artist I constantly chop and change what I carry in my kit to reflect advancements in technology and trends and the nature of the job.  However, there are staples that much like a well-worn pair of jeans, will always remain.

These are my Laura Mercier kit staples:

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturisers

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturisers – low-medium coverage, velvet finish, great range of shades, come in an oil free and original formula

 

Laura Mercier Primer (Lt) and Secret Finish (Rt) - this primer is one of my all time favourites, not too much silicone, lightweight feel and can be used with most foundations.  The secret finish Mattifying product is great for those with oil skin and I use it a lot in my male grooming kit.

Laura Mercier Primer (Lt) and Secret Finish (Rt) – this primer is one of my all time favourites, not too much silicone, lightweight feel and can be used with most foundations. The secret finish Mattifying product is great for those with oil skin and I use it a lot in my male grooming kit.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage - one of THE best concealers ever made.  There are 6 different compacts, each containing two different shades so you can custom make your own colour.  Great for the face and can be used under the eye if mixed with an eye-cream.  A little goes a long way and I never go on any job without them!

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage – one of THE best concealers ever made. There are 6 different compacts, each containing two different shades so you can custom make your own colour. Great for the face and can be used under the eye if mixed with an eye-cream. A little goes a long way and I never go on any job without them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer & Secret Brightening Powder (Rt)- Great concealers for the eye area.  Six shades.  Very hydrating non-drying formula with excellent coverage.  The Secret Brightening Powder is great for setting the concealer and is also light reflective.

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer & Secret Brightening Powder (Rt)- Great concealers for the eye area. Six shades. Very hydrating non-drying formula with excellent coverage. The Secret Brightening Powder is great for setting the concealer and is also light reflective.

Laura Mercier Eyeshadows - come in an assortment of shades and finishes (matte, semi-matte, shimmer etc.).  She also makes customisable well palettes so you can choose which shades you like.  My ultimate favourite Laura Mercier eyeshadow shade:  African Violet (pictured front right).

Laura Mercier Eyeshadows – come in an assortment of shades and finishes (matte, semi-matte, shimmer etc.). They also make customisable palettes so you can choose which shades you like. My ultimate favourite Laura Mercier eyeshadow shade: African Violet (pictured front right).  A beautiful purple with accents of gold and silver throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Mercier Blush - also come in an assortment of shades and finishes and pictured here is the 3-well palette.  I love the matte finish of these particular shades.

Laura Mercier Blush – also come in an assortment of shades and finishes and pictured here is the 3-well palette. I love the matte finish of these particular shades.

Laura Mercier Brushes - I love the innovative shapes and designs of the Laura Mercier brush range.  They last the test of time provided you care for them correctly.  My top 4: fan brush, pony tail brush, double ended eyebrow brush, smoky eye liner brush

Laura Mercier Brushes – I love the innovative shapes and designs of the Laura Mercier brush range. They last the test of time provided you care for them correctly. My top 4: fan brush, pony tail brush, double ended eyebrow brush, smoky eye liner brush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks – cream eyeshadow bases in a great range of shades. So easy to blend and layer. I always set with powder shadow for longevity but love the fact that you can go back in and re-apply them to the powder without lifting. Love LOVE LOVE these babies!

 

Laura Mercier Lipsticks / Lip Stains / Lip Gloss - great shades, great textures!

Laura Mercier Lipsticks / Lip Stains / Lip Gloss – great shades, great textures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Mercier Brow Definer - these little pots of goodness never seem to run out and they do a wonderful job on brows too.  From ultra natural to a power brow, the texture of these definers offer maximum flexibility.

Laura Mercier Brow Definer – these little pots of goodness never seem to run out and they do a wonderful job on brows too. From ultra natural to a power brow, the texture of these definers offer maximum flexibility.

Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder and Universal Setting Powder - applied with the fan brush and you get precise control of product distribution and application.

Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder and Universal Setting Powder – applied with the fan brush and you get precise control of product distribution and application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Laura Mercier products have you tried and swear by?  What is your all-time favourite Laura Mercier make-up?  Tell me below in the comment section.  If you want any more information about any of the products/shades mentioned in this post, please leave your questions below and I’ll get back to you.

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© 2015 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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