Category: Advise

5 reasons you should book a bridal trial.

At themakeupchair we believe that our bridal clients will benefit from having a hair and makeup trial before the big day. But if you are a super relaxed bride, or just want the ‘I did it myself’ look, then you may be wondering is it really worth it, or is it just another expense to add to the wedding day list??

1. Not all hair is the same – Do you know if your hair will hold a curl? Will you need a roller set or tongs? Will the condition, texture, length allow you to achieve that amazing style you love? All of these are really important questions and ones best not left to your wedding day. 

2. Not all skin is the same – While any makeup artist worth their salt will only use the best quality professional products, that is still no guarantee it will work with your skin or won’t cause a reaction. Best to test those products well before and eliminate any risk of blotchy foundation or worse, a bad reaction on your wedding day!

3. Not all artists are the same – This goes much further than to just say some artists are more talented or experienced than others. The trial is your opportunity to suss out more than just their talent. Is your artist attentive and considerate of your needs and feelings? Have they been able to convert your abstract descriptions into your perfect style? Are they calming and easy to get along with?  How your artists make you feel is just as important as how they make you look. Let’s not add to an already highly emotional day by spending most of it with someone you can’t get along with.

4. Plan & prepare – During the trial your artist will determine how long they need to get you ready and exactly what products and tools they will need to use, ensuring every little detail is planned for a stress free day. 

5. Feel confident  – Once all that other stuff is sorted then you can just simply sit back and let your stylist take over while you focus on enjoying this incredibly special moment with your loved ones.

Cruelty Free Makeup

Not too long ago the terms ‘cruelty free’ and ‘luxury makeup products’ were not synonymous. “Cruelty free” equaled hippies in tie dye with homemade, hand-mixed mineral foundations and berry stained lips. And while personally I am very fond of my tie dyed makeup maker sisters, the truth is that those products were just not that suitable for professional use. Sure, for everyday use, natural mineral makeup is a great option but it just didn’t stand up to professional use when a client is paying good money to have a product that will last an entire day through tears and sweat.

The world is jumping on the bandwagon. Israel, India, Norway, South Korea, all 28 countries in the European Union and even our brothers and sisters in New Zealand have already passed laws that actually BAN the import or sale of any products or ingredients that have been tested on live animals. Australia isn’t there just yet. An Ethical Cosmetics Bill was introduced earlier this year but it’s still a way off becoming law. And then once it does there will be a grace period of a couple of years to allow companies the opportunity to get on board or get out.

Until then it is up to you to do your research and decide for yourself if a brand is cruelty free. Just because a company ‘claims’ to be cruelty free does not it make it so. The definition is grey and watery at best and many companies are happy to blur the lines with cleverly written statements to confuse the situation just a little more. A truly cruelty free company…

  1. Does not test their products on animals.
  2. Does not source ingredients from companies that test on animals.
  3. Does not sell their products in countries where animal testing is a required law. (ie: China and Brazil)
  4. Does not belong to a parent company that does not comply with these first 3 points.

To be included on any of the cruelty free lists with PETAChoose Cruelty Free (CCF) or Leaping Bunny a company must comply with all 4 requirements. Pretty high standards. Especially when you consider that Estēe Lauder and L’Oreal (NOT cruelty free) own like every major beauty brand on the planet! But business is business and without the financial backing of these monopolising powerhouses, companies like The Body Shop and Urban Decay would have disappeared years ago. It is for this reason that when I choose brands I stick to the first 3 points and then try to balance the ethics of the individual brand against their parent. For instance The Body Shop has been a fierce defender of animals rights and human rights since before it was cool. They sold to L’Oreal because they needed the money or would of died off, and then what would of happened to all those third world communities that survive because of their fair trade agreements with them? 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of cruelty free brands you can’t go past Suzi from Cruelty Free Kitty. I love her and her unbiased dedication to the issue. PETA, CCF and Leaping bunny require brands to undergo strict evaluation but they also charge a premium to use their logo so not every cruelty free brand is on their lists. Suzi on the other hand does her own research for each brand and contacts them directly to get the information straight from the horses mouth. I highly recommend you read her blogs especially her constantly updated Cruelty Free List 2016 and this insightful little piece called Leaping Bunny V PETA: Who to Trust? Honestly I could link to her all day. She really is fab!

It is entirely up to you to decide what feels right when buying products but if you are committed to the cause or even just interested in making more informed buying choices, then there has never been an easier time.

If you are interested in helping Australia to ban animal testing you can…
fill in THIS SUPER EASY FORM to encourage your local MP to speak up on your behalf 
Make a pledge to #BeCrueltyFree HERE

In the meantime if you are keen to go shopping here are some of my personal favs…

BECCA Cosmetics – All things Highlighty & Glowy!
Hourglass – Again with the Highlights, Mascara and their Primers
Obbsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Airbrush foundation and Lip Tars
Iridis Cosmetics – Eye Primer, Eye Shadows & Lipsticks
Shanghai Suzy – Gorgeous Lipsticks
Inglot – Eyeshadows, Mascara, Lipsticks
Face Atelier – Foundation
The Balm – Concealers
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brows
Charlotte Tilbury – EV-ERR-YYY-THING!
ModelRock – Lashes and Lipsticks

Happy Shopping 🙂

What is Airbrush Makeup and is it really any better?

So what is airbrush makeup and what is all the fuss about?
Is it really any better than a liquid or cream foundation? Does it last any longer and can it cover spots without looking caked on?

For anyone new to airbrush makeup there are questions, so I just wanted to give you a little lowdown on the subject to help you decide if this technique is right for you.

So what is Airbrush Makeup?
Ok so basically it is a method of spraying makeup on to the skin. Technically a small air compressor uses gentle air pressure to push the super fine liquid makeup through the nozzle of the ‘gun’.  The result is a super fine mist of makeup that can be as sheer or full coverage as you want. The makeup itself is super highly pigmented (has lots and lots of colour) which means you don’t need a thick layer to get great coverage. Awesome right? No more heavy cakey foundations!! Generally the application process is super quick and with the right skin prep it will hold up while you bawl your way through your vows (speaking from experience!)

But is Airbrush Makeup Better?
Now that depends on who you talk to. Really airbrushing is simply a technique just as applying foundation with your fingers is a technique or with a brush is a technique or with a sponge is another technique. And every artist has their own preferred technique. One they have mastered by doing it over and over again for years! So here’s the truth….it’s not the technique that’s better…it’s the artist and their product. Boom!! There I said it!!

​This image gives you a bit of an idea about the way the foundation is laid onto the skin with each different technique but I do have to say that it isn’t an entirely accurate representation. A talented artist will easily create a beautiful finish with either brush or sponge and some mad blending skills. Also the Beauty Blender, which I reviewed HERE, certainly wouldn’t give this splodgy effect but some of the older latex sponges would. What I do believe though is that with either sponge or brush a little more attention and elbow grease is required to blend it just right.
Personally I LOVE airbrushing! For me it is a super fast way to create a beautiful flawless finish. It lasts brilliantly well up to the last dance of the evening and I haven’t yet found a face that I couldn’t use it on. In fact I will use it on everyone that allows me to. My go-to ranges are the vegan water-based offering from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics with is kind to sensitive skin and gives a slightly matte, real skin look or the silicone based Element2 which is awesome on super dry and mature skins and provides a more dewy finish.
At the end of the day though it really doesn’t matter which technique is better. What is important is that you choose a makeup artist based on their skill, experience and their ability to translate your ideas into the perfect look for you because a great artist can do that no matter what technique they use.

Photo Credit:

Makeup for Mature Skins

So I have a very dear friend named Rob (Hi Rob!), my son calls her Nana Rob, and like me she is a creative soul who loves to play with makeup. I posted AGES ago about Becca’s gorgeous Shimmering Skin Perfector and it caught her eye and prompted her to post me this question…

I was wondering about if there are hints for best application areas for well worn skin. And skin that is very fair like mine. It would be fair to suggest tailored application is better in this case to avoid looking ….artificial ?


Well Rob, yes and yes 🙂

Lets go back a bit first. When I was 14 my mum bought me some boots. I REALLY loved those boots! As I walked they made the same tapping sound that my mums heels made and I felt so grown up. I think that’s also what I initially loved about makeup. Wearing makeup meant you were grown up and the more applied the older you looked. The older you looked the less people treated you like a child. A few years (decades) on, while still not quite ‘mature’ in my skin (or otherwise) I now adopt a different approach to my makeup application. Funnily enough I’m no longer trying to look older!

Of course the best way to achieving a more healthy appearance involves living a healthy lifestyle and using great skin care. But in addition to that, or perhaps in leu, here are my best makeup tips for the mature lady with “well worn skin”

Prep it
You know the old saying “plan to succeed’?? Well that’s what primer is. A good primer will not only act as a super spack filler for your pores and fine lines but it’s also the glue that ensures your makeup will last. There are dozens of great ones on the market and I will blog about them another time but for now if you are not priming then you are not setting yourself up for makeup success.

Less is More
Go for a sheerer foundation and then use a good concealer to cover up any age spots or rosacea. Trying to hide wrinkles with heavy foundation only ends up accentuating them as the product creases. Stick with something that feels hydrating on your skin and is not mattifying. While having moisturisers in your foundation will help to plump out your skin and minimises super fine lines, it also adds to the risk of it creasing so you need to really blend it out.

Ditch the Powders
Use a little powder to ‘set’ areas you have either concealed or that are prone to creasing, like under the eyes, but use too much and it will look dull, cakey and sit in the lines which is the antithesis of fresh glowing skin. I love using mineral or loose translucent powders.  Minerals have light reflecting particles that defuse little imperfections and lines by bouncing the light around. My fav is (surprise! surprise!!) BECCAs Perfect Skin Mineral Powder (I seriously need to take out shares in that company!!) but any good cruelty free mineral or loose powder will do the trick. Also ditch the powder puff and use a brush instead. I actually use a large super fluffy eyeshadow brush so I can get really specific about where I put the product and don’t over do it.

You may have read about Strobing which is just a fancy smancy word for highlighting and personally I feel like some people are going just a touch overboard. I love me a little glitter as much as the next person but whats with the highlighting the tip of the nose?? It just looks weird.

Highlighting is all about accentuating features and if you are living life on the mature side you may not feel like there is much you want to highlight. But that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the glow. Stick with cream or liquid highlighters which glow more than glitter.  And avoid the glittery powder versions as they don’t flatter mature skins. Instead super fine shimmering liquids can actually help to diffuse and blur the appearance of fine lines.

If you have a rounder face, highlighting your cheekbones can help to accentuate them while slimming the face. But don’t do this if you have already have a slim face or you’ll just look gaunt. Use your finger and pat a small amount of highlighter along the top edge of your check bone from just under the outer part of your eye back up to your temple. You can blend a thin line down the bridge of your nose stopping before the tip to thin out a wide nose or apply small amounts to the middle of the forehead and the tip of the chin to elongate a short face. The possibilities are endless but honestly, a little convoluted. 

My favourite way to use highlighter on mature skins is to just mix a small amount into the foundation which adds a soft glow to the whole face. Then I might use a very light dusting of powder over the forehead and chin to stop it looking oily. Young skin glows so while you may not be able to cover the lines or lift the bags you can still glow. I also love to mix my highlighter in with my concealer for under the eyes but don’t do this if you have actual bags (not just darkness) under your eyes or you’ll wind up looking like you have packed for an overseas trip.

One of ageing’s many cruel jokes is that the hair tends to flee your brows and lashes and migrate south! Or they go grey, or worse, you wind up with John Howard brows, all wiry and out of control! We all know brows frame the face but as we get older that framing becomes more important and a well shaped brow can be quite transforming. If your brows are out of control and grey then get them shaped by a professional and you can tint them, or use a coloured brow mascara. But if they are disappearing learn to draw them in. I prefer using a powder two shades lighter than your natural brow colour or the lightest ash blonde if you are grey, and then use a fine tipped angle brush to draw the brows in. Run a clean dry mascara wand through the product to blend it which stops it looking blocky and viola! You have brows!

I get many mature ladies sitting in my chair saying “just do the best you can” as if nothing I can do will help. In a world that frustratingly values youth and beauty over experience and wisdom we have to remember that makeup actually only can do so much. It can’t really cover wrinkles or loose skin. But it can even out skin tone, brighten dark spots, add glow and help replace brows that have been lost. Its not about how you look, it’s about how you feel so if a little bit of lippy or some highlighter make you smile then the products have truly done their job.