Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where do you draw the line??

**  I hope those who read this post and aren't professional makeup artists can understand where I'm coming from.  I don't mean for anyone to take offence.  **

Back in the good old days, there were clear distinctions for everything.  You had makeup artists, and you would have people who did their own makeup.  This latter group were a varied bunch, ranging from those who knew nothing about makeup to total junkies who could pick an Orgasm-ed cheek from a mile away.  They had personal stashes that could rival a department store - but that's just what they were.  Personal.

Nowdays, the line between artist and client is blurry.  More and more people consider themselves to be makeup 'artists' when their skills (and sometimes their kits) may be questionable, and clients want to learn how to do their OWN makeup so well that they take professional training.  For themselves.  Not to work on other people outside their own friends.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing.  I know what it's like to have a passion for something that you consider to be a hobby, and even if you don't want to make it a career you still want to be good at it.  That's great, and I applaud you.  Hell, let's go out to coffee and wax lyrical about gel liner vs liquid.  We'll be best friends for life!  The 'artists' with questionable skills - well, I'll deal with that in another blog.

It does raise an issue though, which was recently brought to light after a now infamous post about beauty bloggers been given press passes at industry events.  Where do we draw the line?  What defines a 'professional' compared to an 'enthusiast'?  And who should have access to what?

My first taste of this dilemma was while attending IMATS in Sydney last year.  For those who aren't already aware, IMATS (International Makeup Artists Trade Show) is open to the public - it's not a trade-only show.  I went there with the intention of stocking my entire kit (and I did just that, thanks very much!).  I had already researched every brand that was going to be there, I knew what I was after and I knew what questions I wanted to ask.  Yes, I'm a makeup nerd.

While standing at Media Makeup I waited patiently for someone to assist me.  They were BUSY, as were almost every major brand.  Which is fine.  I waited.  When finally served by a lovely lady (gosh I wish I remembered her name) she helped me choose between foundations for my needs, chose a range of colours for my kit, and assisted with some other products.  She was amazing.  What was NOT amazing was the three or four girls who kept INTERRUPTING me to ask the sales assistant to colour match a foundation FOR THEMSELVES.  I'm sorry but I waited in line, and now it's my turn.  I was spending a lot of money for a professional kit and needed help.  I would have only been with her for maybe 10mins in total, but I had a lot of questions.  I needed her attention.  The testers were there on the counter - if you've come to a makeup artist trade show, I would hope that you could successfully chose your own foundation colour.  Geez.

Everywhere I went I started to encounter the same problem.  I would be queuing up to buy hundreds of dollars worth of product, and I would have to wait for the girl in front of me to have a colour recommendations for her personal use.  This may be really bitchy of me, but this is not the time or place to discover if green eyeshadow suits you.  It's a professional event, not the cosmetics department at David Jones. It annoyed me even more when I would be in workshops that I had to cram into the back to see, and the questions asked of the presenters or panelists were so basic a simple Google could have given them the answer.  WHY go to a professional event if you don't have basic knowledge??  I just don't understand it.

This made me wonder why IMATS isn't a trade-only event.  But as I asked before - where do you draw the line?  A business card would certainly allow makeup artists and hair stylists in, but what about beauty bloggers?  Some have very professional blogs and have a great knowledge and passion for makeup, but they wouldn't have a business card.  Some bloggers are not professional.  Again - where do you draw the line?

I get it.  The discounts are great.  It's brands that can be hard to get in Australia.  It's a buzz to have an inside look into the industry.  But I'm trying to establish relationships with vendors whom I will potentially be making multiple orders with throughout the year, and I'm fighting for their time against people who are usually one-off purchasers.

Personally, I think IMATS needs to have a trade-only DAY.  Extend the show to three days, and have Friday as a trade-only day.  Keep workshops at a professional level, allow artists to look at products and speak to vendors in a professional capacity.  Then the weekend can be open to the public, workshops could be on a more basic or generic level.

Is this elitist?  I don't think so.  Reports from around the world complain about crowds at IMATS, and it is such a turn off for so many people.  If we somehow separate the masses, then not only do the attendees get better service but the vendors know who their market will generally be on the day.

But this goes beyond IMATS.  One of my suppliers whom I adore immensely is running a series of workshops, one of which I attended last night.  Afterwards she mentioned to some of us that she would do a bridal workshop, and open it to non-MUAs due to the huge number of requests from non-pros.  This is great in theory, but after she left a few of us raised concerns about it.  Firstly, how much of the workshop would be used explaining basic techniques and products?  If I went along and spent the evening listening to basic foundation matching and how to apply lashes I'd feel really cheated.  And secondly, how many of these non-pros would then go out after a 2 hour workshop and think they could become a bridal MUA?  But the question remains - where do you draw the line?  A self-taught artist might come along for some hands-on training, and then be right to go.  Others would think they know it all after seeing one application on one face.  And if you've ever seen a pro at work, they make it look easy.

I'm not saying that I have the answer.  And any time a group of people are excluded from anything they feel entitled to bad feelings will arise.  But we need to ensure the quality of our industry, and a line does need to be drawn occasionally.

I just had to get that off my chest.  I await the slander.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Blog Formerly Known As...

So I've changed the name of this blog to My Brilliant Makeup Career (for those not aware, it's a play on the classic Australian novel and movie 'My Brilliant Career'.  I'm not big-noting myself!!).

I found that once I started blogging I wanted to be really honest - about my experiences, about my career, about the good times AND the bad times.  And I felt that by putting my business name on the blog I was restricting myself in case a potential client came across it and lost faith in my skills.

So Bella Chic Makeup Artistry will have a new blog, but it will be geared towards my private clients and stuff they might like to know.  MBMC will be about my 'journey' (god, that's so The Biggest Loser) into my new career.

Now I can REALLY tell you all the bad stuff.... only kidding  ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feast or Famine

I'm either dead quiet or I'm turning work away... it's crazy!  I've had no work for a few weeks (that was kind of by choice... I didn't go chasing anything either) but now I've got 4 gigs this weekend!  I'm excited about them all, they're all very different and will be great experience  First up is a fashion show tonight - I haven't done a lot of runway and this will be my first with experienced models, so I'm excited!  I believe there is a bachelor auction as well, so hopefully they'll be some eye candy as well... that never hurts  :)

It got me thinking though (and sorry for going all Jerry Springer on you) - this is what it will be like when it's my sole source of income.  I'll be flooded with work (hopefully!) and then it will die down again.  Coming from a background of steady employment, this makes me really nervous.  And it's something that although I've known about it and I've accepted that it's part of being a freelance artist, I've never considered ALL the implications it has.  Like - will I be able plan a holiday and then be able to save enough money?  What happens if I fall and break my arm during the busy season, and therefore can't earn what I need to survive?  If I decide to move to another city, how long will it take me to get established again and get work?

Even with all the research I did into this career before I made the switch, even through all my study and work experience, there are some things that you just don't realise until you're on the job.  Or you may realise them, but you don't take them too seriously.  Maybe it's the wisdom that comes with experience - as much as you can tell someone that it is so, you just need to figure it out for yourself.

Take care of yourselves. And each other.  :P
BC  xx

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Allan Border Medal wrap up

Sporting awards ceremonies are always interesting times for fashionistas.  The WAGs seem disgruntled that the focus is on the men, so it's usually a boob bonanza and dress splits till Thursday.  I personally think that cricket is a little more refined than football, and had high hopes for some gorgeous gowns.

As much as I *liked* a lot of the dresses worn by the ladies, there wasn't anything that totally wowed me.  And normally this would make me sad - but it IS about the men on this one night, so I actually think it's a great thing.  Most stayed classy and understated.... most.

Enter Hayley Bracken.

Oh dear lord, who thought this was a good idea??  It just screams 'look-at-me-pageant-queen'.  Which is quite ironic, since she apparently plans to wear this 'self-designed' (uh oh) gown at the Miss World Australia AND the Miss Globe Australia pageants.  WHY would you debut such a memorable dress BEFORE the pageants??  And WHY wear the same memorable dress to TWO??  Clearly she's also trialling the bigger-than-Texas hair and OTT cheesy grin.

Have some style, girl.  You're meant to be supporting your successful husband, not putting your own goodies out on display.  I will go on record to say that I DO NOT like this sort of upstaging AT ALL.

One of my most hated upstagers from last year's event was Jessica Bratich, who wore a gown that *oops* revealed her underwear.  She of course claimed that it wasn't meant to happen... but yet she wore coloured underwear... if you want to hide your underwear you wear nude colours, don't you??  Anyway, look at what 12 months and an engagement ring can do:

Ahh... that's better.  Although not great - the dense sparkles make it look like her boobs look tiny and out of proportion.  I think if that panel was slightly larger, or maybe the crystals weren't quite so dense it would have been more flattering.  But in general a massive leap forward.  Loving the hair clip as well - such a wearable look, and an easy way to dress up hair for a special night out.

Other notable mentions for me include:
What's a cricket event without Lara Bingle?  Love the white Michelle Jank dress, but it's the straight from the runway Chanel fake tattoos that really set the outfit on fire.  She's also showing off some sexy skin, yet remaining classy and demure.  Nice work.  A simple bronze smoky eye and golden cheeks set the dress off nicely (too dark and it would have bordered on vampy), and a simple bun pulls focus to the face and keeps the look understated.  Hayley Bracken - take note.

Lee Furlong, I just love you.  This subscribes to the Lara Bingle 'understated class' theory of dressing, and I think it works just as well.  Keeping the neckline high but with a plunging back gives the audience an unexpected treat, and the messy low bun highlights this feature.  Makeup is classy and sophisticated.  High fives all round.

Rhianna Ponting is one I normally don't look at, but this silhouette at the back is just divine.  The angles just make it geometrically sexy.  I imagine there will be some brides copying this look - after all, when you're walking down an aisle everyone's looking at your rear view.  Why not make it spectacular!

Now it wasn't all black and white - here are my favourites:
Amy Hussey was a bright spark in this great turquoise dress and sparkly chandelier earrings and clutch.  Katrina Quaine is a face I'm not familiar with, but her soft rainbow dress will make me look for her again.  The side pony is great, but the eyeshadow seems to be a little too frosty for my tastes - but I'll forgive her for that.

All in all, it was a great night, with a lot of the ladies hitting the mark.  Hopefully they are starting to realise that an awards ceremony is not their chance to get noticed by Zoo Magazine.

Did you have any favourites?
BC  xx

Monday, February 15, 2010

Epic makeup FAIL....

I couldn't help but post this, because I've been giggling for about 10 minutes about this.

The eternal self promoter that is Napoleon Perdis is currently in New York for Fashion Week.  Follow him on Twitter (@napoleonperdis) and you'll find he has an assistant (winner of his reality contest maybe??) taking pic after pic of the models backstage that he is making up.

One tweet that caught my eye was of him working on Shenae Grimes from 90210 - rather proud he was!  Gotta love a celebrity endorsement!!

So you can imagine my amusement when I check out one of my favourite blogs ( to find this little gem, under the title 'Epic Makeup Fail':

Oh no!  She's been Napoleoned!!  Those cheeks... those lips... those eyes... it's just BAD.

Moral of the story is - if you Tweet it, make sure it's good!!

BC  xx

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Website is.... ONLINE!

It's finally done! Let me know what you think  :)

Check it out -

BC  xx

Monday, February 8, 2010

20th post - and new pics!

Hooray for my 20th post!  In celebration I bring you some images from my shoot with photographer Geoff Francis (whose work I just adore - he's so talented, and great with beauty work!) and model Miyuki.  It was a fun, 60's themed shoot which was pretty challenging for me as I've never had to do this style before, but I'm pretty happy with the results. 

We decided that we would work on two different looks - one traditional 60's look, then work on a more 'broken' look for contrast.  You'll see what I mean.  Miyuki and Geoff were a dream to work with, the shoot was so relaxed and we all had a great time!



What do you think?
BC  xx

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More work images for you all!

Hey everyone!  Since my website is taking a while to be completed, I thought I would post some images on her of brides and formal girls for anyone who was interested in hiring me!  If you want to ask me anything you can email me at and I'll get back to you pretty quickly.


I'm a total magazine junkie. I love them. I read them cover-to-cover, and then refer back to them when I need to. A good magazine should be inspirational, relevant, well-written and not conform to any 'formula'.

I used to be so obsessed that I could tell you on any day what week of the monthly 'cycle' we were in, what was coming out that week and on what day. I would regularly buy 9 mags every month (Cleo, Cosmo, New Woman, Marie Claire, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Madison, In Style, Woman's Health) and have enormous stacks in my living room. Then I just got over it - the articles were always the same, the recommendations were false ($$$) and they all became bland to me. Cue a few months of being magazine-free, and a reassessment of what I wanted. Now I buy selectively, and I feel a lot better for it.

I may be a bit slow on the uptake here, but I'm only just getting into international magazines. I must say that Brisbane isn't great for foreign selection - the only real option we have is a trip to Borders. Oh, what I would give for a Mag Nation up here... anyway, I'm so disgruntled with most Australian magazines that I hardly bother with anything beyond Madison and occasionally Marie Claire.

Vogue has disappointed me month after month with their obvious choices and shoots lacking inspiration or innovation. The final straw was the current March 2010 issue - which any fashionista worth her stilettos knows should be the beginning of the autumn editions, looking at layering and light jackets to stretch the summer wardrobe out for a little bit longer. So what do Vogue Australia do? HAVE A SUMMER ISSUE. Aside from the fact that most retailers have moved on from the summer season and are starting to stock knits and boots, Vogue is meant to be a trend-setter. The go-to mag for the new season. So why are we looking back??

Luckily I have bought two FABULOUS magazines lately that have restored my faith. I've never bought either of these before, and it's really inspired me to be more eclectic in my choices.

1. Culture Yearbook 2010 - wow, this packs a punch! A mainly hair-focused magazine from Australia, it showcases hot new talent alongside veterans in the industry. For me the makeup in the editorials was just phenomenal, and I already have plans to recreate some of the looks in some fashion shoots. Creative, on-trend and inspiring. Everything I love.

2. In Beauty - This. Is. Amazing. A summary of all the hair and makeup looks from the Spring/Summer runways all over the world. Oh god, it's just.... amazing. So inspirational, and so ahead of the trends. It cost me dearly ($50 at Borders - ouch!) but I'll be getting this magazine every time.
(Thanks to Jessica Jean Myers for the image below -

So tell me - what are your favourite magazines?
BC xx

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Need... more... blogs...

Well now that my work has blocked Model Mayhem access (oh no!!) my entertainment for the day relies on blogs. But I need more to follow!! Any recommendations for beauty/MUA/fashion blogs?

BC xx

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Heart Assisting

I really do. I get something out of EVERY experience. I love watching other artists work, watching their techniques, their setup, their setiquette, and the answers to my many questions! I also tend to have certain things that I want to focus on, so instead of learning a little bit of everything I pay attention to a small number of things that I can remember and take away with me.

This year I want to do a LOT more assisting work, with as many different artists (and as many different genres) as I can get my hands on. I want to try everything that I can possibly experience before I try to specialise my skills. I might love beauty work now, but then I'll work on a TV set and just fall in love. Or I'll dabble in SFX and be really good at it. Who knows?

I had the opportunity to assist the oh-so-lovely Rachael today on a corporate makeup job. She is not just a MUA, but owner of Makeup and Glow ( which is where I buy 85% of my products. Forever patient when I bug her with millions of questions, and an amazing artist to boot. Although today was quite a simple, natural look for two lovely ladies I had three things I was focused on learning more about:

1. Kit organisation - I want to make mine smaller and lighter, which she has successfully done. Palettes seem to be the key, as well as see-through bags to find everything quickly. It's also in a small wheeled suitcase, small enough to be carry-on on flights. I want that.

2. Eye technique - I've lost a lot of confidence since experiencing some unusual eye shapes lately. I did speak to Rachael about maybe having a private lesson on this, but she's so busy I may just have to pick her brain occasionally. It was great to see her colour choices on the mature ladies, and the way she did eyeliner.

3. Foundation - I am OBSESSED with foundation, as I always think I don't have the right product for the job. Rachael's priming technique was something I'll definitely take away with me (one primer for face, one for under eye - brilliant!), as well as adding a Beauty Blender to my shopping list. I also want to experiment more with my Graftobian palette, and look into the Yaby cream foundations.

So a massive THANK YOU to Rachael for letting me tag along, and being so free and open with her wisdom and experience. Looking forward to doing it again!

What tips have you picked up from working with other artists?
BC xx

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's the point?

I was talking to a good friend of mine, and while chatting about my business I mentioned this little blog of mine. 'Oh, so you're going to be posting video tutorials and reviews and stuff?' Um, not necessarily. 'Well... what's the point then?'

I've seen the sharp incline in these types of blogs (and YouTube channels) over the last 12 months, and while I think that they can be really useful that's not what I intended this blog to be about. Sure, I may throw an opinion out here and there, but this is more about me documenting my new career and talking about the things I love (being makeup, beauty, occasionally fashion but I think I'm a bit challenged in that area!).

I know when I was first starting out I looked for any day-to-day info from MUAs about their life, their challenges, their successses. And I didn't find anything. So maybe someone will read this and get some insight into this career, or maybe not. I'm just enjoying having somewhere to write my thoughts.

Maybe in the future I will start a review/tutorial blog/channel, but I would probably start anew.

And to my four followers - you could be the most valued followers in the world :)
BC xx

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Speed bumps

Although I am aware that I am in the baby stages of my new career, I can't help but want to excel straightaway. Silly, but true. And now that I have the beginnings of a portfolio (yay!) and am about to start advertising more for brides and other private clients (yay yay!!) I'm trying to choose my best images for promotional purposes. And let me tell you - I'm having a rough time.

After doing so many shoots and working every weekend for free, I thought I would have a plethora of work to show for it. And that part is true. But the quality just isn't there. Sometimes I feel it's my work that lets the images down, others I feel the photographer/model just hasn't captured the concept. Or the worst ones are the images that I thought were really good, and then I get feedback telling me otherwise.

It's quite disheartening to look at six month's worth of time, effort and product and have so little to show for it. It's hard to stay positive and enthusiastic when it seems that you always have so far to go. It's even making me nervous about taking on private clients - am I ready? Can I give them what they want? Will they be happy with my work?

I know this is a passing notion and something will happen soon to lift my spirits and confidence back up and all will be right with the world again. But I'm starting to realise that this road is probably a little bit longer and tougher than I originally thought. I need to start focusing on the positives that have already occured to remind me how far I have come and what I have already achieved, and this can buoy me up on the days where the glass is half empty.

So my list of achievements so far includes:

* Finishing my Cert IV in Makeup - five months of after-work and weekend study was a social-life-killer and relationship strain. By the end I was sleep-deprived, emotionally exhausted and totally broke. But I got through it and now I have my first tertiary qualification!

* Racking up almost 60 hours of work experience in 2.5 months - the requirement for my course was 40 hours. I smashed it. Hell yeah!

* Registering my business name. Seems silly, but the day I walked out of the Office of Fair Trading with a certificate claiming that Bella Chic officially existed was amazing. That's the moment it became 'real' to me.

* My first 'nailed it!' moment - at my second-ever photo shoot, when we were taking the last images after three outfit changes. The photographer and model were just amazed by what I had done (even though I look back now and cringe!) and as I watched the model pose I got shivers. I had nailed it. And it felt amazing!!

* My first 'OMG - that's MY work?!?' moment - opening an email from a photographer after a shoot that I was so excited to work on, and the images were better than I ever thought they would be. Again, I look back now and see improvements that could have been made, but it's about the feeling I got opening those files and gasping out loud.

* My first portfolio - I only blogged about this a few weeks ago, but creating my portfolio was really magical for me. It was the first time seeing my work in print instead of just on screen, and it really changed my view of the images (some were better, some were worse). But it also made me feel like a real 'artist' in comparison to a 'hobbyist'.

What are your achievements to date??
BC xx

Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook Fan Page is up!!

Hooray! I've decided to launch my fan page before my website is completed (which, rumour has it, will be up and running this week - eek!!). I need to start generating a stronger web presence if I'm going to start booking some gigs!

So if you're on Facebook come and be my fan!!

Tomorrow I'll be getting my Australian on at my boyfriend's barbeque - listening to the Hottest 100 countdown and eating lamingtons. Looking forward to a relaxing day :)

What are you doing on Australia Day?
BC xx

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eyebrow Threading

I took my overgrown, disgusting eyebrows to get threaded for the first time last night. My last wax was terrible so they needed a good reshape.

Firstly - OUCH!! Oh my god!! That was SO FREAKING PAINFUL!! (Ok, I'll back down from the hysterics) Seriously though, I've had my brows waxed many times and while it's not a fabulous feeling, it's easily bearable. This was not. If I wasn't such a pansy I would have asked my therapist to stop because I needed a break. Wow. Whoever said it didn't hurt at all have no nerve endings in their face. My skin was still tender when I went to put my makeup on this morning.

Secondly - my therapist didn't ask me what shape I wanted. That does not make me happy. While the shape is ok, I would have preferred some consultation. It's more 'rounded' than I prefer (I like a sharper arch).

Thirdly (is that even a word) - when they say get every hair, they mean every single one. Usually after a wax I come home and find a few that I have to pluck out myself, which makes me wonder why I just paid someone in the first place. But this is really amazing. And they said that they can thread hair that has just broken the surface, not like waxing where it has to be a certain length to grip. So that's really great to know!

So was it worth it? I say yes, although I don't think I'd go back with fully grown-out brows. I'd probably wax/pluck all the obvious hairs out and just go to get the shape re-done. I'll report back on what the regrowth is like, but for now it's left me baby-smooth. And when I go back I'll ask for a different therapist.

Anyone else had threading done?? Let me know how you went!
BC xx

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Golden Globes Wrap Up - Hair and Makeup

Well I feel really slack and a bit late on the bandwagon - I should have had this up moments after the ceremony, apparently! But working full time doesn't give you a lot of luxurious time to be doing this kind of stuff. I wish it did!!

Anyway, onto the Golden Globes hair and makeup. In general - eh. It's all been done before. Nothing revolutionary, which was also reflective of the dresses. I read one columnist who complained about the lack of drama and scandal when it came to the GGs this year - and as the week wears on and I look at gallery upon gallery, I tend to agree.

But the best news about that is that most of the looks are both wearable and easily copied by DIY-ers. I expect to start getting requests for some of these looks when the formal season start rolling around.


* Smokey eyes - geez, what a surprise. They're a feature at every red carpet event, but it's all about doing them right for your eye shape. And balancing with the rest of your makeup is key. I thought Sandra did this well, and especially avoiding the black-eye look. A light eyeshadow in the inner corner and mobile lid keeps the eye looking fresh and open.

* Red lips - again, another staple, but again - hot. Keep your eyes low-key and make it all about your lips.

* Natural look - sometimes this can look underdressed at big events, but with all the soft tones in the clothes it was a perfect choice. As much as I didn't love Drew's outfit, her makeup was gorgeous. Sometimes a hint of colour is all you need.

* Fallen-out hair - ugh, this is one of my biggest gripes. And apparently everyone loves it except me. People who look like they've either curled their hair but it's all fallen out, or they just haven't brushed their hair after getting out of bed. It can work on certain occasions, but for pete's sake, not on a red carpet!!

* Waves - Rose Byrne did this well, except I would have liked a little more serum over the ends to stop it getting a little frizzy. Classic and classy.

* Slick ponytail - now this wasn't a great feature, but after Heather Graham did it I expect to see it more often. The type of hairdo you can easily do yourself and look fabulous. Just make sure your face can take the attention (mine can't - high forehead and round cheeks mean I look like a fat, balding child).

* Headbands - clearly January Jones got on this bandwagon (see Red Lips above), but my favourite was Carey Milligan. Oh-so-cute - makes me (almost) want to chop my hair off! Formal trend alert again!! Never say you can't do anything with a short crop - this was gorgeous.

And the award for BC's Favourite All-Round Look goes to.....

Lea Michelle from Glee!!
Uh, I just sighed when I saw this whole getup. Age appropriate (can you tell I'm big on that??), timeless and just beautiful. Yet her updo saved the whole look from being dowdy - if I was going to a formal, that's the hair I would want. It looked like some kind of fishplait that was tucked underneath, but it was just loose and 'undone' enough to avoid being too contrived. Congratulations for not going to your first GGs and feeling the need to go overboard. Every new actress on Neighbours and Home & Away this year should take note.

Anyway, that's my thoughts! What did you think??
BC xx

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden Globes Wrap Up - Fashion

I had a GREAT day yesterday - didn't go to work because I burnt my fingers (long story, let's just say I'm a klutz) so I got to spend the whole day in front of the TV watching the Golden Globes! I tweeted my way through the red carpet (@counterobsess) and it seems that my fashion observations were somewhat opposing to so-called experts. Clearly I have a lot to learn!

In general, the fashion trends I spotted (and loved) were:

* Soft tones - the red carpet was awash with blush, peach, white, champagne, grey, pastels... you get the idea. If you've got the skin tone for soft colours then it's your season. Drew Barrymore looked really pretty, but I didn't like the barnacles on her shoulder and hip.

* Purple - a few purple dresses were thrown in for good measure - think Sandra Bullock, Rose Byrne and Jane Krakowski. Now THIS is a colour I can get into! It looks so regal and elegant.

* Ruffles - woah, it was ruffles galore! I love a well-placed ruffle, it's feminine and romantic yet modern and stylish.

* One Shoulder - yes, for another season the one shoulder is a popular choice. And why not? More modest than the strapless option, yet still showing off enough skin to be sexy. And no need for the always-elegant, my-dress-is-falling tug to avoid the girls coming out to play.

* Cocktail length - if you've got the legs, this is a hot alternative to the typical floor-length evening gown. I think it's a really youthful interpretation of red carpet attire. Ginnifer Goodwin and Kristen Bell (whom I thought looked amazing in every way) showed that a bit of leg can still be appropriate.

The one trend that was EVERYWHERE but I did not warm to at all was the shiny-shiny-look-at-me fabrics. Giuliana from E! looked like she was wearing alfoil. And I remember one of the guys from Glee in a shiny suit. No no no no.

Will post about hair and makeup next... which is my favourite!! :D
BC xx

Monday, January 18, 2010


Wow, big weekend! Started with my shoot on Thursday (which you may recall that I was REALLY nervous about!). After a false start (where I has to remove the cake liner from the crease because it looked like a three-year-old had applied it) I got my mojo back and I think I did a decent job! The model and photographer seemed really happy with my work, and the proofs I've seen so far seem good! A nice addition to my port that shows a different side to my artistry.

Koren B - after a lot of practice in my bathroom I made the tear tracks using cake liner and water! I had a small container with water and I mixed a little bit of the cake liner in so the water looked cloudy, then used a fine brush to pick up as much as I could and place it where I wanted the tear to fall. Worked a treat ;)

After moving on Friday (which went smoothly, but I'm still unpacking due to extreme procrastination) I went to my first bridal expo. As a guest, not an exhibitor! It was... an interesting experience. My first impression was crowded, hot, manic. Narrow aisles made it difficult to move and the failing air conditioning was having trouble clearing the slight hint of desperation in the air. The brides were clearly there to get a bargain, and I would imagine that most decisions re: hair/makeup would be based mainly on price. I understand that from their point of view, but I don't want to have to drop prices if someone else is cheaper. And I don't know if my nerves could handle the crowds and the general craziness.

I did a shoot on Sunday but I'll blog on that later - I've got the Golden Globes red carpet to watch!!

BC xx

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Really nervous about my shoot tonight! It's with an amazing photographer whom I want to work with a lot in the future (shall remain nameless until I see how the shoot goes!) and the concept is a super-stylised 60's Twiggy/Edie Sedgewick look. Lots of liner and lashes, and as the shoot progresses the plan is to 'break down' the look so it's more tragic and sad - think tear tracks, smudged lipstick, messed hair.

I've never done something like this before, so I'm nervous to see if I can actually pull it off. They symmetry required is probably what I'm most nervous about, since it'll be really obvious if it's wrong. And I don't like relying on Photoshop to fix my mistakes.

Then after a late shoot tonight I get to spend tomorrow - moving! Argh!! Haven't done any packing of course... where's the fun in that?? ;)

BC xx

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something is a-stirring...

I don't want to get anyone's hopes up (well, I'm the only one who really cares!!) but I actually believe that my website is in the process of being created!


For a little background information, my brother just happens to be a rather talented IT guy who kindly offered to design my business cards and build my website. Now he does have (more than) full time work and whatnot, so he's a busy bee. But my original plan was to launch before December 1st so it was online before the end of my makeup course. Then he got busy.... so it was mid December... and now it's mid January....

It's been a bit frustrating just because I've held off all my advertising to private clients (brides, formal girls etc.) until I've had a website. I just feel that for a MUA a website is such a strong tool - people can instantly see examples of your work and get an idea about you as an artist. And they can feel confident that yes, I've done this many times before. I won't make you look like a drag queen/80's reject/Barbie doll (unless that's what you want of course!!).

But last night I got a strange email from Wordpress telling me that a blog was created... which I thought may have been a virus/spam, but after checking with my brother it's all his doing. And my website looks a little different, although nothing is posted up as yet.

So two good pieces of news come out of this:
1. My website is on its way, and
2. Looks like this blog won't be the one on my website! Why is this good? I've only posted a handful of entries, but I've really enjoyed this outlet for saying whatever is on my mind and documenting this whole process of starting my new career. And there are things that I want to post here that I wouldn't particularly want my private clients to read! If I want to whinge about something I want to do it without fear that it will turn a bride away from my business. So this will hopefully be my personal account of my MUA life, and the other can be my business-related one (full of tips and advice for regular consumers).

Exciting times ahead!! I wonder how long until I see something....
BC xx

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another week begins...

Happy Monday everyone! I am pleased to report that my arm held up during my busy weekend. I suspect that it's not my makeup work that aggravates it but my computer work during the week. Yet another reason I should look forward to being a full time MUA :)

So I had three shoots over the weekend, all which seemed to go well. The photographers were happy with the shots, which is what I always aim for. I've learnt to pester them to give me feedback after some test shots, because often they're so in the 'zone' and concentrating on lighting, pose etc. that they forget to check that the makeup is what they want. A small change in lip colour or face powder can take me 10 seconds to fix, or the photographer can spend 30 minutes in post production fixing it. I know which one I prefer!

I'm moving on Friday, which will be great fun in the January heat. So this week is all about throwing out as much as possible so I don't have to pack it! I'm sacrificing almost three years worth of magazines, which makes me a bit sad - but I'm going through them all to tear out images and looks that I want to recreate, so I get to re-read them! I stayed up WAY past my bedtime doing old Cleo quizzes... and then re-doing them until I got the answer I wanted :)

Skincare update - no time to go shopping at the moment, but I gave my mum a starter pack from Aesop for Christmas and she can't stop RAVING about it. Her skin has always been 'nice', but now it's just so smooth and plump and divine. So I think they will be my first stop for a new moisturiser at least. I like the idea of keeping my skincare as natural as possible, while still being effective.

Hope you all have a great week!
BC xx

Friday, January 8, 2010

Luck ain't my lady tonight...

Of course it had to happen...

Three shoots lined up this weekend. One with a new photographer that I really admire and want to do a lot more work with in the future. Tightly packed schedule for the next two weeks between work, shoots and moving house.

So today is the day that I seriously injure my entire right arm.

It's an old ergonomic injury, from years of typing and sitting at desks that usually are designed for decoration more than function. But it means that until I have time to see a physio, I have severe shooting pains down my right shoulder and arm, down to my fingers.

This is not good. This is not good at all.

Short term solution - heat pack, physio exercises, whinge to my boyfriend until he makes me feel better. Carry everything on my left side (oh, to have a kit on wheels....). Minimise use of my right arm. Being right handed, that makes me smirk.

Will report back after the weekend as to how it's gone. Cross fingers and toes that I can smile and get through it!!

BC xx

Monday, January 4, 2010

Some images for you!

Thought I would share with you some images from my newly-printed portfolio!
Please feel free to comment, I haven't had much feedback on the images so any thoughts (compliments or constructive criticism!) are more than welcome!

Click the image to see a larger version. Enjoy!!
BC xx

Massive step forward!

Following my previous post on New Years resolutions, I'm capitalising on my current motivation and kicking my own butt into gear. So yesterday I purchased my portfolio folder, and printed 11 photos to put into it!!

*happy dance*

It's quite amazing to see my work in print. It's totally different to seeing it on the computer monitor. Everything is so crisp and clear, colours are more true, and it feels more.... real. Like this is actually a job for me, not just an expensive hobby!!

I know a lot of new makeup artists struggle to find a portfolio folder that they like and that fits the print sizes that we need. I chose to print 8x12 because I wanted them to be a decent size but not quite the industry standard 11x14 (just in case they didn't turn out!). I soon found out that 8x12 is about 3mm too long for a standard A4 size book. But my salvation came in the most unlikely aisle of Kmart - scrapbooking! I found a 12x12 black covered scrapbooking album which is just perfect! It also means that I can insert my pictures landscape OR portrait and they will still fit. The album and the 6 black backing sheets cost a total of $14.50 - even better!!

As for the images, there are some that I've already marked as the first to get replaced when I get new images. Others I just adore. But to have a folder of 11 images to show people is just magic. Even though it's just been my family so far!!

It's a small step, but it's in the right direction - so I'm really happy :)

Hope you achieved something today, however small!
BC xx

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions for a new year

Well New Years Eve came and went, so now it's 2010! I must admit I'm a sucker for NY resolutions, so I thought I would share some of my beauty-related ones:

1. Find a new skincare regimen and stick to it - sometimes I can be a 'do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do' kinda gal, and skincare is my biggest failure. After six months of overcleansing (thanks to my makeup class, I could be cleansing my skin up to four times a day!), testing random products and occasionally sleeping with my makeup still on (oh, the shame...) it's time to get my skin in order. I'll be looking for a range that will help tame my oil production but keep my dehydration in check, whilst preventing early signs of aging. Any suggestions are welcome, otherwise keep an eye out for future skincare posts :)

2. Diversify my makeup portfolio - aah, the neverending quest for the perfect portfolio. I want to keep challenging myself to always strive to add something 'different' to my images, rather than multiple copies of the same techniques. By the end of this year I would also love to have created my own 'series' of images.

3. Work on a film/TV shoot - this is the one area that I have had little to no exposure to, and I would dearly love to try! When I started this new career I made a promise to myself that I would try every genre of makeup artistry before I decided what I wanted to specialise in. I've done a lot of print photography work, worked on a runway show and of course had a ball working with private clients, but film and TV has been rather elusive to date. Once I've finished with my current run of photo shoots, this will be my next focus.

So that's some of my goals for 2010 - what can I say, I like having a plan! Feel free to share some of your goals for the next 12 months, or even longer.

Best wishes to you all for the coming year :)
BC xx