Modern Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe has been appointed the new global ambassador for Max Factor. I’m not sure what I think about Marilyn’s posthumous new job – particularly as the brand is taking credit for the iconic Marilyn ‘look’. This is a dubious claim with little corroborative evidence. The credit for Marilyn’s make-up goes partly to her first agent Emmeline Snively, who suggested she dye her hair platinum blonde, her make-up artist of many years, Whitey Snyder, and Norma Jean herself. However, there are some tricks from Marilyn’s classic look that are still relevant today. Whitey Snyder used to pat a little white powder to the centre of her lips to make them look plump and luscious. I’ve utilised Whitey’s secrets and dabbed Ambient Lighting powder to an orange-red lip. I love sharp, winged eyeliner to complete the classic, retro look. […]

January Blues Makeup

January sucks. No matter how I try to put a positive spin on the first month of the year, it’s inevitably rubbish. Rather than shoehorning myself into a fake good mood, I’ve decided to embrace January and wallow in the wistful melancholy of winter. I’m hauled up at home, working from my kitchen table and listening to poignant country songs. I’m a fan of First Aid Kit and this version of Emmylou is one of my favourites. They’re playing in London at the end of the month. Despite my self-indulgent, Country-Western inspired sorrow, I find doing my make-up cheering. I’ve gone for gold and bronze tones to lift my vampire skin and a feline flick to match my guest star, Cleo the kitten. Here’s the list of products I’ve used: Nars Sheer Glow […]

Smoke House

Over the last couple of years I have become obsessed with makeup, in fact a friend of a friend who has been following my blog asked if I had indulged in a little plastic surgery. This isn’t true, I haven’t gone under the knife or had botox. I think the reason why she might have thought that I had work done is because I have got to grips with the transformative power of make-up. Unfortunately, all of my favourite brands are on the expensive side – Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, Lipstick Queen, Nars, Kevyn Aucoin, and Tom Ford line my fantasy make-up bag. If I had the money, I would be constantly buying the latest and greatest products on the market. That said, there is loads of excellent stuff available at a lower price point – […]


There’s something about Autumn that calls for dark lipstick. Merlot and berry shades feel too heavy for summer but the as the nights draw in and halloween being around the corner, it’s the perfect time for gothic lipstick. I personally like a matt finish – I’ve tried glossy berry shades but I’ve always ended up in a sticky mess with it smeared all over my teeth. Those of you who are less accident prone than I am might have more success with a shiny wine-red. The trick to finding the perfect shade is to contrast the colour with your skin tone – I have yellow tones in my skin so I need cooler shades with blue, pinkish undertones. My current shade is Entourage by Lipstick Queen. If your skin is of a cooler tone […]

Musical Makeup

When I put my makeup on I always listen to music and end up singing at full belt. It’s a little disconcerting for whoever happens to be in the house – I’m a one-person gospel choir. I love this track by Ray Charles because it reminds me of my best friend. I’ve done a super simple look that only uses four products and is in three simple steps. To make it even more user friendly, I’ve only used . I used Chanel Vitalumière-Aqua which is easy to build a smooth, light coverage. I applied a thin layer and then gone back in around my eyes and nose and used it as a concealer. I lined my lips with Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pink Venus. I love all Charlotte Tilbury products and this lipstick from […]

Smokey eyes for dummies

I love applying makeup – the ritual of sitting in front of the mirror and preparing for the day ahead gives me a moment to collect my (often scattered ) thoughts and gives me a tranquil breathing space. However, I’m rather hamfisted and lack the dexterous hands of a professional. This look is an idiot-proof smokey eye – you can pretty much smoosh the cream products on with impunity, as long as it’s all blended properly. In this video you get a rather unfortunate view up my nose for most of it’s duration. Also I expose my embarrassing, pouty  ‘mirror face’ which I never pull other than when I’m doing my makeup. Despite my rather clumsy technique, I hope you find this video useful. I think it demonstrates that any dullard can do […]

The Skin I live in

Since my early 20’s I’ve been prone to regular outbreaks of angry red spots. The insidious pustules bloomed across my cheeks and forehead at times of stress or as a penance for partying into the wee small hours. Said stress was often relieved by nocturnal merry-making, which in turn was followed with hangovers and more stress. The cycle of flawed coping mechanisms and bad skin trundled on uninterrupted. However, with the passage of time I’ve curbed my wild ways. Rather than spending my evenings knocking back gin, I while away my days drinking litre upon litre of water and kale smoothies. I am not smug about my new status as a boring old fart. I may not being raising hell on the streets of Soho anymore, but I’ve transferred my flawed coping mechanisms to other, less liver corroding habits.  And yet, the wretched spots clung to my […]

11 Lessons from my Dad

My darling Dad has died. I loved him to the ends of the earth and he loved me back just the same. These are the lessons he taught me, I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. They are his words; the words spoken so often to encourage, comfort and reassure. This isn’t general wisdom, rather advice that he tailor-made just for me. I love you Dad. 1) Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even in your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud and make other people laugh. It’s good for you. 2) Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid , blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one […]

Hello Dolly

In recent months, ‘no makeup’ selfies have sprouted up all over the internet, their purpose is to raise awareness of breast cancer. Cancer Research received £2 million pounds in 48 hours last month according to the Independent.  Since this flood of bare faces online, I’ve seen lots of messages from men, declaring that we women look far better without our makeup – ‘Natural beauty is best!’, ‘You look beautiful without it!’, ‘Don’t put all that slap on your face on our account!’. Although it’s lovely that men prefer a more natural face, I’m sorry to say that ‘no makeup’ selfies (in most cases, not all) are artfully posed with optimum flattering lighting, carefully orchestrated to douse the skin with the prettiest possible glow. Then there’s the addition of a flaw reducing filter which can […]

Silent Movie Makeup

I had rather grand ideas about doing a sage and well informed makeup tutorial. However, when I started talking to my camera I realised that I sounded like a 5-star fool. I’ve created a video that’s more like a slapstick silent movie than a slick and professional tutorial. None the less, I’ve covered my favourite new daytime look for spring, which is a warm and bronzy affair. As you will see, I’m by no means a makeup artist, rather an enthusiastic amateur. I’ve got a lot of small blemishes on my skin which I cover up using a method I learnt from working with makeup artists. I find the best way to do this is to use a light base, in this case I’ve mixed Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation with Vichy’s Idealia […]