Monday, 24 February 2014

Professional Beauty Warpaint 2014

The day finally came, the day I would be taking part in my first ever makeup competition. Today I headed down to London, makeup kit in tow with my model Beckie Bayliss. It was a journey and a half after not being able to park at Epping and having to drive further down the road to South Woodford instead. Then forgetting to take enough change for the car park and when we finally arrived at London Excel I found out I needed a pass for my model to get in, nobody informed me of that earlier! Somehow we got to the competition area with 20mins to spare. Though it was so hot while we were waiting to go in that poor Beckie almost fainted and we had to call a medic. After being removed from the area to help her cool down and give her the once over the medic said she was good to go ahead with the competition, she was such a trooper!! We were told the area would be quite chilly compared to the rest of the show so made sure to wrap up but it was quite warm to begin with as everyone was so busy.
I was in the Editorial category which meant I had to focus on perfect skin and contouring. The overall theme was Summer Holiday. I was inspired by the German photographer Agnieska Doroszewicz of created a series called Candy Girls. I used candy inspired by summers spent at the seaside to create my look.
I set my kit up and waited for the countdown to start. I made sure my table was kept tidy and I sanitised my hands throughout the 2 hours we had to create our look as I was being marked on hygiene. The judges came round several times and asked questions. I was the calmest I'd been all day, I find doing makeup so relaxing and it makes me incredibly happy to see it come together.
The brief for the show didn't state that an outfit was needed, nor accessories, but I created a headpiece, nails, and shoe decorations. The outfit was a last minute thought and in hindsight I should have spent more time on it. The hair was fashioned into an Afro style to resemble candy floss and took much longer than I thought to finish. I ended up using the entire 2 hours to create the whole look. We then had to wait an hour for the outcome. I received many amazing comments about the final look from the other competitors, judges and general public passing by.
I was gutted when my name wasn't called for 3rd, 2nd or 1st especially with all the work and thought that went into it. I stuck around though to receive feedback. I picked up my score sheet and was pleasantly surprised, I'd expected to see mostly negative comments but it was anything but.
"Best idea/inspiration I have seen. Amazing idea and inspiration, beautifully executed! Would be great to hold back slightly on one of the stages - less can be more - more attention to detail of the outfit and overall appearance." Judge Dani Guinsberg
"I love your reflection of the theme and it's great to see so much time, planning and thought has gone into the hair to complete the look. I really think your model's look could work with a major fashion house such as Mui Mui. I would have recommend a different dress to complete your look as this would have made your overall finish exceptional." Second judge, name note noted on scoring sheet.
Overall points I received..
16 Exceptionals
4 exceeds requirements
2 meets requirements
I am actually OVER THE MOON about those marks. Basically those 2 last points meant I just missed out on third place and it came down to my work station/hygiene (I didn't have a bin with lid on the floor and table could have been tidier). My makeup application, design, choice of model, blending and contouring received all exceptional marks. Not winning does not matter, knowing that my skills are good enough to compete in this strong industry is great news and will push me harder to make this my full-time career.
oX Wendy Xo

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo review


Yesterday I was preparing for a photo shoot in Anglia square, Norwich. I was super excited to be working with the fabulous Nikkala from NAphotography. Her work is outstanding and I had no idea she was a student, her work looks so professional. The night before she had asked me if I could use gold glitter on the models eyes to complement the outfit. I wasn't prepared for this as I don't often use glitter, It's my least favourite medium for makeup. This prompted a mad dash to Boots 10 minutes before I was due at the shoot. I grabbed the goldest product I could find (thank goodness for my points card).

I had not heard of Maybelline's new 24hr Color (spelt the American way) Tattoo until yesterday - I think I've been hiding under a rock! The shade I bought was 24k Gold and it was stunning, a dream to work with, and the colour was so bright even without a white base. Me being the sceptic, having not had much fun with creams in the past, applied a gold eye shadow over the top to set it. The above photos show the true colour of the cream eyeshadow, I have not edited or used and filters. 

My lovely model, Claire Gaskings, who I had the pleasure of working on had such big eyes. Claire is stunning, at only 17 she was incredibly professional and didn't complain once, not even when I could see she was starting to freeze. The shoot took over 4hrs at the Twilight club and the makeup stayed on the whole time. I only had to touch up the lips while shooting. I think it's the best makeup I've done so far and itching to see the final photos but I'll have to wait a few weeks until the editing is done.

oX Wendy Xo

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Panic attacks

This is something very personal to me. I have been a sufferer of Panic Attacks since I was 15. I felt compelled to write this post after a particularly stressful time and hope that other people suffering from this will understand what I'm going through. To those who have never had an attack I hope this will help you understand what it's like and how to help those around you if an attack comes on.

Let me start by saying it is NOT a way to seek attention. A friend of mine back in school forever had a paper bag against her mouth given by the teacher to aid breathing. The popular girls would make fun of her and call her a drama queen. At the time admittedly I felt the same way, I couldn't understand why she was always like that but I didn't tease her for it. Now I understand it was an attack often brought on by the girls teasing her.. bullying her.

You see some people can handle stress. Stresses like 'I'm going to miss the train?!' or 'I have a deadline and I'm not going to meet it!' are the kind of things most people shrug off and then go home at the end of the day to chill out with a glass of wine and Eastenders. We all deal with stress on a daily basis. Anxiety is different for everyone, some are just more sensitive to it. When I was 15 I was naturally going through my GCSEs (youngest in my class, hence 15 not 16). This feeling kept creeping up on me like I had to leave, now! It was a panic attack I didn't know I was having. I had to get out of school to feel better - Fight or flight. When we have a panic attack our bodies releases adrenaline. Adrenaline is released in our bodies all the time but for a panic attack sufferer it's like an fire alarm going off just because you opened the oven door. We have sensitive systems and stress is a trigger. I spent a lot of days skipping school to avoid being stressed. I didn't know then why I was having trouble staying in school.

So what is a Anxiety/Panic Attack?

It's a sudden feeling of dread, the urge to flee to the nearest exit and to find comfort in the familiar. It's like everyone is staring at you and your naked. You start breathing rapidly and then gasp for air like someone has just cut off your oxygen. For some, like myself, there are chest pains, feeling dizzy and faint, nauseous, numbness (I get this in my hands and feet), sweating, needing to go to the toilet, extreme emotions and uncontrollable crying. What's worse is the feeling of derealisation (unreality). 

Panic Attacks come on really quickly and peak after 10 minutes apparently. This is never the case. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. This is what I suffer from. It will always spiral until I can remove myself from whatever situation is causing it. I've found my car to be a safe place.

I've had panic attacks in a variety of places, airports, cars, on lunch breaks, shop floors, in bed at 2am. Once I was doing the weekly shop at Sainsbury's and half way round I started to get the feeling of dread. It was the middle of the afternoon and I was by myself in the middle of a busy supermarket. I left my trolly and went and sat in the toilets while my body went through the motions. This has happened on several occasions now when I'm doing everyday common things like shopping, cleaning, driving. I've been called a control freak and doctors have misdiagnosed me with depression.  
A control freak doesn't break down, clutching her chest, unable to breath because something didn't go according to plan. A person with depression doesn't need to go to the toilet frequently while feeling faint and sweating. I can't and haven't ever been drunk for fear of losing control and being sick and don't like to be around those who are so actively avoid nights out which involves a high consumption of alcohol. I find those situations stressful.
Celebrities who suffer -
  • Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp may be one of the most popular actors in the world, but that hasn't stopped him from suffering from panic attacks for years. The actor doesn't speak about them very often, but his struggles with panic disorder are well known.
  • Adele
The most famous singer in the world in 2011 and 2012 appears to have suffered from not only panic attacks, but also social phobia and severe stage fright. Performing in front of crowds of thousands can give anyone stage fright, but there is a strong likelihood that her anxiety attacks were an issue long before she ever stepped on stage.

  • Kim Basinger
Some people get their first panic attacks when they're severely stressed. Others get their first one out of the blue, with no way to see it coming. The latter is what happened to famous actress and model Kim Basinger, who had her first panic attack in the middle of a grocery store. Her panic attacks were so terrible that she developed agoraphobia and depression as a result.
So what can you do when a loved one or even a stranger has a anxiety attack?

1. Remain calm. Let them know you are there for them.
2. Do not be forceful. Be patient, and accepting. Telling them you think they are being silly, there's nothing to worry about won't help.
3. Offer a glass of water and a paper bag if you have one. They may not want it so again don't be forceful. 
4. I once had a panic attack in a cinema near the end of a film. My boyfriend at the time was fuming that I wanted to leave. If this happens to you stay positive for them. If you are part way through something don't make a big deal of it. You can do it again another time.
5. Remember they didn't choose to be this way.
6. Things to say as a panic attack happens: Tell me what you need now, breathe deeply and slowly.
DON'T tell them to calm down, stop being ridiculous, you can't go, pull yourself together, what's wrong with you?

7. Distracting them won't help. Oh look at what the cat is doing is not helpful.
8. Be supportive. Once the attack has passed they can feel down right depressed and lonely. Just being held sometimes works for me.

I hope this goes some way to helping you understand what I have to go through. Funnily enough the one thing I've found the most therapeutic is makeup. When I'm creating a look I can be surrounded by a 100 flapping models and artists and it doesn't faze me. This is why my pursuit of being a self-employed makeup artist means the whole world to me. I've finally found something that doesn't bring on an attack.

If someone you know doesn't understand panic attacks show them this blog post. If they still don't understand then do you really need them in your life? Surround yourself by people who do know you and will love you no matter what. Remember you are not alone. 

oX Wendy Xo

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tanya Burr Lip Gloss review

Happy Valentines Day my lovelies! I hope your spreading the love today. Give all your friends a great big hug, you don't need a boyfriend to celebrate :)
I finally got my unpolished talons on Tanya Burr's new makeup range available on Feel Unique and I think I'm right in saying soon to be in Superdrug. I've had to wait a little while as stocks were low... girls clearly cant get enough of this stunning makeup. What? You haven't heard of Tanya Burr?? She's a social whirlwind, buzzing round YouTube and dating Pixiwoos brother. An absolute stunner and I'm not jealous of her lips at all... nope... not. at. all....
I thought it would be apt to try the shade First Date from the lip gloss line and share with you my thoughts on this sickly sweet day. It boasts to be super moisturising, have incredible shine and rich pigment. Oh and to my surprise the gorgeous burst off strawberries up my nostrils. Now that's a fab way to spend the day, sniffing my lips. So if you see me walking down the street pouting I'm not sad, I'm trying to push my lips up to my nose haha. It has a thick consistency so can be worn alone. I'm wearing mine over my Topshop lip liner which I used to fill in my lip fully. It's such a pretty colour and flatters my pale skin. It makes my lips look fuller so I'm going to be wearing it all day, every day! Go grab yours and treat your lips this Valentines.
oX Wendy Xo

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Makeup Counter Interview Process

I've worked on many counters and applied for even more. The one brand I have always wanted to work for but never been given the chance is Urban Decay. The holy grail of counters is MAC; the brand every girl and her aunt want to work for. The two counters application process couldn't be much different.
Urban Decay is about Sales - If you are lucky enough to be invited for an interview don't expect to be sitting down and chatting. You are about to be thrown into the frying pan. Urban Decay want to see if you can 1. COPE and 2. SELL. The Area Manager will explain the products you have to promote and their benefits so don't worry if you don't know every product on their shelf.
You are now going to be traffic stopping. For those that haven't heard this term it means stopping shoppers when they are walking straight past you and showing no interest in you. This is where lots of girls fall flat. One girl I was with during this process left when she heard this. You will have to approach these non-customers and influence them to come over to the counter where you will apply either a lip or eye makeup. If you managed to get their bum on a seat that's the easy part (yes, the EASY part).
You now have to sell  the products you are applying because by the end of her mini makeover your need her to buy something. You can do this several ways. I prefer the compliment approach by telling her how gorgeous a product looks on her and how much it enhances her best features. Some people go the other way and tell the customer all their faults - baggies, dark circles, thin lips - and then show them how to cover them. There's no right or wrong! You just need them to buy as it's highly likely that if you don't sell anything then you won't be invited back for a second interview (this is what happened to me).
Similar brand first interview process:
Benefit and Clarins
Brands who do a phone interview before inviting you to a formal interview:
Clinique and Bobbi Brown
MAC is about the Art - now before I start I have never applied for MAC but I wanted to show you the contrast between different companies. My information below is from other people who have applied.
If you are applying for MAC then you know something about makeup and how highly this brand is rated in the market. You WILL need a portfolio to apply for this counter and know how to apply makeup to a professional standard. Initially you will have a telephone interview so be prepared for all questions. I like these interviews because you can have all your notes in front of you (try not to sound like you are reading them though).
Example Questions:
Name a current makeup trend and how that has inspired you.
What is your favourite product? How would you sell it to a customer?
What do you know about MAC? (MAC history)
Describe MAC
What can you bring to MAC?
If you are successful you will be invited to a formal interview and to perform a Trade Test. This is where you will be asked to complete a look on a model (which you supply) and supply your own brushes (MAC preferred but not essential) and tip.. take a MAC palette. If you are successful you will have a final interview to evaluate the Trade Test and more questions about yourself.
Example Questions:
Is there anything you would change about your look?
What inspires you?
Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
What can you bring to MAC?
When do you expect to be promoted?
Give a makeup trend you may see in the coming season?
Can you see how different the brands are now? The processes will ofcourse fluctuate so be prepared for group interviews or formal interviews before phone interviews etc This is just an example of what to expect. Good Luck with your interview and please come back and share your experiences in the comments.
oX Wendy Xo

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Valentines with STORE2LOVE*

It's that time of year again... the passing of the sick buckets. But seriously I love celebrating Valentines. If anything it's an excuse to be incredibly girly and surround myself with pink things and chocolates. So what if you aren't in love, you can still treat yourself. The first person you should learn to love in life is yourself. So it's time to treat your inner goddess to some fabulous accessories.
STORE2LOVE is an online retailer for the latest fashion accessories and jewellery. They offer catwalk looks at affordable prices, by sourcing the best and most celeb inspired jewellery designs at the most amazing prices.
Do you know what I love more than a cute necklace or fashionable ring? FREE POSTAGE! That way all my money goes on the item to adorn my inner goddess. You can check out their VALENTINES DAY GIFT section or see their FULL COLLECTION. I'm after a chic owl necklace (not the one pictured) which many a celebrity has been seen wearing this season, Miley Cyrus and Alexa Chung have both been seen wearing a similar style.
Don't forget about your loved ones while your so busy buying for yourself ;) If you really think your man hasn't got a clue what to get you this Valentines just share this post on his feed. There's nothing wrong with dropping some hints, lets face it men need a kick up the bum sometimes.
oX Wendy Xo
*The star in the title shows that this post is a brand promotion.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Pro Beauty Warpaint 2014 Inspiration

On the 24th Feb at 13:30 I'll be hard at work creating a beautiful hair and makeup on a wonderful model. This is because I have entered Professional Beauty Warpaint Competition 2014. This will not just be the first time I've been to this event but also my first competition as a makeup artist.

I have entered into the Edit category which is all about creating a flawless makeup perfect for a photoshoot. It will be looked at very closely by the judge who has now been announced as Dani Guinsberg - one of the UK’s leading make-up artists whose work features regularly in magazines such asBritish VogueTeen VogueGQEsquireStella MagazineES Magazine,British Cosmopolitan and British Marie Claire.

The theme I have to work with is Summer Holiday. For me this conjures up images of family holidays I. Great Yarmouth and Cromer, sitting on the pier eating ice cream, sweets and candy floss - I had such a sweet tooth! Without giving too much away my inspirations are above (photos taken from Pinterest, find the links on my boards). My colour palette will be soft pastels and hair will be big and bouncy. I'll also be doing nails. The only thing I haven't really thought about is clothing. Ideally I love for a student to create something for me as I love helping others get exposure too, time however isn't on my side.

Please wish me luck, I feel I may need it at such a big event. What does the theme Summer Holiday conjur up for you?

oX Wendy Xo

Monday, 3 February 2014

Makeup Artists' Assistant

On the 01/02/14 I headed off to London to assist a Makeup Artist who was building her portfolio of work. We met through the same place we both trained. Despite being there at different times are paths had crossed several times. Freya Bolton had seen my work and asked me to come on this shoot with her as she felt it would be a great experience for me, she wasn't wrong!
The shoot took part in Brixton at the Shooting Beauty studio where models, photographers and stylists come together to help each other build their portfolios and find work. It was a culture shock for sure - being a country girl - everyone wore fashionable clothing (not just the models) and personalities were big and bright. We were taken straight through to the back room which was decked out with mirrors and lights so hot I was melting - without them it would be impossible to work though. I help set up and spent most of my time taking photos and video. I cleaned brushes in between models and even had some input on looks.
We were a bit rushed because we couldn't find the place initially so had to work quickly as some models had to leave at certain times. We were also limited on choices of fashions as models had already worn most of the clothes for other shoots throughout the morning. I loved sifting through all the accessories. If it had been my own shoot I would have asked for the artwork on the wall though! It was these amazing pair of wings fashioned from metal. I found that more inspiring than anything on the rail. I love unusual props.
By 5pm we started to realise there was no way we were making our 6pm train home. We hadn't eaten all day and were starting to get tired. There was still a couple of meetings to sit through and 3 tubes to get back. Unfortunately Freya had to buy us more tickets to get home in the end. Lesson learnt - leave more time for shooting, you never know what may happen and best to have too much time than too little.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience and a huge thank you to Freya for paying for me to accompany her. I made a 2 minute video of the day and included a couple of the unedited images from the day. If you are looking for experience as a makeup artist I highly recommend assisting.

oX Wendy Xo