Behind The Scenes…

Photographer: Andrei Roman
Model: Katie Noskova

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“Beauty Is For Everyone” Harris Reed’s MAC Cosmetics Collab Is Rethinking MakeUp

Just as Harris Reed’s clothing offers an important voice in the conversation around the way we define masculinity and gender identity in fashion, a limited-edition collaboration with MAC Cosmetics created by the 24-year-old British-American designer is set to redefine the way we approach makeup. 

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #37 series on my blog.

“Beauty is fluid, beauty is for everyone and I can’t wait to see how people are going to use this collection to show their version of self-expression and fluidity,” Harris told Vogue, practically shrieking down the phone with excitement. “That’s what I’m super excited about.”

“My first experiences with makeup were with my friends at a MAC store getting ready for prom and it was the brand that I first saw putting make-up on ‘boys’’, they explain, citing MAC as the perfect partner. “For it to even trust me, and take on my strong-ass message of fighting for fluidity, I have to say, has just felt like the most beautiful partnership.”

One of Harris’s personal highlights to come from the collaboration is that it will enable their hundreds of thousands of followers the opportunity to own their own part of the Harris Reed brand and feel included in its wider message. “It’s such an emotional thing for me. I’ve been so incredibly lucky that millions of people have seen the things I’ve worked on and have been a part of, but have maybe until now they’ve not been able to buy into it. This is now something that anyone can get their hands on and be a part of. It doesn’t feel real, it feels crazy.” 

The millennial-pink packaged collection is made up of four products, each of which offers a plethora of possibilities to play around with. A smudge of one shade into your hairline could work mixed with another swept over your eyelids for a trip to the shop – just as Harris did when creating the palettes. Though MAC has a history of being used by professionals, this collection has a level of tactility to it that the least acquainted with makeup can become quickly familiar with. The fact that there are no application brushes is deliberate – Harris prefers the human touch.

“It is very much about a playfulness and the joy of makeup,” Harris continues. “As someone who makes clothes that take a couple of weeks to produce, if I want to make a statement with makeup, it literally takes me seconds with a good lipstick or eyeshadow. As I have pushed this idea of a more fluid space in a more fluid world, I’ve really loved that makeup can always be that gorgeous icing on top. It doesn’t only complete the look but, it also completes the message, acting as that extra ounce of light to help radiate what I stand for.”

Much like their clothing, the inspiration behind the colours and products is a major meeting of eras and aesthetics, resulting in an overall “glam-luxe romanticism gone non-binary,” they say. “It is a mix between Studio 54 and rococo, but also think a full renaissance party. You can start with this very beautiful, very whimsical approach and then by the end you can end up with this Studio-54-inspired gold eyeshadow all over your face, even pushing up to the hairline.” Their hero product? A trio of lipsticks called ‘From Harris, With Love’ that reminds them of their first forays into makeup and looking at lipsticks with their mum as a child. “I know those are the ones that I will keep on me at a party, applying, applying and applying.”

Harris’s own approach to beauty and using makeup for themselves has shifted as their sense of self has grown — most notably after they started at Central Saint Martins, emerged in London’s creative scene. Yet they weren’t always so comfortable and forthcoming with using products for themselves. “Being around fabulously flamboyant people really pushed me in the way that I wanted to express myself in terms of my gender identity and being creative across so many areas,” they said.

“[Wearing makeup] has made me have a much more honest approach to my identity. Like anything, it can be scary if you’re not familiar with it. The minute I thought of makeup as a tool to use to send a message and spark a story, was when I started having a way more playful approach. It gave me a space to feel that everything was okay. It definitely was a journey and now I realise that you write your own rulebook.”

The four-piece collection is a small but mighty push for us all to rethink how we use and approach makeup. Harris doesn’t see using cosmetics any differently to employing a fabulous fashion accessory when putting an outfit together. “I think if I, and this collection, can be of any influence to make people look at makeup as a tool to be who you want to be, then that’s job done,” they said.

“Try and not think of makeup as something that makes you look ‘pretty’ and try and not look at it as something that you use to make yourself better, but to explore and enhance something within you. Use makeup as a tool to be your most authentic self.” 

VOGUE article

Get Better Skin by Next Week With These 9 Beauty Foods

There’s a good chance that the decrease in temperatures this month have already taken a toll on your skin. And while switching to heavier moisturizers and exfoliating every night can help, one piece of the puzzle is often overlooked: diet. (That bag of salted pretzels isn’t exactly delivering a boost of antioxidants.) But according to Los Angeles–based nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, you can actually get a jumpstart on better skin in just a week by consuming these key natural ingredients, which provide the building blocks for a healthier complexion. After all, you are what you eat.

Lemons

Snyder suggests that every client begin their day with some hot water and lemon. “It detoxifies the body by helping your digestive system and liver eliminate waste quickly,” she says. Continue drinking this throughout the day, and squeeze lemon on top of salads and in green juices.

Sweet Potatoes

Adding these beta-carotene-rich starches into your daily diet can actually combat lackluster complexions. This is due to “the magical skin-brightening combination of Vitamin A and Vitamin C,” says Snyder, that “work to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals” that cause the dreaded dulling effect. Sweet potatoes are also full of biotin, which stimulates hair and nail growth.

Almonds

While you probably already know that almonds are a healthful snack, they are also a beauty food, as they’re loaded with Vitamin E. Snyder names this nutrient as “the skin-beautifying antioxidant, since it’s present in human epidermal tissue, [where it] creates smoothness and suppleness.” There’s also research to suggest that Vitamin E may help fight signs of aging “by protecting skin against the damage caused by ultraviolet rays,” she adds, “while nourishing the skin from drying out.”

Chia Seeds

These free radical-fighting seeds are packed with minerals and fiber and the perfect balance of essential fatty acids—the latter which Snyder credits for giving that “glow.” (Taking an algae-based DHA supplement can help too, she notes, “to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of Omega-3 fats,” which contribute to a balanced mood and healthy heart.) Sprinkle them into smoothies and fruit salads, or soak them in almond milk overnight for a satisfying dessert.

Pineapple

“When your skin needs to look good, this fruit is a wonder food,” says Snyder, “and tastes incredible.” Pineapple benefits skin by improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and removing toxins from the body. What’s more, it also helps in the production of collagen.

Beets

“The powerful antioxidants in beets help fight signs of aging to keep skin firm and youthful,” says Snyder. Their combination of minerals and vitamins (folate, Vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium) stimulates cell production and repair, protecting skin from premature aging and wrinkles. Snyder recommends adding the root vegetable to your morning juice along with apple and a hint of ginger for a delicious cleansing boost.

Figs

This fruit’s tiny seeds are saturated with nutrients that help cleanse the digestive track of toxins and mucus, which, according to Snyder, may prevent important nutrients from getting to the skin. “This process is vital to enhancing that inner glow,” she notes. Since they are naturally high in sugar, Snyder recommends limiting your daily intake to only a few.

Spinach

This leafy green is high in Vitamin A, necessary for growth in skin and hair. “Spinach is also loaded with Vitamin C, imperative for the building and maintenance of collagen,” according to Snyder—making it a no-brainer for any meal, juice, or smoothie.

Medjool Dates

Dates are high in fiber and a perfect sweet treat to aid in cleansing. “They are rich in copper,” Snyder says, “which is an important mineral that helps the body absorb iron and form collagen and red blood cells.” Plus, they make for a great sugar alternative in baking and cooking.

VOGUE article

5 Beauty Tips That Make A Big Difference

1. Shave your face – removing peach fuzz allows for a smoother application of foundation and other products; it also gets rid of rough texture and dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling renewed. Hold the skin with your fingers and genly, in short strokes, shave in the same direction as the hair grows. Follow up with a facial oil or a moisturizer for optimal results!

Get facial razors at Sephora or Amazon.

2. Apply concealer before foundation – it helps you avoid applying excessive amount of foundation because you’ve covered your major problem areas with a full coverage concealer; overall it gives a more lightweight result.

3. Moisturizer with foundation? – place some moisturizer on the back of your hand, stipple the brush in it, then apply your foundation with that brush; it sheers out the foundation for a lightweight finish and helps it blend in with your skin.

4. Matching blush tones – use the same product on your eyes, lips and cheeks to create a cohesive look. It’s quick and easy! Apply a cream blush color on your cheeks with a brush or fingers, then do the same on the eyes in the crease and lips. It provides a monotone look, both cream and powder products work for this trick.

Get multitasking plush products from MILK Makeup or Nudestix.

5. Cut your hair every 6 weeks – it provides the perfect timeframe to chop off the dead ends and leave the hair looking strong and healthy.

Do you have any tips and tricks you use regularly? Let me know in the comments below!

Natasha Denona Mini Lila

I find that the formula of Natasha Denona mini palettes is slightly different from her original formula, as in the shadows are not as easy to work with and not as pigmented. That said, they still are VERY pigmented and VERY easy to work with, just not on the same level as her $160.00 palettes are.

Other products:
– NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink eyeliner, Soft Matte Lip Cream in Barcelona
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder in Medium Brown, Amrezy highlighter
– Milani Luminoso blush
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer.

Have you used Natasha Denona eyeshadows? What do you think about them, worth the price or not? Let me know in the comments below!

Gunmetal

Following Lisa Eldridge tutorial on Cara Delevingne’s makeup, in love with this look!

Products:
– M·A·C Cosmetics StudioFix foundation, ProLongwear concealer, Mineralized Skinfinish powder, Doublegleam highlighter, Blacktrack eyeliner
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– MAKE UP FOR EVER single shadows
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder & Brow Gel
– L’Oréal Paris Plump & Shine lipstick in Coconut.

The original tutorial:

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty Free Anymore And Vice Versa

Brands That Are Now Cruelty-Free

– Covergirl – announced on November 5, 2018, that they changed parent companies and pulled their stock from selling in China (read more here)

– Stila – since 2017 (read more here)

– Charlotte Tilbury (update) – there was some confusion regarding the stand of the brand, as they were selling in China where customers can touch the products but order online only, which would make the brand cruelty-free by Logical Harmony standards; they have stopped doing this completely

– Smashbox – pulled their stock from China over the past couple of years (read more here)

* Fenty Beauty – the brand sells in areas of China where animal testing is not required, however, some people still will not consider the brand to be cruelty-free due to this ambiguous practice (read more here)

Brands That Aren’t Cruelty-Free Anymore

– NARS – started selling in China to increase their consumer market a couple of years ago (read more here)

– Wet’n’Wild – in 2019 they were caught in odd practices: some of their products are manufactured in China (which doesn’t require pre-market testing) but they can be tested at any time post-market (read more here)

– Physicians Formula – owned by the same company as Wet’n’Wild, and exhibit the same procedure as that brand (read more here)

Here is my original post from several weeks ago about cruelty-free brands:

Video referenced
Logical Harmony
Cruelty-Free Kitty
Harper’s Bazaar

Do you know of any other brands that changed their cruelty-free status?
Do you shop only cruelty-free brands or any brand?
Let me know in the comments below!

Grunge

Annie Tansley‘s face was an MUA’s dream to work with!

Products:
Urban Decay Cosmetics NAKED3 eyeshadow palette, 
Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz & definer in Dark Brown,
BECCA Cosmetics highlighter in Moonstone, 
MAC Cosmetics lipstick in Velvet Teddy.

(Disclaimer: I do have Annie’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

She’s Got It On

Model: Dominique Kachkan 

Products:
Maybelline New York Fit Me foundation
– Too Faced Cosmetics Chocolate Soleil bronzer
– Tarte Cosmetics Paarty blush
– COVERGIRL highlighter palette
– Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure eyeshadow palette
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Taupe
Maybelline New York lipstick in Beige Babe with NYX Professional Makeup butter gloss in Fortune Cookie.

(Disclaimer: I do have Dominique’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

8 Historical Makeup & Beauty Products That Still Exist Today

  1. L’Oreal’s True Match Foundation (since 1994) – the first of its kind to match 40 different complexions that also adapted to your unique undertone.
  2. Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara – the packaging hasn’t even changed that much since 1971, but popularized in the 80s. It was the first water-based mascara, making it much easier to remove and having a faster drying time after initial application; it’s also free of chemicals and oils to avoid irritation.
  3. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Lipstick (since 1950s) – it’s a blue-based red, making it universally flattering on many different complexions, but depending on your skin undertone it may pull a bit more raspberry or true red.
  4. Carmex Original Lip Balm (since 1937) – one of the best tried-and-true products to bring the chapped/dehydrated lips back to life overnight. The first jar of Carmex sold for $0.29!
  5. Coty Air Spun Transluscent Powder (since 1935) – gives the skin an airbrushed, flawless finish, while having a neutral undertone (which is hard to find still to this day). The first Coty Air Spun Powder box was introduced in 1925, and it was revolutionary because it was the first to be spun by air, giving it a finer texture and greater fluffiness. The only thing that repelled people from it was the scent, however, now they make an unscented version!
  6. Revlon’s “Cherries In the Snow” Nail Polish – in the past it was a trend among women to have their nails match their lip colour, so both products gained popularity simultaneously and are still sold today.
  7. Noxzema Skin Cream (since 1914) – it wasn’t marketed as a skin cleanser until the 1950s, when a company secretary realized how beautiful it made her skin look.
  8. Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser (since 1846) – one of the oldest skincare products to exist today, it does a great job at removing makeup, leaving the skin very moisturized. The term “cold cream” comes from the cooling feeling it leaves on the skin.

Video referenced