The #Secret to Autumn Serenity

 A favourite fragrance, a bouquet of roses, crisp cotton sheets and silky pajamas. I reach for these comforts on any given autumn evening ...when I'm not rushing to pack a kit and feed my kids, clean my brushes, check on the laundry and catch at least one episode of anything on youtube... plus bake a bread!
I must admit that I very rarely live this fantasy of luxury, because like most working moms, I am just too exhausted to pamper myself. But what I've realised is that it can happen in small ways, and certainly within my regular rushed routine!
The trick is to use products I adore. To spoil myself in the most regular of ways: using that expensive Guerlain body lotion...to moisturise when I've just come out of the shower and am hopping into bed; buy that bunch of roses that I wished someone else had bought for me; wear my most treasured perfumes even when I'm just heading off to the green-grocer; read that book I bought at the market; draw a bath and pour salts and petals into it; light those candles, and calmly celebrate feeling calm! And snuggle up with my wee ones as we sip our hot chocolate.

3 Consumables I'm Never Without

Here are the three makeup artist basics that are always on my table:
  1. Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) pretty much never leaves my kit. I have a few bottles of the stuff: 2 small spritzers, one at my makeup station, and one in my standby bag, and then a larger bottle for refilling the smaller containers. 
  2. Hand sanitizer is a necessity to degrease and degrime hands that have just applied hair product and are about to touch a face to apply skin prep or foundation. Again I have a few of these in my kit and standby bag. I also like to clean my hands thoroughly with wipes and sanitizer before working with children.
  3. Aloe Vera Gel is another staple. I usually carry the 100% aloe vera gel in my skin prep bag for face, but I also have this hydrating skin calming gel that contains a lesser percentage of aloe vera. This I use as an aftersun moisturizer, or just general non-greasy moisturiser for legs and arms. Works like a charm. 


The hair didn't budge

 The beautiful Ms Scarlett Mellish-Wilson. A brave young woman I was privileged to meet and have in my makeup chair for the duration of filming of Bollywood's Dare2Dance.
 What I liked most about this young star is her grace. She is strong and resilient, with a heart of gold. And fantastic bone structure! With so many of the styles I made sure to get her direction, because she has a natural sense of style and a knack for holding an audience captive, and we wanted to maximize the impact of her performance with beautiful and creative looks.

 For this particular act her hair had to stay put... you'll see why...
 Gel and hair spray were our very best pals throughout the production. The neater the style, the better it stayed. I couldn't risk having bits fall out and distract my star as she did her dance routine in stunt situations.
 The flowers had to be pinned in securely, and you have no idea how many pins and grips are in that bun!
 I wanted to ensure that we had a bit of drama from every angle, because my lady was an exquisite performer who put 100% into every move, and if she ever improvised you would never have noticed, and with the stunts they were doing, we never really knew what to expect with costume and hair. So in my vision, styles would either have to be intensely controlled or ravishingly free. For safety and visibility we went with this gorgeous bun that is loaded with sensuality...quite like my lady!
 I know. I want her lips, too!!

And this was the stunt. And incredible performance at a height and angle that would make me giddy. She rocked it! And the hair didn't budge!

Super Sunblock

 At the end of a long, hot summer's day on the beach, I quite easily might have gone through at least two entire 200ml spray bottles of SPF50. Especially when working with skins that don't usually see much sun. Dis-Chem consistently delivers effective and affordable solutions for my kit. Officially we're in autumn, but if you know Cape Town weather, you'll understand that nobody wants to let go of summer too soon...
 And what makes a summer sunset really awesome, is not having that stingy itch of sunburn.
I have used the Luv that Sun aerosol spray for quite a few summers, and I'm actually quite fed up with how difficult it is to spray: my fingers cramp up trying to squeeze even the teensiest bit of sunscreen out of these sprays sometimes. The four above are new, and I have been struggling with one of them...I'm considering returning these and asking them to please either sort out or discontinue. The actual product is brilliant...when it ever comes out!
 I had seen Sun Lab on the shelves and had the aerosol in my sun protection kit a few times ( it's an old makeup artist favourite...but I found the aerosol too harsh, with a high alcohol content), but I had not experienced their creams and Transparent Spray. My favourites are SensaiPiz Buin and Tropitone and newly discovered Bioderma. However, I had tried a tiny sample of a Sun Lab SPF50 cream from a Ruby Box, and found it quite satisfactory. The Sport SPF50 is far more greasy, and great for limbs and torso, but not a makeup artist's favourite. Sadly, as a makeup artist you have to fork out the cash for a really good, photo-friendly, matte-ish sunscreen. I'm sticking with my Sensai, Bioderma and Piz Buin for face. But I'm certain that the Sun Lab Transparent Spray will be a staple in my outdoors skincare kit for body sun protection.

Brightening Bricks Hold Up at Bobbi Brown

These two were my favourites. If memory serves me, they were the Pastel Pink and Pastel Peach. These would certainly get quite a workout in my makeup kit.
Yes, I'm that makeup artist: the one who's going to use each shade in the brick individually, because I can. I love multi-purpose products. I also love multi-purposing products! These Brightening Bricks by Bobbi Brown are bronzers and blushers all-in-one, designed to give you the colour and the glow. Well, I like it all, but don't tell Bobbi that I'll be using each shade in the brick either as shadows or highlighters as well. I mean who wouldn't. The shades are gorgeous, and the varying degrees of shimmer allow you to create dimension on an eye, as well as cheeks.

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