Tag Archives: how-to

how to be photogenic

24 Apr

People often mistake me for photogenic, which is obviously a nice compliment – but it’s simply not the case.  I look like an elderly man in profile, and I also have to work quite hard at making sure my nose doesn’t look like a penis.

It’s all about angles, really.

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Chloe and I have quite snap-happy mum, who also gives very good advice about not looking like hell in a photo.  Remember, chin DOWN and FORWARD.  A photo taken from slightly above will usually turn out better than one taken from below.  Think MySpace and keep going.  Know your best angle, and work it.  If you never let a hideous photo of yourself be taken or published, then technically that’s all it takes to be photogenic.

Your photographer will be either your best friend or your worst enemy here.  Learn which of your friends are shite at taking photos, and never let those people take your picture.

BE PREPARED.  If you grimace and go “eeeeerrrrggh I HATE having my photo taken!” whenever someone whips out a camera, then you’ll end up with nothing but photos of yourself with your face screwed up, mid-sentence.  No wonder you hate photos of yourself, if that’s what they look like.  Just smile.

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Try to be born to parents who are really attractive, as this will give you the best genetic advantage possible.  Also, if you have your hair and makeup professionally done every day, you’ll look better in photos too.

These photos are from Sunday, when Chloe and I were in Glasgow seeing Jettblack.

Chloe blue herself for the occasion

Chloe blue herself for the occasion

Jon Dow.  A man who understands that if you don't need to wear a shirt, you shouldn't wear a shirt.

Jon Dow. A man who understands that if you don’t need to wear a shirt, you shouldn’t wear a shirt.

me with lead singer Will Stapleton

me with super-lovely lead singer Will Stapleton

me with guitar and vocals Jon Dow

me with guitar and vocals Jon Dow, who had annoyingly put on a hoodie after coming off stage, but had the good grace to keep it unzipped.

It took quite a bit of arm-twisting to get this photo of Chloe giving Jon a piggy-back…

giddy up

giddy up

… he was all like, “my girlfriend’s not going to like this, you’re not going to put it on Facebook are you?” (nope, just my flog which gets zillions of daily hits with its huge international audience) and I was all like “if your girlfriend gives you a hard time about being piggybacked by giant Australian sisters, then you really need to take a good hard look at your relationship and just marry me instead.”

Not really.  I didn’t actually say that.  But we were all thinking it.

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brush up against me

10 Apr

“So, what brushes do you use?” said no one ever, to me anyway, but I need to flog about SOMETHING, don’t I?  And makeup brushes are important.  Not as important as saying “I love you” to your mum every chance you get.  More important than … that douche that cut you off in peak-hour traffic this morning?  I dunno.

I’m not actually that much of a tool-tool to be honest, I’m pretty big on sticking my fingers into all the powders and pastes and gettin’ busy that way.

Kevyn himself said something wise about the most important makeup tools being time and your own hands.  And there’s something to be said for feeling what you’re doing when you put makeup on either yourself or someone else, interacting with the planes of the face you’re decorating, manipulating the products you’re using with the pads of your fingers.  Tactile.

Anyway.  Makeup brushes are handy if you’re aiming for a specific effect, like a fine or sharp line on your upper lash-line, or a perfectly blended blush.  The brush I use probably every day is a fluffy eyeshadow brush that I’ve probably had for about 15 years, by Manicare.

this sexy son of a bitch

this sexy son of a bitch

It’s really gone the distance, I’m yet to see it shed even one hair.  It’s all I need for just puttin’ on some eyeshadow.

I think an angled brush is also a handy one to have, and I’ve had a MAC one that I’ve been using for a million years as well, although for the St Patrick’s day facepainting I bought a Barry M one for only a few bucks, not wanting to trash my good one, and I have to say I was well impressed by how it went the distance, too.  I was expecting to bin it after the event, but it’s scrubbed up just fine.  And, dare I say it, sharper than my MAC one.  Shhh.

barry m brush

I also use a MAC blush brush:

MAC blush brush

MAC blush brush

and a MAC stipple brush:

made from the hair of a zebra.  Not really.

made from the hair of a zebra. Not really.

MAC brushes are good, but they’re not cheap, and while I think there are a lot of cases in which one gets what one pays for… I think you can get some damn good brushes without forking out that much.  It’s all a matter of personal preference really.  And it can seem a bit daunting too, for example there are zillions of different brushes you can buy for eyeshadow alone.  No point spending hundreds on a full brush kit only to end up using one or two tools.  Why not get cheaper brushes to experiment with (if you’re not planning on Winehouse’ing, ever, then you might not actually NEED an eyeliner brush, for example).  See if the brush is something that makes it into your regular rotation, then upgrade if you want to.

You can also go mad buying ‘brush cleaner’ and so on, but I’m not convinced of their merits really.  I just use shampoo to clean mine, blot them on a towel to get the water out, pat them into shape and let them air-dry.  I’d use anti-bacterial hand soap to clean them before and after using them on someone else, if I was being all hygiene-conscious.

I have heard good things, very good things in fact, about makeup brand EyesLipsFace (ELF).  In particular about their brushes.  For dirt cheap!  And until today I thought you could only get their stuff in Canada/USA, but lo – here you Aussies can find it, and for us here in Blighty.  Go mad.  I’ll be shopping up a storm on payday so strap yourselves in for some ELF product reviews soon.

Happy brushing!

PS Still haven’t heard from Clydebank 😦

emo eyebrows

9 Mar

Oh, but I was in a truly foul mood yesterday.  Not even I wanted to hang out with me.  Things were desperately grim.  There was only one thing for it; a huge frown.  A metres-deep furrowing of the brow.  A grimace so cavernous it would make you dizzy.

BUT!  Pulling such a face is bad business – what if the wind changed?  And who wants wrinkles?  Audrey Hepburn herself said “happy girls are the prettiest girls”.  As I contemplated how to reconcile this titanic conundrum, it occurred to me that I could just draw an expression on my face.  After all, with makeup, anything is possible.

Voila – anyone I encountered would know that I was shitty as all hell, but my fore-skin (time-saving contraction of the words ‘forehead’ and ‘skin’) would remain ‘smooth’ and ‘unblemished’, faithful gatekeeper of the secret of my age.

So I whipped out the eyeliner (not brow pencil… not today – I needed sharper lines than my soft crayons would provide), and sharpened it real good.  When DIY-ing an eyebrow, what you’re looking to do is draw wee hairs.  None of your thick stripes and long lines; sketch on little bits here and there to fill in.  This is what you want, to enhance or alter the overall effect of your existing brows.  And you need a sharp pencil for that.  Unless of course the look you are going for is a deliberate thick line, which certainly has its place.

But anyway – here is my grumpy brow.

grumpy eyebrows

OOOOH look how ANGRY that looks!  SUPER PISSED OFF!

Then I felt sad that I had wasted any time at all feeling so bloody awful, and yet again didn’t want to pull a face, so I just drew on some sad eyebrows, for demonstration purposes.  Here they are.

sad eyebrows

Awwww, don’t you just want to sweep me into your arms and tell me that everything is going to be OK?

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Bloody Imo, there she goes pulling faces and editing photos again.”  Oh no.  Scroll back up so both sets of peepers are on the screen, the cover both sets of eyebrows with your hands.  See?  My expression in both of these photos was actually completely neutral.

And it’s so easy to do.  Too lazy to engage your facial muscles to express an emotion?  You can buy an eyeliner pencil for as little as 50p at H&M, and moving your face will then be a thing of the past, if you so desire.

Angry brows are created by thickening the inner corner of your natural brow line.  Start below rather than above your natural shape.  Bring the start-point of your brows slightly in towards each other, and create a harder angle up into the arch than you naturally have.  The brow should finish shorter than your natural brows, and above the natural line.  Basically, frown in the mirror, take note, relax your expression and draw it on.  When you’ve done one brow, sharpen the pencil before moving on to the next.

Sad brows start higher in the inner corner and finish lower on the outer edges.  They’re also longer.  Smudge them out and down.  There is also more distance between them.  Do this, then sit back, relax and wait for everyone to come up to you all day and night saying “are you ok?  Can I get you anything?”

So there you have it.  You might not ever have the need or want to do this.   But now you know.  Makeup is so much more than covering something up or making your irises ‘pop’.

St Patrick’s day nails

3 Mar

First up today, a bit of housekeeping – apologies to any bitterly disappointed readers who, like me, were unable to take advantage of the e.l.f sale I posted about the other day – I didn’t realise they only deliver to Canada and the USA.  Secondly, thank you all so much for clicking through to see a photo of me in a bra – site views were through the roof the last couple of days!  How exciting.

And now, you’ve had your fun(bags)… Back to the serious business of MAKEUP!

So what I attempted to do here was some kind of St Patrick’s Day manicure, using the two Illamasqua nailpolishes I got as part of a mystery pack I bought a few weeks ago.  The dark one (Rampage) is a nice dark ninja-turtle green that looks black until you go outside.  It’s good.  I like nailpolish that looks black but isn’t.

My idea was to do a reverse French manicure that looked like a glass of Guinness, and then I was like, BACK IT UP – I’VE GOT DARK AND LIGHT GREEN NAILPOLISH, so why not make it look like a Guinness with nasty-ass green food dye in it, just like how they serve it on St Patrick’s Day in the pub!!!  And a mediocre idea was born.

nail polishDSC04728DSC04730

I almost didn’t put these pictures up because I made such a pig’s ear of it – look at that, er, black four-leaf clover.

Moving right along, I painted my right hand with Barry M Nail Paint in #284 Emerald Green.  Barry M Nail Paints are yet another example of an excellent UK high-street cosmetic brand; their stuff is only a few quid and it’s just as good as what you’d pay ten times as much for.  Experiment and get crazy with all the colours, yo.  It won’t cost you.

nail polish2 (2)  barry m

Fly, my pretties, get your tacky green on – and remember, if you go back far enough… You.  Are.  Irish.

8 photos of my eyebrows.

25 Feb

Take 2 x eyebrows…

DSC04658

 

and one of these guys…

DSC04661

 

… and if it’s nice n’ sharp, you can start at the outside of the brow, using the pointy pencil tip to pick the hairs up and colour them against the grain, which keeps it off the skin.

DSC04662

 

This creates a fetching wild-n-bushy look:

DSC04663

 

… which I like to smooth out with one of these:

DSC04667

 

The Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Master pencils come with one on the end; most brow pencils do, and if not, just use an old clean mascara wand.

DSC04668

 

Brush from underneath up and out, then from on top brush any long stragglers back down to join their friends in your perfectly arched neat line-up.

So THAT’S how she does it…

johnhoward_narrowweb__300x452,0

 

Re-sharpen the pencil then add more where/if required…

DSC04669

 

et voila.

DSC04671DSC04670DSC04672

 

More eyebrow tips:

Adding a light-coloured powder or pencil (well blended) underneath the arch of the brow can really lift the whole face and highlight the eyebrows nicely.

Put down the tweezers.  Step away from the tweezers.  If you’ve been plucking your brows for years and have gotten into a bit of a pickle and found yourself with misshapen, skinny, stubbly worms on your face, I challenge you to let them grow wild and free for… 6 months.  You’ll thank me.  It’ll be hard at first, and if you need to deal with a monobrow or hair on your actual eyelids, be my guest.  But for a much more flattering, youthful brow, more is more.

cara delavigne

Cara Delavigne knows it.

In these photos I am also wearing:
Garnier BB Miracle Skin Perfector – 02-Light
Rimmel Match Perfection Silky loose face powder – 001 Transparent
Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo gel-cream eyeshadow – Permanent Taupe
H&M Eyeliner – Chocolate
Boots No.7 Intense Volume mascara – Brown/Black

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