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Laura's Blog

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Historical, Fantasy & Avant Garde - Big Hair Up

Posted on 31 January, 2020 at 14:30 Comments comments (0)

I recently facilitated some BIG HAIR demonstrations for the Production Arts students at Fareham College Hair & Beauty Academy. Power point presentations showed traditional, historical looks that can be adapted for inspired fantasy or avant garde designs. Do get in touch if you would be interested in these topics as CPD, Enrichment or Industry Day lectures/demos/workshops.

  • 18th Century Court Powdered Hair Up
  • Traditional Oriental Chinese & Japanese Hair Up
  • Avant Garde/Fantasy Wig Cage Hair Up




Vintage 1940s Hair

Posted on 17 December, 2019 at 14:45 Comments comments (0)

Check out how to quickly these styles without using hot tools by visiting www.facebook.com/exclusivelythemed

Mermaid Total Look Styling

Posted on 16 August, 2019 at 13:55 Comments comments (0)


My students for VTCT Level 2 & Level 3 love to design mermaids for their Total Look for Competition and Face & Body Art units. I encourage them to do photo montage mood boards and face and body charts (embelished with jewels/sequins for texture). 

Below are some of my own hair, make-up, body art and costume designs (for mermaid serving staff that I sent to VIP parties in the south of France!). I run head-dress and accessory workshops and love to use glittering, bendy, christmas decorations for under-water seaweed/foliage!

I have mermaid and water-nymph costumes for sale - so do get in touch if you'd like to purchase any... [email protected]

 

  

  



Costume Design Hints & Tips

Posted on 16 August, 2019 at 10:55 Comments comments (0)

From the Costume Design Course for Performance at Saint Martin's (University Arts College) in London I thought I'd share my hints and tips for swift costume designs. My samples below are based on the comedic play, THE IMPORTANCE of BEING EARNEST by OSCAR WILDE.

If you're not super-confident or quick at drawing figures, tracing paper is the key. Lay it over period pictures and trace the outlines with a pencil or fine felt tip pen (making sure your felt pen does not go through the paper and ruin a library book!!). I did these with an 04-08 size with a trusty STABILO. Enhance the sleeves, alter the length of dresses or change details whilst copying. Make it your own. Glue the tracing paper to thicker paper or card and colour in with good quality pencils/graphic felt pens. Save water colours for thicker paper. Add texture using haberdashery/craft ribbons/flowers/gems/pearls and staple/stick on fabric samples.

For the make-up/hair/wigs/hats/jewellery/collar/cravat/tie details I can hand draw portraits in an instant without tracing anything - but if you need some help just download a template from the internet, print it out and use that. Below is a freestyle face that I doodled whilst waiting to get into the studio...

This paper and net 'cut-out' collage technique reminded me of the flat block colours used by Toulouse Lautrec - which is in keeping with the 1895 date of the play.

I love the natural plant swirls from the Art Nouveau period - which inspired me for the detail in this late Victorian corset. Again - trace over a basic shape and do your own twirls and swirls on top...

You can get in touch via the website for mobile costume workshops and nationally accredited ARTS AWARD certificates. [email protected]

Feel free to ask about anything to do with this blog... I'd be delighted to hear about your projects...

Laura x


Container Quandary

Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 13:35 Comments comments (3)

So... You're on a make-up job in Central London and you need to leave in rush hour. (Hell!) You have to walk to an overground station, take a train (no seats!) to a central station - get off - walk down long, packed tunnels and up stairs - catch a tube after waiting aaaaages (still no seats!) - get off - walk down more long tunnels - change lines again - up stairs - out to a busy street - walking miles to the venue (because you want to save on the cab fare!)... Sound familiar to anyone?! You've done all this lifting and dragging a HUGE, HEAVY make-up bag (or two!).

You're desparate to ditch some kit and rescue your tired, strained arms and shoulders... Let's focus on pressed powder palletes (eyes/cheeks) versus singles...

OPTIONS:


High Quality Plastic Multi-Pressed Powder Palettes - They look smart and professional, quick to open/close... but wait... why on earth do you need a weighty mirror on some of those top brands? I can't stand it when half the colours in a palette are wonderful and you use them all the time - but the other half are 'pants'! Grrr! What a waste of space... (mind you - I do love all the shades in this Kryolan palette above - and the order in which they've arranged them!). It can also drive you mad when one or two crack and disintergrate - contaminating the others with powder! You'll just have to re-fill with the same brand if you can.

 

Z-Palettes for Powder Singles - They're lightweight - with no mirror. But I guess more vulnerable... I really like to choose my own palette mixes as I have plenty of 'single' shadow favourites from a wide variety of brands... But without 'gaps' between the colours, they easily get 'blurred' into one another and you end up swiping a neighbouring colour by mistake... One false move and it's disaster! They can also look a bit of a mess and 'hap-hazard' if not all the same size. They're magnetic - so you can create your own gaps like the bright pink sample above.


Plastic Case Powder Singles in Transparent Bags/Boxes - You may always choose to put in a few stand-out colours in your kit alongside those palettes - but do they really weigh more than your palettes - shadow for shadow? I actually like to keep them neatly and safely wrapped up in their own packaging... I buy lots of transparent bags/containers (Wilko/Asda pencil cases, Range flat plastic boxes or Superdrug bag trios - ALL SEE-THRU so you can clearly see every product at a glance). I like all my zips matching in black too - for a professional image. Put all your matching 'shades' together and even separate 'pearls' and 'matts' - so they look super slick and thoroughly organised. Anything that also saves you time on a job - so you're not constantly rummaging in opaque containers - is a must.


Bespoke Empty Palettes for a mix of Shadows of your choice (with gaps!) - Now I'm really interested! I'm so fussy about my colours and what order they go in - I just want to make up my own palette! (I'm a complete make-up geek!!!! I know!!!).


 

I actually weighed Kryolan palettes (with mirrors that I never use on the inside lids) and found out the following:

Multi-Palettes: 

15 medium shadow palette 375g

5 small shadow palette 75g

3 medium shadow palette 75g

Singles:   

15 medium shadow singles 250g

5 small shadow singles 50g

3 medium shadow singles 75g

These weights are all approximate (as the contents are not exactly the same - but you get the idea...). If the mirrors were taken out of the multi-shadow palettes then maybe they would be the same weight as the singles...


While we're on the subject of palettes... You can really save a ton of weight by decanting your favourite lipstick shades into a false nail or engineering parts segmented box. Get a top branded one (Kryolan, Mac, etc.) if you don't mind splashing the cash...

H&S Tip: Put date stickers on the base, underneath each shade, so that you know each colour's expiry date...






Split Palette One Stroke Workshop

Posted on 26 January, 2018 at 14:00 Comments comments (0)

I have done many split palette/one stroke workshops. To take your face or body painting to the next level this technique is a MUST!

There are many small spilt/one stroke stripe products on the market. Or for a less expensive option you can put two or three Snazaroo face paints (one light, one medium, one dark) in the fridge to harden a bit (not too hard or they'll break!). Get a knife and cut into thirds. Scoop them out of the plastic container and mix them up - grading the colours from light to dark.

Great for flowers and leaves... Get that twisting brush going!



For texture, add glitter and body jewels for an oooh! ahhh! reaction...

Use double-dipped cornrow and bud strokes with dots... Outline for a stronger 'cartoon' effect.









VTCT Level 3 Make-up Artistry for Adults

Posted on 30 December, 2017 at 15:05 Comments comments (0)

September 2017 - I started teaching a (part-time) 20 week VTCT Make-up Artistry course for adults at Fareham College, Hampshire. Wonderful college with great facilities and extremely helpful staff. It ends late February but may start again if enough students sign up. Loans are available. The units consist of:

  • Make-up Application & Instruction
  • Airbrushing
  • Media Make-up/Special FX/Casualty/Theatrical
  • Fashion Photographic
  • Face & Body Art/Temp Tattoos
The best students - that are talented, motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic - get work experience (paid) with the agency.





60s Iconic Makeup Styles

Posted on 1 March, 2017 at 19:55 Comments comments (1)

As a guest lecturer I was asked to teach 1960s makeup.

Think of the first modern super-models, Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, the style of Mary Quant with either strong colours or going purely monotone for eyes - with pale lips. Opaque, wavy lines, long, false lashes for doll eyes, OTT and WAY OUT THERE! Or super sexy Barbarella, Brigit Bardot and Sophia Loren with doe eyes using black, flicked, liquid eye liner. Not forgetting the ultra sophisticated Tippy Hedren sleek, smart, secretary look with peachy-coral lipstick!




FREESTYLE BODY ART SWIRLS

Posted on 20 January, 2017 at 20:00 Comments comments (0)

I recently showed students from Fareham College how to produce quick, freestyle body art swirls for tribal tattoo styles (Polynesian, Maori, Indian, etc.) in aqua face/body paints. This 'press and release' technique needs to obviously be practiced a lot in order to produce swift, perfectly curved shapes... For a realistic tattoo look - add loose talcum powder over the top to set the image, bringing the shine down.

Below are some of my own designs produced for clients at parties and festivals...


Small white dots and highlights look great added to these for a more feminine, intricate, detailed look...




1920s & 30s Total Look Styling - Hair & Makeup plus Costume

Posted on 20 January, 2017 at 19:05 Comments comments (0)

I have done total look styling for performers and staff at many 1920s/30s theme nights at top venues in central London and around the UK. As a Hair & Media Makeup lecturer, I was recently asked to show some students at Fareham College pin curling and finger waving. Also typical makeup from this era which included eyebrow blocking for higher, thinner, pencilled-in brows.

  A simplified 1920s look that I did for a long line of serving staff at Claridges. Big smokey eyes and cupid bow lips are a must. Blusher only on the apples of the cheeks. No time for pin-curls or eye brow blocking here! You have to be quick, quick, quick!

I styled these lovely models who were hostesses for a Claridges Hotel Awards Ceremony in Mayfair. I supplied the costumes by pulling together black flapper dresses, long beads, black bob wigs and feathered head bands. I made a huge black ostrich feather fan which was used when ushering up the celebrity winners on stage.

Classic magazine article from the era - promoting the Hollywood Starlet look... Great finger waving and pin-curls!

  Perfect Clara Bow lips... this colour and darker...

Above and below: Dark, smokey and sultry modern take on the Art Deco look - chosen by Galliano for Dior. No bronzer here! I love the silver touch in the centre of the top lip to enhance the cupid bow shape. Lovely highlight on the eyes too...

 




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