Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

anouche & tom

r a i n

You can plan everything to the finest detail. And then on your wedding day, it  r  a  i  n  s .

And it doesn't   s  t  o  p  !

Anouche was calm and it didn't faze her the slightest about the dreary skies. She has been coming to me for 8 years for brow maintenance and I love our pommy banter and catchups. It was important to have people involved in the day that she knew and felt cofmortable with. An unsual quirk of the day was her hairdresser doubled up as her photographer too. Oh to be that creative and multi-talented…I wish! Matt did an epic job of capturing the spirit of the day and I’m pretty sure he got to enjoy the party later on 🙂

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The theme to this makeup was m i n i m a l. Anouche was adamant that Tom needed to recognise her as she walked in. It was going to be a low key event held in the private dining room at Balmoral Bathers and I don't think anyone was expecting her to be wearing a wedding dress. She sure showed them and she was positively glowing. No amount of wet weather was going to get in the way of a good time.

Anouche & Tom Anouche open door anouche tom sitting

So what delightful products did I use on this beauty and what tips can I share??

B a s e - Anouche has struggled with her skin this past year and we were very conscious of creating a base that covered but didn't mask. My biggest tip would be to still use a light-medium coverage like Face & Body and then conceal any spots, scars or redness with concealer. A great tip to cover pimples is to use a fluffy brush to apply Mineralise Skin Finish Powder…it deflects the light and creates a smooth finish.

E y e s - How did I make her baby blues pop? Soft lemony golds…the eyeshadow I used is called Spring up but it has been discontinued….not particularly helpful i know!! But you could use something like Retrospeck and Goldmine mixed together.

B r o w s - I am a big fan of the MAC Big Brow Pencil in Fling for us blondies. The colour and texture is perfect. It is also super easy to use and requires minimal blending. Eyebrow hair can naturally be a mixed bag of colours so I love to use a coloured brow gel…on Avouch I used “Emphatically Blonde” by MAC.

L i p s - How do you pick a natural shade of lipstick? Think of finding something that is like a “foundation” for your lips. You match the colour of your normal foundation to your skin so why not seek out a lip colour that is closest to your natural shade. And oooooomph it up with some gloss like the PLushglass range from MAC.

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What did I love about this wedding? Firstly, I got be involved in Anouche’s big day (obviously!). But her easy breezy nature is what weddings should be about….don’t sweat the small stuff & the rain…just revel in the company of your loved ones and have a bloody good time!


r e m e m b e r

was there ever something you did that you were REALLY proud of?

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As I get older, I love to think about when I was younger. I think we all do. Call it romanticising a time in our lives.

For me, ballet from an early age was all I could think about it. My mother drove me to countless destinations so I could be involved in rehearsals, performances & auditions. Most nights after school AND both days of the weekend. I was lucky. Lucky because she facilitated it, but lucky that she wasn't a pushy “ballet mum”.

So how do you remember it & record it in a completely vain way? Why, you ask a clever photographer to take some photos whilst you move your limbs and hope to god that it is the slightest bit flattering!

Kerstin from Lillikad Photography made me feel super duper comfortable and we had the most amazing natural light to work with. What was her biggest surprise? I think how many outfit options I had haha! Now there had been a bit of prepping with this. I am a “mover” from way back, if I don't exercise I tend to become unmotivated and grumpy (ask the hubby!). I had done a hell of a lot of Xtend Barre classes in preparation. I was intent on getting some of that muscle toning that dancers have. Did I achieve it? Not as much as I had hoped but thats where makeup & the right lighting comes in handy.

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So what did I use:

  • B a s e : Face & Body Foundation everywhere! Tanned muscles look more toned so I plastered myself in a colour called C4. This is great for a photoshoot. Please do NOT use this on your wedding day! There are many products that claim to be non-transferable….nothing is 100% proof!
  • E y e s : Light and neutral with matte colours like Orb on the lid to keep it looking light and fresh and then a sweep of Shadester Contouring Bronzer in the socket. I wanted the overall makeup look to not be distracting so keeping the tones of the eyes the same as the rest of the body colour will add just about the right amount of depth. Pop a bit of NC15 Chromagraphic Concealer Pencil in the waterline and the eyes look instantly awake. Mascara on both top and bottom.
  • C o l o u r : Brit Wit Cream Blush was used to continue with the neutral colour scheme. Cream blush is great for keeping the skin dewy….I suggest putting it on with a small round buffing brush or fingers tips on the apple of the cheek and blending it up the cheekbone. I avoid using a sponge as you will waste product and potentially create lines.

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I always like to learn something every time I do photoshoot….what was the lesson this time? Your body will NOT move like it did when you were 16…nor will it look like it.  I had cut down on my water consumption in the lead up to the photoshoot to make sure the muscles were more defined…. would I suggest it? No! So thirsty and its bloody hard to balance in awkward poses when you are feeling parched haha.

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Thank you to Kerstin for your patience, your eye for art and your ability to balance on very tall ladders to get some epic aerial shots! xxx

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the p l u n g e II

I  l o v e it when the nights are lighter for longer... spring is here and summer will be sure to follow, oh yes!

It was time for The Plunge Collective to showcase their next range of kaftans and I was one happy chappy to be involved again! Their debut range has been a great success and Founder/Director Olivia has been super busy creating 8 new prints of kaftans, dresses and tops. Fun, flirty and versatile, I want one of each! We had 24 outfits to work through which meant that it was going to be a busy day.

Chantelle our beautiful model was flown up from Melbourne and she made my job incredibly easy. I don't think I have ever worked with such a polite and hard-working model. Her energy is contagious and she has a natural knack for getting each pose perfect. I did not envy talented Photographer Andrew Barbaczy’s job of sorting through all the images after….there would have been too many corkers!

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Break it d o w n:

  • P e r f e c t  S K I N means minimal foundation. It is all about prepping the skin. Buffing MAC Prep & Prime Essential Oil into the skin to hydrate meant that the skin already had a radiance before the foundation. Using oil doesn't have to mean that it is going to cause acne FYI….think of it as super hydration which will get absorbed with no residue.
  • I knew that I didn't want one feature to stand out so I decided that I was going to stick to N E U T R A L tones that tied in together. MAC have a beautiful creme blush called Uncommon which I knew would work beautiful on the eyes too. Buffing it on with a fluffy #217 brush and then laying matte brown eyeshadow Taupe by Bobbi Brown over the top. I used a great MAC Kohl Pencil called Costa Riche and smudged it along the lash-line. It was then intensified by applying Embark eyeshadow over the top. The ruddiness of the pencil and eyeshadow really brought out Chantelle’s beautiful eyes. I lightened the inner part of her eye with Orb eyeshadow, this attracted light to her eyes creating an open-eyed look.
  • How do you C O N T O U R when you want to keep the skin looking fresh and dewy? You can use a creme based product, like a darker foundation. I used the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Number to 6 contour Chantelle’s cheeks.
  • Uncommon creme B L U S H was applied on the apples of the cheeks.
  • When you want to H I G H L I G H T the face its important to stick to the high points of the face. For this shoot I applied Hush Cream Colour Base along the top of Chantelle’s cheekbones, on her brow bone and also at the top of her cupids bow on her lips.
  • To keep the palette consistent I used the creme blush Uncommon on her L I P S and outlined it with Subculture lipliner.

If anyone is loving the jewellery as much as me then go to Susan Drivers website and try to resist. Kaftans and tropical jewellery....luckily christmas is coming!!


the p l u n g e

Sometimes, you have to just follow your h e a r t .

I am lucky to have the pleasure of meeting a lot of people through my work and I LOVE the relationships and opportunities that unfold from our interactions.

Olivia Babarczy had been working in the corporate game for many years when she decided it was time to mix things up. She wanted to invest her time in something she had a love for.

R e s o r t  w e a r .

Olivia was just about to have her fourth child when she decided to launch this new project. I think she is Superwoman! The Plunge Collective was born and since its launch in November it has been dressing ladies in fun and beautiful patterned kaftans Australia wide. Lightweight with a silk and cotton blend means you can throw it on for any occasion and they feel fabulous.

When Olivia asked me to help with the hair and makeup for the shoot, I jumped at the chance. Using pinterest we came up with a glowing bronzed look for our model, Jira from Chic Management. Jira made my job so very EASY. What a beauty and what a professional.

m a k e u p   b r e a k d o w n

Skin : when working with perfect skin, you really don't need to do much. Hydrate it with MAC Lightful C Formula, dot on some Select Cover Up Concealer where it is needed under the eyes and buff on a very light layer of Smashbox BB Cream. Seal it in with a spray of Fix + and we were ready!

Eyes : Gold and bronze. I used Fix + with a flat #239 brush to spread Vintage Gold Pigment over Jira’s lid. It creates a fantastic moist look to the eyelid without looking like the product is clammy. I used Shadester Sculpting powder to contour her eyes. I wanted to define her eyes without being too dark so I used a great pencil called Powersurge. Its an ashy bronze colour that seems to suit everyone and you can pop it in the waterline for adding a bit of oomph and get rid of any redness.

Lashes : Fluffy lashes were created with individual lashes evenly spread out along the eye. I used a combination of the short and medium length Ardell lashes and used minimal mascara so that the lashes looked less brittle.

Lips : We wanted to a have a few different looks using different colours. I used: Morange (orange), Rebel (dark plum) with Currant Lipliner blended, Shy Girl (nude) and Lady Danger (tomato red).

Warmth : I wanted to keep the cheeks very neutral as Jira would be in a number of outfits and the look was all about glow and bronze. I brought in warmth by using Shadester on Jira’s forehead and cheeks and applied a beautiful blush called Trace Gold. It has a soft gold shimmer to it so it gave the cheeks a subtle sheen.

Hair : Using my trusty GHD straightener I was able to create some fantastic soft curls in Jira's hair. We were going to accessorise one of the kaftans with a turban and then have a number of different hairstyles to vary the look. The secret here is to not use too many products as the hair has to stay malleable. I am a big fan of the Unite products especially the Texturiza Spray . Its great for styling freshly washed dry hair and giving dirtier hair a bit of a boost.

Photo credits must go to the talented Fashion Photographer Andrew Babarczy who flew up from Melbourne to be a part of the fun.

Best of Luck to The Plunge Collective and I cant wait to see more fabulous prints in the next season. xx

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w e d d i n g – Alison & Justin

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The weather could not make up its mind. Would Alison and Justin be able to get married outside as planned? Yes, yes they would! It certainly was a bit dicey there for a while…but rain and clouds can certainly produce a beautiful backdrop and light for the photographs. Creek St Photography has captured it wonderfully, follow the link to see more on their blog.


m a k e u p    b r e a k d o w n
  • Skin:  Alison had quite dry skin when we first met so her mission was to hydrate intensely. I recommended for her to exfoliate twice a week with Clinique 7 Day Scrub and also intensifying her moisturiser with either Rosehip Oil or a serum. Her skin was radiant for the wedding day.
  • Base:  Studio Fix Fluid was buffed into her skin mixed with Fix + Spray to make the foundation easier to spread. The coverage can be a little intense with this foundation so i like to thin it out when I am working with good skin.
  • Eyes:  Natural but with definition. I love to work with the MAC Paint Pots as a base so I used Vintage Selection on Alison. They stop moisture coming through the eyelid and they create a fantastic medium to apply & blend the eyeshadows.
  • Eyebrows:  We had a mission of growing out Alison’s brows leading up to the big day and with a bit of perseverance we got them to a great shape. On the day, we filled them in with Fling Brow Pencil and then kept the hairs in place with Emphatically Blonde Brow Gel.
  • Cheeks:  I used Springsheen Blush as this really made Alison’s skin glow and we contoured with a bronzer called Shadstar.


Wedding Gown: Mia Solano      Photography: Creek Street    Hair: Jaimi Neal @ Blondes and Bows Hair Artistry

f a i r y t a l e

A warehouse space.   Stunning Gowns.   A photographer with a fairytale vision.

“In the Q u i e t”

We hired a fantastic space in Lilyfield called Legs on the Wall which used to be a Parachute Hall. The light is amazing first thing in the morning and it is a space that can capture and cast shadows in just the right place. Kerstin from Lillikad is my favourite photographer to work with and she has again used her magical eye and lens to time stamp the dreamy “Sleeping Beauty” story behind this photoshoot.

Celine, our gorgeous model absolutely loved wearing the gowns by Karen Willis Holmes and it shows in the photos. She has such a youthful and innocent look to her and it was perfect for the feel of the shoot.

The amazing floristry was created by Oh Flora, it was a treat to be able to watch how another artist works and produces their art.

m a k e u p  b r e a k d o w n

  • Base: When you are working with amazingly even skin, keep it light and fresh! Face & Body Foundation mixed with Fix + Spray and buffed in with 189 Brush
  • Eyebrows: Clear Eyebrow Gel

Can you believe I did the hair??? Celine had A LOT of hair to work with so it did test my capabilities but I think after all these years of working in a hair salon and witnessing the handiwork of hairdressers I know my way around a head… Or at least I can bluff it! In fact, I love it. I love the challenge. Its in my nature to break things down and I love to work out how things work and why they look good. I am pretty chuffed with the results!

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Photography: Lillikad Photography     Floral Styling: Oh Flora     Beautiful Gowns: Karen Willis Holmes 

Stationary:  The Little Press      Model: Celine @ Brazen Models

# n o f i l t e r

I PROMISE to NOT use filters on any of my photos that showcase my work....

Do you know why? Because my work is about real life, real vision and what we see in real time. None of us are walking around with filters on our eyes. There are so many apps to help us achieve a flawless and in my honest opinion an unrealistic look nowadays. I think it is messing with our perception!

Instagram is wonderful for a lot of things but I'm beginning to think that "reality" is being a little bit warped.

Granted, filters can make a photo look pretty. They can accentuate colours. They can smooth out lines and creases. They can make us look younger. Give that photo a tea-stained sepia tinge and we are instantly "vintage". There is even a function where you can whiten teeth and eyeballs!

Its clever. Not only are we "smugging" about an amazing experience that we are having (and actually not being that present in the moment because we HAVE to record it on our phones) but we can now look EXTRA beautiful whilst doing it!

I am a sucker for it, I've definitely used them on myself in the past...if in doubt, change your photo to black and white and I can guarantee you will instantly look better haha!

Some may argue that makeup itself is "fake" and "cheating" and I suppose I would agree to a certain degree. We use it because we want to look our best, we like the transformation and the confidence it brings. Makeup should NOT feel or look like a mask though.

So, my instagram account that displays my makeup won't have filters on, no sireeeeeee. I want to showcase my work, I want it to be MY work. No clever lighting. No filter. And no plastic fantastic models either. I like to see how beautiful a woman can look naturally.

Let's look and enjoy the REAL things in life!



so much c o n f u s i o n

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Does anyone else feeling like their skin is thoroughly confused at the moment?

Yes, yes it is!

There is a tightening, a flakiness and a dullness and I am sick of it. The time has come to have a bit of an overhaul on my routine and the products that I am slapping on!

It is a case of finding the right formula for you but here are my recommendations:

Cleansing and Makeup Removal - This can surely be done at the same time can’t it? Some brands love to advocate these processes be done separately but I am l.a.z.y. I use a product by Bobbi Brown called Cleansing Balm Rinse during the cooler months and it melts my makeup off and cleans every pore and crevice on my face. I love it because it doesn't strip my skin of much needed hydration during the winter. And then during the summer I use Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I only do this at night and then I will just splash my face in the morning with a bit of warm water.

Exfoliating - I love the feeling of my skin after exfoliating. My favourite is the Clinique 7 Day Scrub, apparently you can use it everyday but you wouldn’t want to use anymore than twice a week as it will confuse your skin to produce too much oil. By exfoliating, you will be removing dead skin cells, encouraging circulation and creating a smooth surface for foundation.

Moisturising - I actually use the same cream morning and night and its just by Olay. During the day, it creates a hydrated base for my makeup to be applied and then at night I step up the hydration by adding a serum like Dr Lewwin’s Ultimate Lift Serum. In the colder and drier months I bump it up with Rose Hip Oil or Vitamin E oil. It is really important to spend time rubbing in your products properly…you will notice a difference especially when you apply foundation.

Eye Cream - Moisturised skin cells are plump cells which means less lines and wrinkles. So pick a cream rather than a gel for under the eye area. Concentrate the cream under the eye for during the day when wearing makeup and then at night you can add it to the upper lid. I am currently using Clinique Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream and its doing a lovely job.

Over complicate - Lets not overcomplicate things by using a ton of different products. For example: Toning, in my opinion is the biggest waste of time, there is actually no evidence that it does anything! BUT, if you like the feeling of it, you can use Rose Water.

I strongly believe that the most expensive product isn’t necessarily the best either. Just because it has a fancy name and fancy price tag does not mean that it is going to work miracles. The main focus should be building a routine that you can maintain. Try to get products that hydrate, this in itself will help plump up the cells smoothing out lines and help with the elasticity of your skin. Bright and perky, thats what we are looking for!