Category: The Magic

Posted in The Look, The Magic

Rita The Goddess

Rita! Or Gilda, or Margarita Carmen Hayworth. Really, it’s hard to tell them all apart. Rita was was an invention, an actress, a dancer and a Goddess! Image is a self-portrait and was edited to remove acne scars.

There were femme fatales, girls next door, tough girls, country girls, good wives, up until Gilda.  After Gilda, appeared the Hollywood Goddess. With her million-dollar smile, twinkling eyes, vaporous hair, sensuous dancing, she breathed life into celluloid divinity! Pushing away the European Femme Fatale, and creating the All-American Glamour Goddess.

She famously said: “All men fall in love with Gilda, but wake up with me”. A poignant statement and warning about the curse that glamour places on those who weave the spell: is that it carries on in real life.

I went for bare shoulders, like in Gilda‘s iconic closeups. A Technicolour flush, from whatever makes the heart race, and the skin glow. Bless you Rita, wherever you are, for making sexy, classy. We can only wish to live up to the grace you gave!

Rita as Terpsichore, a Greek Goddess that comes to Earth for a Musical Show.
I used this rendering as the inspiration for a more modern version of the look.
Posted in The Magic

Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara is a painter, but since she is a self-made woman, I let her join my little pantheon of Vogue Showgirls. If anything, she obviously used her own face for many of the paintings. And if she was around today, I’m pretty sure she would be doing self-portraits. After all, instagram is the new miniature painting gallery. I decided to work the characters that appear in the works, as well as on the artist. Her Love of contrasting colours, bold shapes and renaissance colours made her 1930-1940 paintings on par with the great Dali. Notice how intimidated he is by this worldly woman! Editing was to remove some of my scars, but I left behind some eyebags, they look good with this style.

My Character Study for Tamara de Lempicka, set in 1939. I adapted the makeup to my face. To represent the in-between of 30s and 40s I used 40s hair with 30s brows.
Posted in The Magic

Mr. Lutens & Me

One of my teen idols was Monsieur Lutens. In an age where there was no digital retouching, only airbrushing, and no screen to see how it’s turning out to be. Waiting for the proofs to arrive! You have no idea! The quality and level of his images for Shiseido are still unparalleled, even in our digital age. Reflecting the Sarah Moons and BIBA of the seventies, he took that language into the 80s and reinvented it with Japanese beauty in mind. Add some art deco aesthetics that were trendy in the 80s, and some of his own inspiration (Dovima, I suspect). His women are enigmatic, like sphinxes, or modern Geishas. Perhaps even silent movie stars. I took a spin at the aesthetic language and as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery! Thank you for your wonderful Legacy Monsieur Lutens.
Images are self-portrait, the skin was edited to remove my acne scarring.

I added my own inspirations to the mix, Russian film posters, Japanese Kabuki makeup and some tuxedo realness, with a touch of boyishness…is that you Marlena?
Ring is Vintage Saint Laurent. Suit and bow tie are vintage finds.
Dior Rouge Ultra Rouge lipsticks 946 Ultra Radical
Posted in The Magic

Lip Service – A Fall Roundup of New Lippies

My love story with makeup started with a lipstick. I remember buying Ruby Woo from a M.A.C. Counter, back when there was no Sephora. And, then, when I worked as a beauty editor, I had the privilege to get so many different ones– and I collected them all! And this fall, it’s all about getting back to some lip service. Continue reading

Making Up The Magic Certifeye palette review
Posted in The Magic

Certifeye – The Tropical Wonders Palette -REVIEW

Yes! Another palette! But, but..: I’m on a journey to Technicolor Land and I have to stash some colour makeup/pigments for my new creations! And this was my first rainbow and matte palette on my way to life in colour.

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The Ordinary Review Ewa Bilinska
Posted in The Magic

Ordinary Skincare – Review

I rarely do any skincare reviews, because it’s a very personal thing. A product can be fabulous or a dud depending on whom you ask. But since The Ordinary has peaked my interest, I wanted to investigate!

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Posted in The Look, The Magic

Holidaze – The Glitz

Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. This look was created by layering the colours next to each other. I was inspired by all the jewel tones. I wanted to keep the colours “pure”, and see how bright I could get them for the camera.
Model: Lucrezia at Dulcedo Models.
Wig by Coco.Cristal

I’m confessin’:  it’s tough to photograph the glitter textures of the Pat McGrath shadows. They do show up better in person, or in video, but I had to work a new lighting for these shots to get the glitter to register. If you’ve done session work as a makeup artist, you know how hard it is to make things sparkle! 

When I had the idea to use these colours from the palettes, I had a sort of technicolor intense Hollywood glimmer feel. I’ve always had a love affair with old Hollywood glamour portraits. I was also doing a lot of research on 80s makeup. It sort of trickled down into these bold colour ideas. It was a leap of faith to see how what I saw in my head would translate to an actual look.  The trick was figuring out how to create the shapes and how much space each color would occupy. 


It’s really Interesting how the photography changes the effect of the makeup look. Lucrezia has the same makeup in all images. The last one we did without the wig, with her natural hair and the effect of the makeup is completely different! The best angle for the eye makeup was a three-quarter, mostly because of the blue, you can see the rainbow effect and the blue picked up more of the light so you can see the glittery texture.

SHOUT OUT TO COCO.CRISTAL who lent me one of her natural hair wigs so I could transform Lucrezia. You can get in touch with her through her @coco.cristal instagram 

Natasha Denona Holiday Joya Palette
 Illamasqua Liquid Metal (limited edition) in deep blueedition
NARS single eyeshadow in Wishful Thinking
Pat McGrath Subversive palette
Urban Decay 24h eyeliner Sabbath on lips
Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil in Reverb on lips


Posted in The Magic

Street Styling

This time makeup is minimal, it’s all about some style. Working With Mathilde, I had to have fun out on the streets!

Model: Mathilde

I got an e-mail to work with Mathilde, a new face from Dulcedo models here in Montreal. I noticed right away her long lean figure. She has a great face that holds it’s own with it’s strong, structured canvas. I did a Gisèle inspired makeup with some glowy and sculpted bronzer, I love using the Givenchy Face powder for that, it’s got a nice soft application and the color works with more red skintones. For eyes I started using my newly bought Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette. I used a lip pencil by Lise Watier called Vintage, all over the lips, and I used Stone by M.A.C to line and define.




Second look, I paired a vintage leather jacket from the 60s, the jeans are H&M and are Mathilde’s own. Booties are vintage Rudsak.

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Posted in The Look, The Magic

Girls of The Park

I decided it was time to get out of the studio and take a break from the strobe lights and try working with natural light.

I originally wanted to do some summer bronze, but when Amélie from Next Canada showed up with her naturally pale, milky skin, and reddish brown hair, I decided to stay close to her natural beauty. In the studio you can get away with fake bronzer tricks, but outside it’s harder to fool the camera.

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Model, Amélie from Next Canada
Clothing by Valerie Dumaine