Editorial England: Wild Dartmore

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A couple of months ago the editorial team of Razz My Berries Magazine handed over our reigns to a brilliant, fresh new committee of burgeoning writers, online whizzes and social butterflies. I packed my Razz experience into a proverbial box and sat, baking languidly in the summer sun, reminiscing the fashion, editing and beauty opportunities that had come my way over the past two years. And, as I sat, my phone suddenly buzzed, rather insistently, in my pocket – Toby Craddock, the Magazine’s new Editor wanted to know if I was free for the next creative shoot.
And out of the blue, the experience was not quite over at all.

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With the launch of the magazine, I can finally reveal some sneaky, behind-the-scenes shots of arguably the best editorial campaign Razz My Berries has yet seen: the Dartmore Collaboration.
Not that I could possibly be biased.

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Creative Editor: Wentworth Cecil-Gurney
Model: Joe Stewart, Jules Howe
Photographer: Nathan Dunovic
MUA & Dresser: Charlotte Black
MU/Lighting Assistant: Marianne Pilloux

On a sizzling Sunday in summer, the shoots Creative Editor, Wentworth Cecil-Gurney, along with some of the most fabulous props curtsey of the National Theatre London, veered into Exeter and collected out five-strong artistic team for the day.  I was make-up artist and on hand-dresser on a stunning day’s romp through the Dartmore hills where everything that could possibly happen, just happened.

I guess it’s appropriate to say here that I’m not the most spontaneous person in the world. In fact, the word rolls reluctantly over my tongue with a less-than-fair share of unease; I’ll readily admit that I have several traits of being an oldest child, and certain people may have muttered the words ‘control-freak’ in description of my person (at their own peril, of course). Luckily however, un-spontaneity aside, working in the creative world, and with many creative types, this particular trait, which I would rather refer to as being obsessively organised, has been (forcibly) tempered over the years by learning to quietly go with the flow. Definitely useful on a shoot like this.

 Having never met any of the team before, the artistic venture turned out to be one of the most strange, but utterly fantastic I’ve had yet: we sped wildly and we ran out of fuel spectacularly; we ate cream teas and drank pints, shared car-chat and car-silence; we chased ponies, dodged road-roaming cows and borrowed certain historical sites on creative licence, and enjoyed what absolute weirdness can happen in the rare English sun when six undergrads come together to make  and create a stylised shoot.

There’s nothing like the buzz on set when things flowing smoothly from one shot to another, practically glowing the in late afternoon sun. Spontaneity’s the name of the game when you’re working with a limited supply of make up in the wilderness, moving from one shot to another in a set, and shooting in natural lighting. We may have been six strangers (and one happy puppy) on meeting at 10AM, but on set, and in assuming our rightful roles, we could really feel things building; you can spend an afternoon as just people, travelling through the wilderness of Dartmore, but when business called we were suddenly and certainly, an editorial team. Photoshoot setting , tools in hand and perfect light, the Razz Magazine Dartmore Editorial was well and truly under way.

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Photography credits:Marianne Pilloux & Charlotte Black

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MAKE-UP

For this shoot, it was out with the lights and dressing rooms, and into the open nature as we worked on the grass to get Joe and Jules photo ready with my small box of tools and Jules’ own make-up.

Focusing on the skin in a puritanical/gothic, out of the 17th Century look for JULES, it was out with the bronzer and in the the pale foundation for her porcelain skin. Even the most perfect needs some protection against the glare of summer sun, especially in photographs – and summer shine is so not 17th Century. Foundation followed by a light, powder-based sculpting tone (try Cezanne, Japan) to accentuate the angles of her face, a sweep of a red based blusher and translucent finishing powder (try Bare Minerals Veil).  Wentworth was looking for a dark, purplish lip to match the dress, so a little improvising with a mixture of eyeshadow powder and lippy, and an all-over matt look was finished. A quick half-up, half-down do with a pinned square or reed knot (for you former Brownies and Scouts out there) and she was ready to be buckled into her plush velvet dress. Hot in the sun!

Personally, I think it’s always strange putting make-up on boys, and despite having done it on a regular basis working in the theatre with Exeter University Theatre Company, I still haven’t been able to shake the feeling that it’s a little exciting, if not lightly odd! I guess I’ve been putting it on myself since I could hold a lipstick (ruining several of my mum’s lipsticks in the bathroom, sorry mum), and I’ve got twenty odd years to catch up on when it comes to make-uping the lads. With JOE it was a non-shimmer bronzer to accentuate his bone structure, pencilling his eyebrows, and the mandatory sweep of mascara and liner. As rough and ready as we were going for, it got a little up close and personal with the tweezers as Wentworth asked for some eyebrow taming, so thankfully Marianne stepped in… Then it was off to hold the light reflectors and catch the afternoons rays!

Check out the Alternative Freshers Guide Campaign which features one of Photographer Nathan Dunovic’s shots!

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Razz My Berries Alternative Freshers Guide

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Look out for the next Razz My Berries Issue to see the shoot in full. If you’re lucky enough to in Exeter, the University campus shop stocks copies, or get in touch with the editors at razzmag@gmail.com.

Find out more about the Magazine on Twitter | Facebook | WordPress
And about our lovely Photographer’s clothing line at Tight-Threads.com

And until next time…

If these shots are anything to go by, it’s OK to be spontaneous.

(Sometimes.)

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Charlotte xx

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Makeup Illustration © Lose & Find

Beauty Au Natural?

WHEN PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

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In the mediated world of the twenty-first century, it can seem like all your friends at 21 have the same, smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom skin that they popped into the world with, sans trickery. And while the fact is most of them won’t and we all know it, we still torture ourselves with the idea that the rest of the world is perfect, and we, the ugly club’s sole member, should probably be getting that brown paper bag for our heads already… BUT. Just like the models at fashion week will have been wearing cosmetics, so will they. While ‘The Barely There’ face is of my favourite make up looks, it is named with a wonderful amount of irony, considering the amount of products this actually takes to achieve for most. The make-up trade’s trick is to do au natural, without letting on there’s anything there at all. That’s easier said than done, however as someone once said, it is simply that practice makes perfect, and this philosophy is as true of make up as it is of anything else. From the internet to in the supermarket, on the TV to the billboards, from me to you: we’re all wrapped up in this casual trickery. Should we be worried?

Last term, Charles III Photography collaborated with friends to create their ‘People in Places’ album, and I had the pleasure of working as make-up artist with model-for-the-day, the lovely Caroline Lewin to recreate a subtle, natural glowing skin tone. The great thing about working with non-editorial/beauty models is it not only gives you a chance to demonstrate your skills as a make-up artist, but even better, it gives everyday gals a chance to realise that with the right make-up, anyone can match the supple, fresh complexion of Taylor Swift. Which in turn, makes me wonder…

Fresh, glowing skin for  © Charles III Photography
Fresh, glowing skin for © Charles III Photography

Working and living with make up day in and day out, as most women of our era do, can make one wonder about the conflicting pressures to be a certain type of beautiful, and to be it naturally. Let’s face it: as unfortunate as it is, we can’t all be that (annoyingly pretty but most likely lovely) friend who’s skin unfairly perfect. Certainly growing up in my house, I was always told not to wear make-up, but I was left to make my own decision this evidently did not happen. From around fifteen, I had a morning routine of experimenting with “painting my face” (quote Daddy Black) and as I’ve grown older, this routine play with and between a ‘natural’ self, self-representation and self-fashioning that happens each morning, has become an interesting dilemma – which crops up particularily when I get the feeling I shouldn’t step out of my room without looking decently human. To be fair, my hung-over zombie look is not particularly pleasant for anyone involved, but who am I pleasing when I chuck on some concealer and mascara…?

SO WHAT?

It doesn’t take much internet searching or general pondering to see that the bigger and overt issues of ‘acceptable’ image are everywhere from the London SlutWalks, the first UK case legally classifying an attack on a goth in Manchester as legitimate hate crime, the Berka banned in French schools. But even the issues as simple as the way our complexion is, or the size of the circles under are eyes are in play with these standardisation of what is deemed ‘right’, ‘preferable’ or even ‘acceptable’. There is underlying a societal pressure to meet a disturbingly naturalised idea of appearance that simply doesn’t seem to be reachable without make-up, and it’s been prevalent in human society as far back as the Egyptians.

While it’s all great to celebrate ‘natural beauty’ and damn the cosmetics industry for instilling false ideals of ‘real’ beauty, how natural is the beauty we’re celebrating? Realistically, if you get an inconveniently placed spot and have to option of covering it up, most of us are still going to reach for the concealer and conform. Ladies, if you’ve got bags under your eyes because you’ve been up writing essays/blogging/procrastinating, Benefit’s Erase Paste is probably going to be on the agenda the next morning. (Lads, is the equivalent a bleary shave, careful mussing of the hair and a lot of splashing cold water?) There is something to be said for how our scientifically validated world values what science says is healthy. And to state the blindingly obvious, no one I know actively strives to look bad. But the conversations that don’t happen are the ones about what this pressure of ‘bad’ is and where it comes from…

Where does bad come from then? Maybelline, it’s not looking good for you…

Realising the tools the media industry has at its disposal to warp our self-perception can be powerful, and at least empower us to consider what influences our everyday decisions. We all know that physical beauty is what it says on the tin – skin deep –  but that knowledge (for me at least) doesn’t supplant some socially constructed and innate desire to look a certain way. Should I be more wary of the discourse I am entering into and perhaps advocating by performing a certain type of image and denouncing another? Furthermore, what are the fashion, beauty and make-up industries which I so adore, doing to the way we perceive and present ourselves? Is this concealer routine a path of good, or evil?

This is is more of a pondering on self-perception and social influences than any attempt to pose an answer or impose a judgement. Equally, there are still so many thoughts of social branding and non-verbal communication flapping about my head that I simply cannot continue to ramble on with.  Make up is still for me, a pretty fantastic way of creatively “expressing yourself” or “self-fashioning” or whatever you want to call it – albeit superficially. I’m (a little self-indulgently) convinced as long as I’m thinking about these things, and trying to make conscious choices, my brain won’t vegetate.

What do you think, Emma?

Any thoughts? Comment.

Peace out.

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The Make-Up B(l)ag: Cover-Up

APRIL CONCEALER

If there’s only one teeny-tiny, minuscule, barely there upside to not having flawless skin – and we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here – it’s that it’s trained me to work to make up for it. (See what I did there…?)  In my experience, it’s next to impossible for me to roll out of bed looking pristine and presentable, more likely than not, I need a bit of help along the way. But only recently that I’ve started getting paid for my obsession with recreating naturally flawless skin and it’s been a long slog of experimenting that’s brought me here. So, I feel it’s only fair to share a few tips for my make-up bag’s CHEAPEST essential, tried and tested on little old me.

 Concealer: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer – £3.99, Boots

Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer

While there’s no make up that works for absolutely everyone, for most, this little liquid concealer is worth its weight in gold. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s my desert island (with date) essential. People are mostly right to be afraid of cheap make-up, as there are a lot of cosmetics out there that have no right to be sold as anything other than children’s face-paints. But this baby is a smooth textured, creamy concealer with a wand applicator which dries to matt, and the claims of waterproof and 16hr wear aren’t far off the bat – kudos for Collection 2000.

Unfortunately, there are only four shade options – I wear No. 3 Medium – but if you can’t match yours and want to experiment with this as a base layer concealer, try a shade lighter than your natural skin tone and work over it once it’s dried (see tip a).

TIPS:

a) As a thick concealer, it can be difficult to blend. Try applying it as a base pre-foundation concealer, or if applying on top, use very sparingly and dab with the tips of your fingers to build coverage. As a base concealer, it’s tricky to do as the texture of the concealed area will be different, but worth a try if you’ve time to experiment.

b) As with all make-up, double-dipping is a nightmare for hygiene – so my advice is wash those hands and only use the wand applicator to transfer to the back of your hand before application. I’d always recommend this step as it not only warms the make-up to a better consistency, it’s super clean.

c) All concealers are a pain for dry skin and can end up looking flaky or unfortunately scaley (as unpleasant as those adjectives are, you know what I mean). Try moisturising the night before using, if necessary, a gentle exfoliant beforehand. Dab concealer into skin and remember that if you don’t give your base primer/moisturiser time to sink into skin, the concealer won’t sit!

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Behind the Scenes: Distortion and Control Photoshoot

So you may remember that a couple of months ago, the Razz My Berries Magazine’s editorial team (of which yours truly is a member) worked make-up and styling for the Issue 14 photoshoot: ‘Distortion and Control’. Editor Becky Lodder wrote up the day’s Behind the Scenes article with sneaky preview photos from Online Editor Katherine McIntosh – and my intensely-concentrating face even featured in a cheeky photo on the website. It was a fabulous morning of tense make-up overseeing – and most importantly, the role of light diffuser holding – in the beautiful Reed Hall. For this project, the editors worked closely with London-based photographer Charles III Photography, who was on set both photographing and filming under his sub-company Travis & the Gentleman for the day…

Hair and Make-Up: Distortion and Control Photoshoot

And here’s a sneaky few shots from the day! The landscape shots can be opened in full by clicking on the photos.

Razz My Berries Magazine | Issue 14 Distortion & Control

© Charles III Photography
Models Left to Right: Conor Bryne, Emma Brisdon, Mellissa Bryan, Alina Ivan, Toby Craddock, Ioana Cristina Minulescu
© Charles III Photography
Model: Ioana Cristina Minulescu
© Charles III Photography
Model: Toby Craddock

© Charles III Photography

© Charles III Photography

© Charles III Photography

It’s always interesting  to look at photos in hindsight – an artist, or at least I, am never 100% happy with my work; call me a perfectionist, but there’s always something that I would love to try differently or improve on. However, this is the real world: time is money, experience is all about making mistakes and unfortunately, you can’t start out calling all the shots on set – all we can do is keep moving on and upwards. I can’t wait for the next chance to work with such a great team of the creatives to build a shared vision of something beautiful; I am dying to do big shoots like this in the future…

Ladies and Gents, fashion is my drug of choice.

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Technical Madness + Curl Creations

What do I have in common with curls, wigs and Luigi Murenu? You have no idea.

February, 2013.

By day I’m despairing in hair trials with actresses; by night, I’m trawling youtube videos of women who like to pretend they’re Marie Antoinette. I’m in trouble:  I’m worryingly obsessed with a late 17th century up-do.

Ok, but it’s not because I’m pining for a lost age of bee-hive like hairstyles (which, as it seems from youtube, some people actually are). It’s because the sixth of this month is show week for a professional production of Peter Shaffer’s ‘Amadeus’ – helpfully set in late 17th century Vienna. …And at this moment, I’m rather regretting my role as Costume Manager. It’s more like ‘Hair, Make-Up, Costume and Twenty-Seven Actors’ Manager.

But, with incredible desperation, no money and mild insomnia – comes inspiration!

Et voilà!

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My ‘dos are created by over fifteen barrel rolled curls, secured with slides and hairspray, a high front quiff and various hanging curls. And after creating these babies, for four consecutive show nights with my team of army-drilled hair girls, I have nothing in my head but a hell of a lot of respect for the teams that work behind the scenes at Fashion Week

March 2013. 

Luigi Murenu is designing and creating these fabulous paint-dusted, flat-pin curled wonders  for Givenchy at the AW Paris Fashion Week. This wig-like creation with rich yet soft pastel tones is to absolutely die for.

Luigi Murenu for Givenchy
Photo Credit: Victoria Will

The matching matt and simple make-up, paired with statement hair, looks breathtaking against the dark, military tones of Givenchy’s collection. For my two cents, I’d be really curious to see how this look would have been if the models eyebrows had been shaded to match the hair, but Muernu’s creations sit self-consciously, and brilliantly, wig-like, rather than a futuristic statement I reckon the added eyebrows would make.

Givency AW Fashion Week
Floral prints and striped leather
Givency AW Fashion Week
Floaty gauze and heavy zipped leather

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Born in Sardinia, Italy in 1964, Murenu is Global Creative Director for John Frieda and can boast the nearly all the big name clientèle of the fashion world:  Armani, Gucci, YSL, Viktor & Rolf, Chloe, Givenchy, Prada, Roberto Cavalli,  Louis Vuitton,Versace… Need I go on? And that’s not even to mention the sheer array of beautiful celebs that have managed to get their hands on him over the years –  Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Charlize Theron – I’m talking to you.

Unfortunately, the big difference between me and Luigi Murenu is that he’s probably sitting on a six figure salary, easy. Whereas I, the lowly student am working my butt off for free. But hey, I love it.

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The serious “I’m working” face returns…

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We’ve all got to start somewhere, eh?

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“Do me up, Darling”: SS Make-Up

I’ve just started work as Hair & Make-Up Artist for a London-based photography company, and I’m dying to whip up some looks from the runway while we’re on the spring summer board. Here’s a quick lowdown of five fabulous looks that I’m hoping to sneak in there over the next couple of shoots…

1. Shock Me Silly: I’ll be the first to say that green and lips in the same sentence makes me ill. Yet, while these lips are borderline ridiculous, this shade is stunning on a ivory and angular beauty back drop. The combination of a yellow-lime lip with a darker shade glitter cover is blended in nicely with a yellow toned blush. Kudos to the Maybelline team at Thierry Mugler’s SS 2012 Paris Fashion Week.

Lime Pop Lip

2. Colour Blush: Punching in to Spring with a bright palette is on the agenda, and somewhere in there I’m hoping to liven things up with an accent colour on the cheeks reminiscent of MAC‘s ginger coloured blusher in 2011. This contouring and highlighting look is going to be a great one for the big brush and some wacky colours…

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img-richard-nicoll-spring-2011-beauty_220350926870.jpg_collection_2_col

 

3. The Classic: It’s a beautiful day when someone takes the Scouse Brow and give it a good smack up into the realms of classy. I can’t seem to get away from this classic 1920s-esque classic brow, as sported by Cara Delevingne – though, why would you want to? From the Dutchess of Cambridge to the British born baby supermodel, this lightly accentuated brow is the simple way to clean up a day look into high fashion. Looking forward to testing it out with a simple white eye or red lip.

 Jason Wu Spring 2013 NY Fashion Week

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4.Full Eyed Stare: This filled in eye and nude lip combo is begging to be tested out in the next month. Using the full space around the eye, but not looking like you’ve taken a few punches the night before is no mean feat – but the light use of powder eye-shadow and some sneaking shading pulls this one off. Even without going too heavy on the mascara, Chanel’s Spring 2011 smoky runway look is a real popper for all eye colours, while Lavin’s Fall 2008 holds nothing back in metallic black. Swoon.

Chanel's Spring 2011Lanvin Fall 08


5. Hot & Sultry: Think heavy summer nights, sticky hedonism and shaded rooms. This plush lip and dark eye combo is a classic, but I’m itching to try out this variation on the sultry look that boasts a velvety matt finish that featured in Chanel’s 2009 Noirs Obscurs campaign. This sharp lined lip with a slick, but not shiny gloss sits like varnish against the dry, dust look of the eyes. A rich, warm-toned treat.

Malgosia Bela for Chanel

So much make-up, so little time. Let me know what your favourite looks  are from the SS season of Fashion Week!

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