Working with Anna Gare

7 Feb


More and more I’m being asked to style as well as to do Make Up and Hair on shoots.  I absolutely love styling.  After all, what is more fun than being paid to shop? This week I was lucky enough to style and do H&M on Anna Gare.  Anna is a celebrity chef and has her own show about to air called “Bake Off”

I was so excited to do wardrobe for her as I love her slightly quirky vintage style.  I knew exactly where to go to find some awesome dresses for her, so headed straight to the Leona Edmiston store.  I was able to borrow five gorgeous dresses for her to try.  In addition, I also shopped for basics, like jeans, t-shirts and shirts from David Jones as well as Kmart and Big W!

Anna was just as gorgeous in person as on TV.  She is incredibly funny, warm and so down to earth.  She absolutely LOVED the wardrobe I had chosen for her and ended up taking home two dresses, a bright orange shirt from Sportscraft and a pair of red skinny jeans from K-Mart ($15.00!).  I was so happy when she said “it was the best wardrobe selection I have ever walked in to”.

Make up and Hair on Anna was a breeze!  She is so naturally pretty with devine dimples and gorgeous skin. I kept her make up really simple, wanting to maintain her natural style. I hope we get to work together again!


Testing 1,2,3

27 Aug

As a make up artist, as in any profession, it is so important to test.  Testing allows you to try new techniques, idea’s, finally use that inspiration you’ve been looking at for ages.  Testing means you collaborate with other creative people, all working for free, in exchange for some awesome shots for your portfolio.

My latest test was at Rookwood Cemetry with Arneka Grosvenor for Undiscovered Creative.  This was her vision.

Here is my model, Agnes.  She has recently signed to an agency.  Hard to believe she is just 15.

It was another windy day at Rookwood cemetry.  Agnes and I waited in the car while the stylist organised the outfits.

Rookwood Cemetry is known for being the largest and historically multicultural site in Australia. It has been a cemetry since the 1840’s and is the final resting place for many convicts and pioneers.

The clothes were so beautiful and fit in perfectly with the surroundings.

For this look I wanted to create a little bit of drama, but still keep it soft and pretty.  Agnes is so beautiful I really wanted to keep her youth and innocence but still be inspired by her surroundings.  I wanted a little bit of sadness in her eyes.

I used Christian Dior in Black on her eyes and used Napoleon “Copper Element” Loose Eye Dust pigment on the inner corners of her eyes and in the middle of her lid.  I lined her eyes with a thin line of Bobbi Brown Black gel liner and Urban Decay Black eye pencil on the inner rim.  I used two sets of false lashes on her upper eyes.  I used a powder blush from Bobbi Brown called “Clay” to give her a pink glow on her cheeks and her lips were stained with Maybelline “Party Pink” #155.  I didn’t use a lip liner because I just wanted a hint of colour.

Another great test shoot. Can’t wait to see the shots!

Chat soon,

Michelle x

A new addition

27 Aug

A new addition!

So I’d like you all to welcome my new addition to my make up family

Isn’t she gorgeous! I’ve wanted one just like her for ages.

My big red suitcase was just getting way too heavy and way too hard to manouvre around small studios. I needed something more streamlined and more professional looking.

And this is it.

She comes with 3 large sections that clip on top of each other. So you have the option of taking all three, or for smaller, simpler jobs, you can just take one.

I can also sit my other make up kit on top.

So far, she can fit just about everything I need.  Don’t you love her? I certainly do!

Chat soon,

A laugh a minute!

23 Aug

I spent the funniest afternoon working on a stills shoot with Rob Palmer from Better Homes and Gardens. What a great guy he is and such a laugh.

We shot in a sunny studio at Sun Studio’s in Alexandria.

I was lucky to be shooting with one of my friends and an all round great girl, stylist Kirsten Butler. You can see her website here:

This is one of the best parts of the day.

And here is the second best part.

Rob brought his dog, Ned, on set with him. He said he never goes anywhere without Ned. Have you ever met a bi-lingual dog before? Well, Ned is! He ‘speaks’ English and Gaelic. Rob is married to a Welsh girl so Ned speaks both languages. I find that incredible!

It’s no secret that Rob has diabetes. I’d never really spent anytime with anyone with diabetes before. Diabetes type A is when your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. You are born with this type of Diabetes. Rob has to be really aware of his own body and pay attention to any signs that he might need insulin. He has an alarm set on his phone to remind him to have a shot and if he starts feeling tired or getting the signs then he needs to address it as soon as possible.

Rob really is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He would be a tonne of fun at a Barbie!

Chat soon,

Those August Winds!

22 Aug

Those August winds!

My mum always talks about the “august winds”. I think her grandma used to talk about them too! I’ve never really given it much thought until today.

The shoot began just like any other…..:) Arrived on set, unpacked car, set up table, chair, clothes rack, steamer….all good.

I was also doing wardrobe on this job, which is something I love to do. I had done a prep day sourcing the wardrobe and now it was time to choose the outfit and steam it.

It was about this time that those “August winds” showed themselves!

My clothes rack blew over, the outfits blew all over the place. My lovely models hair went everywhere. It was just crazy! Then it got cold.

Leaves, dirt and some little tiny flowery things blew into every corner of my make up kit.

The decision was made to use my car as the hero car and because it was so dirty, it got a professional clean inside and out! What a perk! How good does she look???

Then….just when things couldn’t get any more difficult, one of the little boys who was an actor in the TVC got himself locked in the bathroom. His poor mum, crying baby on one side, and crying little boy on the other! The Director had to climb a ladder and go in through the window!

The wind played havoc with the sound guy, as it was hard to get a take without the wind drowning out the audio.

Then it rained! The water left marks all over the cardigan the model was wearing so we had to pack up and move to the second location. But, just as our cars were packed, the sun came out so there was a bit of time to get a few more takes in.

Here is the actor, Katherine. She needed to look like an every day mum on her way out to a play date. So, the look called for fresh, simple make up and hair.


The second location was freezing!!!  We wrapped ourselves in blankets to stay warm!


It was a great day with a great team but it was SO good to get home have a shower and sit in front of the fire with a glass of red.

Chat soon,

It’s over for another year……

13 Aug

Can’t believe it’s over for another year!  All the planning, effort….planning.  It went by so fast.

This year the International Spa & Beauty Expo Face 2 Face make up artist competition was co-ordinated by one of my favourite people, Becca Gilmartin.  Becca just has it all together.  Such an inspiration.

This year I entered two categories.  The “Photographic Beauty Editorial” and the “Modern Bride” category.

For the Photographic Editorial Category, Make Up Artists submitted two beauty shots.  There was no brief, apart from make it beautiful!  I wanted to shoot metallics. I chose two models.  One African Model, Neo, who was a top ten finalist in Australia’s Next Top Model, and Ellie, who is a beautiful blonde.  I wanted them to be against black staring straight to camera.  One silver, one gold.  The photographs were shot by Kuva.

The competition was incredibly tough, with just about every single entry worthy of a magazine spread.  The entries were all hung in a gallery at the expo ready for judging.

The prize was an incredible week with make up guru, Rae Morris, as well as a 4 page spread in Professional Beauty Magazine.  Amazing.  The winner was a Brisbane Make Up Artist, Vivianne Tran.  Here is the winning entry.

How amazing is that.  I was sitting next to Vivianne when the winner was announced.  Just before she was announced the winner, I could see tears running down her cheeks and her hands were held to her face in prayer.  She REALLY wanted this.  I’m so happy for her that she won.  Very well deserved.

So onto the live event.  I’m always surprised at how completely nerve wracking this is.  This was my third time entering this competition and have to say that it doesn’t get any easier.  I first entered the awards in 2010 in the “Brides through the Ages” category and I was so proud to have one that one.  Last year I entered “Runway” and came runner up.

I arrived at the make up hub at 9.30am to prepare for the competition to start at 11.00am.

The tables are TINY so it was hard fitting everything I needed on.  Rachel, my model arrived soon after.  She is so beautiful and such a gorgeous girl.  I loved working with her.

I took my inspiration for my modern bride from Rachel’s incredible tattoo.  I wanted to show that, in the past, brides always hid their tattoo’s, or covered them with make up, but now, brides are embracing their tattoo’s and showing them off as this is who they are.  This is a modern bride.

There were some incredible looking brides in this category.  Check out that headpiece in the background!!

All the artists had 45 minutes to create their Modern Bride.  I can’t tell you how fast that 45 minutes goes.  Nerves really had the better of me on this day and my shaking hands really effected my straight lines.  However, I was so proud of my finished result.  Rachel looks beautiful.

Once the make up was completed, all ‘brides’ and artists lined up backstage to be announced on to the catwalk for a parade and for the artists to talk about their inspiration.

I can tell you I was a very proud make up artist!  All the brides looked amazing.  I thought any one of us could have won that day.  The look that won was an indian bride inspired by International brides.  Beautiful.

After the winner was announced, professional photo’s were taken of the girls and then it was back to the make up area to re-pack our kits and get incredibly valuable feedback from the judges.

While it’s always nice to win, I gained so much experience, met some other amazing make up artists and got some invaluable feedback from some talented judges. My feedback came from Make Up Artists, David Cranson from U Beauty Agency and Diane Dusting.  While, to be honest, I found it a little hard to take the feedback from the judges straight after the awards I can look back now in hindsight and make more sense of it. I find it so important for me to enter these awards each year, win or lose, you leave having learnt some incredible lessons and pushed yourself completely out of your ‘comfort zone’ and into a whole other zone all together!

Right, 12 months till next year.  What should I do this time………

Chat soon,

michelle x

An article in Professional Beauty Magazine

5 Aug

Hello!!! Last year I entered the International Spa & Beauty Make Up Artist Awards.  I was so excited to come Runner Up with my make up look in the Runway section.

The awards are coming up again in the next few weeks so I was asked to contribute to an article to appear in Professional Beauty Magazine.

Here is a link to the article: Sydney Face 2 Face Makeup Awards – Professional Beauty: Australian Beauty Industry News for Beauty Salons, Spas, Nail Technicians, Nail Bars, Tanning Salons, Waxing Salons, Beauty Colleges, Skin Rejuvenation Clinics.