I had another makeup-tastic couple of days. Wedding season is in full flow so I was painting more faces on Saturday and teaching the Boylan & Balfe Basics makeup course on Sunday.
I thought I'd tell you a little about our makeup courses as a few of you lovely people have been asking...
( Yes, we look alike. No, we're not related, and no, we're not married to each other!)
Ken Boylan and I have been working in makeup for many years. In our past lives, I was head makeup artist for Stila and he was in the same role for Armani. We became great friends and set up a business with the goal to teach people about makeup from a non-biased point of view as we know how intimidating it can be for you all to shop at beauty counters! We have been teaching our courses for 6 years now to those who want to get out of their makeup ruts by learning new tips and using new products. It's so common for people to stick to one old faithful makeup look which, more often than not, isn't working so well for them anymore.
We teach three classic and beautiful makeup looks; day, evening and night time, using a huge mix of brands that we deem to be worthwhile using our years of experience as makeup artists, and we bust a few beauty myths along the way too... just because a product sells volumes, doesn't mean it is high quality; YSL Touche Eclat- that means you!!
We really enjoy teaching the courses and this weekend was no exception; we met some great women and I'm quietly confident that they got a lot from it too.
We have a great laugh on the courses; the atmosphere is very informal with music playing and makeup being thrown all over the place!
We always get our subjects to try new colours and techniques and shake it up a bit...it's challenging to see a different version of you when you look in the mirror, but I believe it to be fun and dare I say, empowering.
Have a look at our site, we'd love to see you sometime! If you've any questions, just comment below...
Grace Kelly, 1956. How completely beautiful; the one and only Princess Bride.
Edward, the Duke of Windsor and american divorcee, Wallis Simpson in 1937. He abdicated the throne to marry her. Now there's a romantic gesture! But seriously, look how stylish they are. Her dress is amazing; I love the covered buttons on the bodice and look at her wrist, the bracelet with the crosses hanging from it... perfect and timeless.
Carolyn Bessette Kennedy in 1996. She is the poster girl for understated, chic brides. Her Narcisco Rodriguez dress is perfect, perfect, perfect. Look at the flow of the fabric. I completely heart this dress!
I love a little table or chest of drawers to act as a display area, unfortunately we haven't anymore room for more furniture in our little house so I can dream here! Don't you love the ABC print above?
Gorgeous old mirror; great trick for adding more light and a feeling of space...
I think this piece is fab; great for storing all the little things that always get lost when dumped into bigger cupboards...
I have recently been sent this MAC grease paint stick to try and I love it. It is such an easy route to a quicker than quick smokey eye. They are like a thick, metallic crayon with a smooth, creamy texture. I have the beautiful Greengrease which is a dark forest green with pewter grey undertones. You just draw it all over the lid making sure that you leave no gap at the lashline and blend it out with your finger at the edges and at the socket. You can pull it out towards your temple to make a feline shape to your eye. It's so easy to use, just scribble and blend. No brushes needed.
To finish the smokey effect, I love to pat one of the MAC pigments on top. They add another dimension to the look with their metallic finishes. One of my very favourite shades is Blue Brown and it is totally fab over the Greengrease stick. Blue Brown is a two tone pigment (as the name suggests! ). It is great over any dark pencil or grease stick but not so good on it's own as it turns too reddish- brown when applied to a clean lid. Again, no brushes necessary; use your ring finger to pick up a small amount from the lid and pat it over the eyeball, keeping it just to the lid; not the socket. Keep it simple; it looks classier!
This nautical knot is by Jennifer Behr. I think it would be so pretty with the two items below...this is todays imaginary outfit!
So sunny and fabulous! This suede bag is by Proenza Schouler...
Denim jackets are everywhere at the moment so I've been hunting for the best one and I think this is it; it's by GAP. It's pretty perfect and would become even more so as it gets older and more washed and worn. I personally think denim always looked better after a good few washes to give it that lived in feel... a classic.
This is MAC's best selling eye shadow shade! It is called Satin Taupe and it truly is a great colour. It is a shimmery, grey-ish taupe that makes nearly all eye tones pop. It is stunning on blue eyes and amazing on green eyes. It's nice but a bit safe on brown eyes; remember it is a contrasting shadow colour to your own eye that makes for a more interesting look. As Bobbi Brown always says ' you wouldn't display sapphires on a blue cloth' which, as you can guess, means you should choose a shade that is an opposite to your natural hue; not it's match.
This is me using Satin Taupe on one of the models from this weekends fashion show (she's not yet powdered so excuse the excessively shiney face!)
I had a wedding-tastic weekend what with working on a gorgeous wedding on Saturday and taking part in the very swish D4 Berkeley Hotel wedding fair on Sunday where I was making up the models and chatting to some very excited brides to be about their makeup ideas!
I also had the good fortune to meet the lovely Pamela of Farrell & Chase letterpress stationary. If you don't know about the letterpress style of printing, let me tell you that it is a totally gorgeous, vintage style of making stationary. I have loved it since I came across the Greenwich Letterpress in New York where I stocked up my stash of cards for all occasions. It is printed with an old fashioned press, one colour at a time on lovely tactile paper. The process means that each item can be slightly different and it has so much more character than regular old printing styles.
So, you can tell that I love it and I was so excited to meet Pamela and see her elegant yet whimsical designs. She is a pro at what she does, so I think any of you getting hitched should vamoose to Farrell & Chase poste haste!
Pamela was inspired by old luggage labels for this design intended for weddings abroad...
Look at the love birds on the antique gold envelopes...
I will be knocking on Pamela's door for my own wedding next year, let me tell you!
On one of my hunts through the web I came across this site. It's got some great street style shots from the various fashion weeks around the world and lot's of photos without faces...something I love, don't ask me why!
What a great red..you have to be brave to dress in monochrome brights, but this lady has it sorted!
The sun is out! Perhaps not for long, but let's make hay (and buy shoes) while it lasts! I really like the look of these leather sandals from here. They are something different and a bit more chic than the ubiquitous Havaianas and Fit Flops that are adorning so many Irish feet when the sun pops out.
People always ask me where they can make savings in their makeup expenditure. The answer is in the colour pieces. You need to get your foundation right at whatever cost but you can scrimp all you like on your eye shadows, lip glosses, blushers etc.
The reason for this is twofold; what people tend not to know is that most of the budget brands are made by the bigger brands anyway. So the same amount of research and creative control goes into them, they are just set apart for marketing reasons. The budget brands are certainly smaller with less shade extensions, particularly in the foundations, but the colour is basically the same quality.
The second reason you can head to the budget brands is because, us fickle creatures tend to change our minds on what we like from time to time! So one season, we're rocking purple shadow, the next we want pale, apple-y green on our peepers. But what we don't want is to be shelling out too much as we follow our whims. So experiment with the cheaper brands; for the most part, you will not be sacrificing quality.
So, my dears, allow me to introduce you to the marvellous Bourjois eye shadows...made by Chanel!
My name is Ellie Balfe and I am a professional makeup artist and acting beauty editor for IMAGE magazine. I live in Dublin in Ireland with my two little girls Lulu and Anna. Ellie loves...is my personal pick of fashion & style, beauty, interiors, and good words. This blog is about things I love; so there are no negative reviews. If it's great - it's here. If it's not - it's not.
Do come in, you are most welcome...
Here's my professional website...
If you have a minute you can read an interview with me about my career as a makeup artist on RTE Fashion here and Stylebible here ...
Best Irish Blogger 2010...
I am delighted to have won Best Irish Blogger in the www.entertainment.ie 2010 annual awards! Thank you my lovely readers and followers for your votes. It means so much to me that my musings are appreciated by you... x
Ellie loves... is a blog containing things that have caught my fancy whilst looking around the web & reading magazines. It contains my personal opinion and there is no intent whatsoever to offend or annoy. All product reviews are genuine and I have not been paid or asked to favour particular brands. I have linked back to all sites where I have used an image that originated there. If, however, someone doesn't like what I have done please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to put it right.