Wednesday 16 December 2009

INSPIRE:Behind the scenes at a photoshoot...

December 2009:

My Kit open and ready for action!

Model Hannah @Premier

The first Look.

The second Look

Look three Rockchick!

Next up an American concept.
Model Shea @ Premier

Shea working the look!

Thursday 3 December 2009


I was rooting around in the loft the other day looking for christmas decorations when I found some of my old face charts that I had done in my days as a Resident trainer for MAC cosmetics. I thought I would post them as you may find them interesting...

Tuesday 27 October 2009


There are too many things to mention them all!I am definitely inspired by other artists works and creations as well as all the creatives I meet and work with.

Henri Matisse is my favourite artist. I especially like work from his fauvist period and the intensity of colour and line that he uses in his paintings.

Flawless, natural and soft make-up,yet smokey, sultry and sexy to create the wow factor!

My beautiful mother of course, many years have been spent watching her beautifying!She is both beautiful on the inside and out and continues to astound me...

I love to use MAC eyepaint as an eyebase before eyeshadow, buffing a small amount across the entire eyelid. Using an eyebase is so important to achieve long lasting true colour eyeshadow by evening out the skintone on the lid and providing a perfectly primed blank surface to add colour.

-Sharing make-up argh! just no!
-Botox and surgery for the sake of beauty- definitely not!
-Bad beauty hygiene that includes sleeping with make-up on, and keeping dirty, old products and cosmetic purses.

Assisting Val Garland at the 'Armani One Night Only' show was a memorable experience, especially meeting Mr.Armani himself!

Playing dress up at about age four!I remember something involving a plastic toy telephone(present from my auntie), high-heels and lots of blue eye shadow!

Believe it or not we can all benefit from a few light touches of make-up!

-Invest in a good set of make-up brushes. They do a lot of the hard work for you and as long as you keep them clean, and look after them they will last you forever.
-Look after your hands, moisturise them daily as they will show your age in the future.
-Always use an eye base for flawless eyeshadow and a perfect skintone.
-A dab of highlighter at the inner and outer corner of the eyes really wakes the eyes up! If you are feeling tired, its a great one for brightening the eye.

Tuesday 20 October 2009


I recently was in Nice, France on holiday and I was fortunate enough to visit the Musee d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain. Luckily for us they had an amazing exhibitition from the Artist Robert Longo whose work I had not followed until now. The exhibition runs from June 27-November 29 2009 if you do get a chance to visit you will not be disappointed.

Robert Longo was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953, he still lives and works in New York to this day. His wife is the German actress Barbara Sukowa whom he married in 1994. Longo had a childhood fascination with mass media which is a great influence in his work. Most of his works are done with charcoal and graphite, interestingly, and drawing remains his favourite form of self-expression. His many works are both diverse and important. Installations, photographs, sculptures, drawings as well as his music, video and film have all had a huge impact. He is well-versed in history and cultural categories. His drawings, sculptures and films provide an essential contribution to what one can call "the historical paintings of our time". He became famous in the 1980's for his "Men in the Cities" scenes, which showed sharply dressed businessmen writhing in contorted emotion.
He has had major retrospective exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 1990 and a touring exhibition throughout Japan in 1995. The 1989 catalogue referred to Longo "As one of the most provocative artists in the US". During the 1980's he also directed several music videos including New Order's "Bizarre love triangle" and "The One I Love" by R.E.M. He also directed the cyberpunk movie Johnny Mnemonic, starring Keanu Reeves.

He always wears black. Anyone who enters his light-filled, loft-style workspace in Manhattan can see that wearing black is more to do with his art than anything else. The air is thick with dust from the pieces of charcoal, graphite and black crayons he uses and it settles on absolutely everything. It is no wonder he now presents his works behind glass as soon as it leaves his studio headed for exhibitions and collections.

A truely inspiring artist! His attention to detail is phenomenal, his drawings have an almost photographic quality. Its near unbelieveable to conceive his great works are created out of simple charcoal and graphite.
Robert Longo is certainly one of my favourite contemporary artists.
See a video of Longo on tube:

Friday 16 October 2009

Past and present: Serge Lutens

First up in niki's new make-up vault is Serge Lutens.

Serge Lutens was born in 1942 in Lille, France. At the age of fourteen he was taken on as an apprentice in a hair salon in Lille. Here, as well as being a hairdresser he experimented with photography and make-up using his friends to pose as models. In 1962 at the young age of just twenty he moved to Paris and began working with the prestigious French Vogue. He was hired to create make-up, hair and jewellery. During the 1960's he went on to collaborate with great photographers including Richard Avedon, Bob Richardson, Helmut Newton and Irving Penn and of course, he partied hard with the Paris smart-set.

In 1967 Christian Dior commissioned him to create a line of cosmetics. Christian Dior make-up was soon breaking new ground with such bold colours and Lutens quickly became very well-respected. In 1968, Lutens was holidaying in the south of France taking a well-earned break from creating his make-up line for Christian Dior. He took a sailing boat to Morocco, he followed his nose to Marrakesh falling in love with the smell of the souk. At the tender age of 26 he told himself it would be magnificent to re-create this fragrant scent, and so, a perfumer was born.

Lutens went on to be a well regarded photographer and film maker. His 1973 series of photographs inspired by artists Claude Monet, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Amedo Modigliani was shown at The Guggenheim Museum, New York. During the mid-seventies he directed two short art films 'Les stars'(1974) and 'Suaire'(1976), both of these were shown at the Cannes film festival. To many people Lutens is most well known for his advertising work with the cosmetics brand Shiseido. The brand hired Lutens in 1980 as Creative and Art director to develop their range. During the 1980's he shot various advertising campaigns and films and designed make-up and packaging. He persuaded Shiseido to let him produce perfumes and he hasn't looked back since. His business is still owned by shiseido today. He masterminded some of shiseido's most iconic scents including 'Nombre Noir' in 1982.

In 1992 Lutens conceived and designed 'Les salons de Palais Royal', a house of perfume. During the nineties he launched a range of scents including cult classic Ambre Sultan. In 2000 he launched his own brand 'Parfums Beaute Serge Lutens' sold exclusively in prestigious locations around the world. For consecutive years between 2001 and 2004 he was awarded the 'Fifi award' for best original concept. Most recently in 2008 he launched his own relatively small cosmetics line 'Neccessaire de Beaute Serge Lutens', this was created with shiseido. Products come in chic black, laquered packaging with an expensive price tag sold exclusively at Harvey Nichols, London and Barney's, New York.

Today Lutens,67, resides in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Unlocking niki's make-up vault...

A-ha! At last, I have joined the virtual world of blogging. I am now an official blogger! A massive welcome to niki's new make-up vault blog. I aim to unlock and unleash to the blogging world my personal make-up related experiences, knowledge and expertise. To make this straight forward for the reader every time I add a blog to the make-up vault it will be under one of the following three headings.
Inspired (My inspirations!)
Past & present (Make-up artists and period make-up)
In the news (Product buzz, Events and updates on my personal work)
If you like the sound of that follow my blog and keep updated with what is going on in the hidden depths of niki's make-up vault.

A little introduction first...
My name is Niki, I am a make-up artist. I studied a degree in make-up and hair at The London college of Fashion. Since graduating I have worked as a make-up artist at numerous fashion shows,shoots and events including both London and Milan fashion weeks. I have worked for brands including MAC, Laura Mercier and Daniel Sandler which has given me some fabulous opportunities taking part in some of the greatest fashion shows of all time including Fashion Rocks . I have previously worked as a MAC resident trainer where I was often known as a walking and talking product knowledge manual! Sad, but true, hence part of the reason why I was training I guess. I had some unforgettable experiences there including a very memorable training seminar in L.A no less, with an interesting trip to the Playboy mansion...
In most recent years I have been working as a hair and make-up artist for magazines doing a mixed bag of fashion and beauty make-up as well as make overs. I also specialise in bridal make-up and enjoy making my clients feel calm and relaxed on the most special day of their lives. Who knows where my future as a make-up artist will lead next but one thing I do know is the life of a make-up artist is never dull!