This is Alyx. Alyx and I first met when we were five, at a mutual friends birthday party. I mostly remember it because we got to share a tin of biscuits. We didn’t become proper friends until we were about ten or eleven and although for the majority of our friendship we’ve lived oceans apart she’s always been there. I could go on and on about how awesome and amazing she is and how she’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had but I’ll save that for another day.
Alyx has been doing Pole dancing for a couple of years now on and off and since moving to Christchurch (we finally are in the same city) she’s taken it up again. A few months back she said she was competing in The NZAPP competition and would I do her make up. I happily obliged.
After months of hard work and dedication the big day finally arrived. I got Chris to take pictures so that I could talk you all through what we did. Alyx had sent me a few inspiration photo’s and knew she wanted to create a bronze smokey eye and incorporate crystals, the latter a medium I’ve never dabbled in. She also asked me to do her hair too. The hair part we sort of winged, Alyx wanted a hairstyle with curls and something that was pinned back out of her face.
I was really happy with how the end product turned out, especially the hair as it ended up being super easy. But mostly Alyx was happy with what I’d created and she did amazing, I was so proud of her and how far she’d come! Well done Babe!
So, go get yourself a cuppa, and a comfy seat while I try and explain what I did;
For Alyx’s base, I prepped the skin with Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer here. Her skin is on the dry side, so this primer is perfect for laying down an even base and keeping the skin hydrated. I then decided to use the L’oreal true match, as it’s a foundation that can be built up to a full coverage and one that I know lasts all night. Although naturally Alyx is fairer than I, she had, had a spray tan which meant that my shade in W4 Golden Natural suited perfectly. I went in with one light layer, using the Real Techniques Buffing brush. I then decided that as Alyx was going to be on stage, under bright lights, to go in with another layer, with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, mainly focusing on areas that needed a little more coverage. Alyx has pretty flawless skin as it is so I didn’t need to use much concealer at all, just a little under the eyes. I then powdered with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, just to lock it all in place.
The Eyeshadow and The Eyeliner
As I mentioned earlier, Alyx had already said that she wanted a Bronze smokey eye. We decided together, to keep the eye as light and natural looking as you possibly can with a smokey eye. First I put down the Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer as a base for the eyeshadow to stick to, to ensure it would last all night. I then went over this with a translucent powder. For the shadow; I placed the shade ‘Half Baked’ from Urban Decays Naked Palette, which is a true gold shade, all over the lid. I then defined the crease with a mixture of ‘Hustle’ and ‘Darkhorse’ from the same palette which created a shimmery dark brown shade, using a MAC 219 pencil brush to carve out a ‘V’ shape in the outer corner and up into the crease. Once I’d got the opacity that I wanted, I went in with a clean MAC 217 fluffy blending brush (my all time essential brush if you want to create a smokey eye) and blended everything out. Once I’d blended to my hearts content, I then went back in with more of the Half Baked shade. At this point I felt that the gold wasn’t at the intensity that I wanted, so I went in with a Barry M Dazzle Dust in Tan and a slightly damp flat eyeshadow brush (I used a make up wipe to dampen the brush). I patted this on the centre of the eye to add more dimension. I then added a brow bone highlight, using an pearly opal shade from a Victoria Secrets Nakeds palette. I also placed this shade on the inner corner of the eye to brighten it up.
Then came eyeliner. For this look we were using really heavy Ardell Lashes, I therefore decided to add a black winged eyeliner, so that the band of the lashes blended in. I used the E.L.F Black Liquid Eyeliner to create a feline flick on both eyes. I tried to follow the natural flick of Alyx’s lashes and keep the line as thin as possible.
To ensure the band of the lashes blended in seamlessly, I went over the liquid eyeliner with a black matte shadow, and an angled eyeliner brush, blending upwards towards the gold. Alyx had gone out and picked up these dramatic Ardell no.403 Lashes and thankfully they did fit her eye perfectly, so there was no need to adjust them. Using Ardell eyelash glue, I placed a blob on the back of my hand in order for it to get tacky, this usually takes anywhere from 30-40 seconds. Whilst I’m waiting for the glue, I bend the lashes around my eyeshadow brush, this helps to shape them, making application easier. I then use the end of the eyeshadow brush to apply the glue to the lashes. When I’m applying lashes on someone else I get them to close their eyes completely and using tweezers I place the lashes on to the eye, securing from the middle and then on both outer corners. When they open their eye, gently pull down under the eye to release any glue that may be stuck. I’d asked Alyx to apply a coat of mascara before we did the lashes, just so that she had the possibility of wearing them again. Placing Mascara on top of your falsies, does help with blending them together, but it also makes it much harder to reuse them.
This was definitely the most time consuming part of the look, and if I had my time to do it again, I would’ve allowed another 45 minutes for this part alone. Alyx purchased different sized gems from here including these really cool teardrop style ones. I used a few pictures as a reference, but to be completely honest, I pretty much went with it. We knew we wanted to place some on the outer part of her face and Alyx also thought it would be a great idea to have the teardrop ones, cascading from one eye, to look like actual tears. The application was very, very fiddly and I used a mixture of tweezers and the top of a make up brush to lay them down. The other part I found hard was making both sides symmetrical, especially under time constraints. To adhere them to her face I used eyelash glue, which worked a charm, with the loss of only one gem on the night.
To finish the face off I added a little white eyeliner to the lower waterline of the eye, to really open them up and brighten. I then added a little Benefit hoola bronzer to contour her face and then added a peachy blush to the apples of her cheek, just for a flush of colour.
As this was for a performance, we went all out with the lips too. Alyx had an idea of the colours she wanted to use on her lips, so I went with a Chi Chi lip liner in bright orange shade. I decided it was a little too much on the orange side, so then went in with a true red colour from MAC called ‘Ruby Woo‘ to create more of a vintage red look. I then layered a deep red gloss, just to give a little shine.
I won’t spend too long explaining how I created this look, because quite frankly it was pretty basic. I used my Curl Secret hair tool (It’s that outer space looking contraption that sucks the hair up into it and curls with steam) to create ringlets. I did this prior to doing Alyx’s make up, as I wanted them to drop a little. Alyx naturally has curly hair, so luckily for us her hair holds a curl really well. If you’re using a standard curling wand, I would recommend curling pieces in opposite directions i.e; One section towards your face, the next away from your face. This just helps the curl to sit more naturally. Once I’d curled the whole head, I sprayed all over with hair spray and then let it sit. Once I’d finished with the make up, I came back to the curls. Using a Tangle Teezer to gently brush through the curls, to loosen them up. I also went in with a root boosting, and texturising spray, to create some definition. The front was really simple, Alyx already had a side parting in place so working with this, I grabbed about a 2 and 1/2 inch section from the front of the hair and looped it around and pushed it forward to create a mini victory roll, with the same on the other side. Once they were secure with bobby pins, I sprayed the heck out of it with hairspray and a little shine spray and that was that. See easy!
Well, here we are at the very end. I hope this made sense. I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Alyx for letting me share this with the internet world and trusting me with her face on her big day. Also have to say a massive thank you to Chris for sitting there for the 3 hrs it took, patiently taking photo’s for me, You did an awesome job babe. Anyway I’ve added a few extra pictures below for you to take a little look at. Also if you’re in the Christchurch area and interested in getting into Pole, Alyx goes to Altitude Pole (No stalkers please hehe) they not only do pole, but also Anti Gravity Yoga, Contortion, Aerial Hoop and Aerial Skills, go check them out!
Thanks for reading
photo credit: Alan Bishop
photo credit: Alan Bishop