B&B! Q&A: Mike Blackett and Smashbox Click You’re It

‘I think the main challenges in the fashion world are the same as all across photography,’ says Mike Blackett, Smashbox Cosmetics Click You’re It Photographer for the UK and Ireland. ‘It’s gotten very competitive, and is now saturated with good photographers. I guess from the outside fashion photography looks quite glamorous, so it draws a lot of people in, wanting to be a part of that.’

Uh, hello, ‘looks’? Totally is! Okay, we know what he means, but there have had to have been some super glam moments. Mike is bringing his steeze to the beauty hall in Arnotts on 8 and 9 March, for Dublin’s Click You’re It event. It’s not to be missed, and even if you say you hate to get your picture taken, you may want to rethink that stance. ‘What’s not to love about a free makeover, free photo shoot, USB stick to take away with all the pictures, and all for just a €10 deposit?’ he justly queries. ‘It’s worth trying something new for all the fun and enjoyment you will get from the event.’

Mike spoke to Bright & Beautyfull! about life as a high fashion photog, and the what to expect on the day.

Had you always wanted to be a photographer? What’s the first picture you remember taking that made you think, Hmmm I might like to do this as a career?
I remember taking a shot of a punk kid with a tattoo saying ‘way of life’ on his neck, for a spoof ad campaign I set myself for a local brand called Criminal Clothing. That was the first shot that made me think I’d love to do this for a living.

I originally studied art, then discovered photography as a module and fell in love with it. I then applied to the University in England at Bournemouth, the best for photography at the time, and got a place.

I know it was a bit late in the day to be thinking of a career path, but until then I’d just been enjoying being young. I’m glad I chose to wait for the thing that really made me happy.

How did you get into fashion photography?
My dad worked for Kodak, and my Grandad was a tailor, I think that subliminally those two ideas got together somewhere in my childhood and implanted an idea which didn’t materialise until later in life!

On a serious note, I do think that the direction I have taken with photography has probably had more to do with the opportunities that have come my way in fashion — for example working with some great photographers when I was still very early into my career.

Fashion gives you a good platform to explore ideas as a photographer, whether it’s telling a story, dealing with issues around stereotypes, or purely on an aesthetic level — there’s lots to play with. I’m also really enjoying exploring working in the beauty industry as well, so working with Smashbox Cosmetics on their Click You’re It events is a real pleasure.

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Artist’s impression of the Smashbox counter. Go see it live for the full impact!

How did you get involved with the brand?
I got involved following a recommendation from a Beauty Director that I had worked with. She put my name forward to the powers that be, and we went from there. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with a cosmetic brand and be consumer-facing. It is a really rewarding part of the job to meet new people at each event, and create lovely pictures for them, with the help of the Smashbox makeup crews.

Do you enjoy being ‘on the spot’, in beauty halls?
It was definitely a change of scene for me and I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out, as all my work is usually in a studio, photographing professionals, so the customer-facing side of it was new to me. I am really enjoying the challenge of the different setting and subject and I find it really rewarding when a customer goes away happy. We get a lot of people coming back and saying they loved the experience, which is so nice to hear.

It also helps that the Smashbox crew on counter are so friendly and always very welcoming. They make everyone feel so comfortable having their makeup done, so when they get to me they are having a great time and they feel very relaxed on the whole.

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The results of my amazing make up session at Smashbox in Arnotts. Photo is via their booth — imagine how well you will look after Mike gets done with ye?!?

What are some tips and tricks you’d tell someone who is thinking of coming to get her pictures done?
I think my top tip would be to wear something simple. We’re mainly shooting quite tight in as it’s all about the makeup and the person, so don’t worry too much about what you wear, as it’ll mostly be cropped out. The majority of photos are head and shoulders.

We get quite a lot of people that are apprehensive at first, but there’s really nothing to worry about because you’re surrounded by professionals — from Smashbox to the photography team. My whole team go out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable; it’s not as scary as it might seem initially.

I look forward to meeting all your brightandbeautyfull readers on counter for the Click You’re It event in Arnotts Henry Street!

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Ring Arnotts on  01 805 0400 and ask for the Smashbox counter to book a place; rumour has it that there’s a waiting list, but you can still avail of the makeup session at any time, for the same booking price.

Two days only! Friday 8th and Saturday 9th March. The tenner is redeemable against Smashbox purchases on the day.

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FOTD: Channelling Stockard Channing

FOTD 28 02In the best possible sense of course. But seriously: right?

Must be the smirk. No one smirks like Ms Channing. Except me, apparently.

What we have here is:

>Dermalogica Skin Primer, which will be featured in a B&B! Q&A soon.
>Lancôme Le Touche Éclat
>Smashbox Brow Tech To Go, which I love and want to marry.
>Hourglass Ambient in Luminous Light, which is why I am glowing like I’m just back from the Caribbean. I completely overdid this, as I overdid the mascara — the new Rimmel Lash Extender Endless Mascara which I am loving.
>Smashbox Love Me Lip Enhancing Gloss in Charm Me, with which I will have a clandestine affair if that damned Brow Tech will ever stop leading me on!
>Clarins Ombre Minérale 4 Couleurs in Iris Blossom. They look dark in the palette, but go on trés lightly and sparkly.
>The Hair, not even ironed yet, is thanks to Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo, Thickening Conditioner and Scalp Revitalizer, about which more will be written soon.
>Roots by my laziness. Don’t look, Andrew Dunne from Mane Salon! Avert your eyes!

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Face of the Day: *Not* Photographed on the 46A

FOTD 23 01 2013Hmmm: I always seem to do this on days that I am wearing Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15 in  Sand, along with the Mineral Veil Primer. Well, that tells you all you need to know, I reckon. I always feel like I need to show off my face when I am wearing that primer/foundation combo.

Like the blush? It’s IsaDora Glow Stick in Rose Bud, a tiny wee cream-blush-in-a-twist-up-tube that I am {is}adoring at the moment. It is very soft, and applied on the apple of the cheek, it makes you look like a Victorian Valentine. as

As if my cheeks weren’t entirely apples!

Brows are my usual HD Brows, for which Carter Beauty can take credit. I have defined them with my favvvvourite new brow thing, Smashbox Brow Tech To Go. Google it now, ladiez, it is so good: it comes with a brush-in-gel to set them up, and then an angled pencil to fill ’em in. Proper review to come — hey, haven’t done a Haiku Review in yonks. There’s a plan!

Eyelashes are via VenusLash by Venus Medical. Oh, there will be updates there.

A bit of Clinique eyeshadow, the fabbalis Black Honey, which never, ever goes wrong.

Lips = a combo of Lush Liquid Lipstick in Confidence, with some Clinique Chubby in Chunkiest Chilli on top. This solves two problems I have, one with each: the Lush is too dry, and the Clinique doesn’t have the staying power I’ll ned today. Together, they are perfect.

Okay! Ready to face the day with the #FOTD!

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Sisterhood of the Travelling Products: The Winnowing

Hmmm. Is this really any improvement a’tall?

Three lip things — there’s the Lush Latte yoke that didn’t make the last photo; one foundation {although I expect the Eau Thermale Avéne compact I’m reviewing will slip itself into a coat pocket}; one hair thing, one brow thing… a new thing {upper left} that came in the fabbbb Kiehl’s gift box that my sister-in-law gifted…

I don’t know, I guess this is a good edit.

The long shiny rectangular yokie is Clinique’s Black Honey Colour Surge Eyeshadow Quad, must share my opinion on that officially. Hint: it is excellent. The product, that is, although my opinion is excellent, too.

Well, I think I did do an okay job:

Yeah, fine. Oh, and I googled the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask {bottom left} and they’ve redesigned the packaging. Yup, I knew it was old, but…

Happy Holiday Face!

To me, a happy holiday face is radiant, glowing with comfort and joy. This face may also glow with product, to enhance and illuminate those happy holiday feelings.

Or manufacture them, as necessary.

Any of the below will give you gorgeous holiday face, and perhaps inspire you to shimmer year round.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand, as I generally don’t believe that the brushes that come on the ends of things like this are useful. This one is, and the stuff that comes out of the wand is perfection itself: shimmer and coverage combine to highlight your cheekbones and temples, an to ensure that you appear your very best in all those holiday snaps.
I must admit that I haven’t always had the best skill in the world when using this kind of illuminator. I tend to default to sparkly powders that I just schmoosh all over my face. They work great, but they require a lot of reapplication. I brushed this on, and on it stayed, and actually made me look like I was born highlighting my facial structure.
€26/£22/$32
I am better at something like The Body Shop’s Radiant Highlighter because you just mix it in with your liquid foundation. There’s a bit of personal alchemy involved, finding the exact amount that works not only with your face, but also with your particular foundation, and it can be hit or miss. I find the result, which is subtly glowy, to be worth the effort. A little dab on the pointy bits of your face — if you are fortunate have to any, I have to pretend that I have visible bones — gives the look a bit more of a lift. The texture is on the heavy side, which may help with the alchemy: less is more. Don’t tell, but try mixing some into your body cream, then apply to your exposed arms and decolletage. It’s sexy.
€18.95/£11/$14

I bigged up the Orofluido Hair Oil and Gold Shimmer Gift Set mainly because of the little atomiser of fairy dust. It is terrific, it smells really good, and you can spray all over yourself which is all kinds of fun. I find that Orofluido gives me a perfect hair day every time {and we’ll get to that}, so a few puffs of sparkle in addition can only makes things even brighter, on every level imaginable.
€29.95/£26.99/not available in the US, sorry, betches.

Have lovely holiday! xx