Shadows, Snakes and Studio Photography

Having a makeup artist friend when you’re a portrait photographer is pretty much a golden ticket. Not only is she talented, she’s gorgeous. So, when I had an idea for a dark, Medusa-inspired photoshoot, who else would I ask to be involved other than my gorgeous makeup artist friend, Katherine, who has three pet snakes? Although I’ll soon be creating a whole new website and blog for my photography work, I just couldn’t wait to share a few of the final photographs from this one.

I built up my ideas for the shoot over a few days and, seeing as this was my vision, she gave me free reign on her hair and makeup. Big hair, tight curls, dark eye makeup, green contouring on the face, neck and collarbones, pointed, long black nails. I knew the lighting setup I wanted, I knew the poses I wanted to capture, I knew the snakes were gunna play a huge role. I was so excited and for good reason too – it turned out to be my favourite ever photoshoots.

Although colour was a massive focus during the shoot, I fell in love with the darkness of black and white. Here’s a few of the final black and white images!

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They say never work with animals… man, those snakes were hard work but they were worth it. I absolutely loved this session with Kat and she’s just as over the moon with the final images as I am.

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What do you think?

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You can read my previous post here.

The Wall Street Crash

My lovely friend Kat, who’s a qualified makeup artist and is studying a degree in the subject, recently asked me if I’d be the model for a 1920’s makeup competition that she was taking part in. Now, if you don’t already know, I’m ridiculously uncomfortable in front of the camera. I can tolerate the odd “Matthew, take a photograph of me in front of this beautiful landmark” type thing, because I know it’s my camera and I could always delete it anyway. Again, when I’m feeling pretty fly (hands up if you just mumbled “for a white guy”), I’ll take a cheeky selfie. But, the idea of putting that power into the hands of a professional, meaning I’d be unable to double check and delete any images that made me look bad, gave me the jitters. She’s my friend, though, and I was absolutely over the moon to help her out. Either way, I got to dress up as a rich 1920’s lady of leisure and that was pretty exciting.

For me, a full face of makeup is made up of my trusty mascara, winged eyeliner, translucent power on my nose and a bit of red lippy. Being put into the hands of a makeup artist, who literally has a suitcase full of makeup with her, was pretty daunting. I was met with primer, foundation, a ridiculous number of different eye shadows, false lashes and lots of other things that I don’t even know the name of. Honestly, it felt weird but I definitely wouldn’t look too out of place during the 1920’s.

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The brief was “Wall Street Crash”. Kat’s plan was to do a full face of 1920’s inspired make-up, before sitting me down alongside lots of other models, as all of the makeup artists performed their special effects magic. I was expecting a pretty tense atmosphere but I actually had a really good time – Kat covered me in fake blood, cuts and bruises, whilst I just sat there and watched the world go by. There was such a range of different looks going on in the competition room. Some makeup artists went for realism, like Kat, and some took it to the other (far) end of the spectrum with stilettos in eyeballs or shards of glass sticking out of the model’s skin.

Kat’s overall look was incredible. It showed how I was trampled during the people’s rush to the banks, hence the huge bruising to one side of my face. It looks bloody painful, right!?

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Ouch…

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Didn’t she do such a good job!? If you want to have a look at her makeup artist Facebook page, you can click here! She posts all of her makeup work – from beauty makeup to special effects – on this page, so it’s definitely worth a like.

What do you think of the final look?

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You can read my previous post here.

“The Experimenter” Lush Bath Bomb Review

When I first started buying Lush products, the Experimenter was something I ached to try but my local store didn’t stock it and it could only be found at the Oxford Street store – Or so I thought, as I didn’t yet know of the online store, oops!

When the new stock arrived, along with the Experimenter, I rushed straight in and bought the lot with the highest of high hopes on this seemingly magical, colourful bomb. I guess I just have to come out and say it, don’t I? I think this is the most over hyped, over appreciated and anti-climactic bath bomb I’ve tried so far.

Don’t get me wrong, there is so much right with this product. The colours are absolutely memorising, to a point you don’t really want get into the bath because your body with disrupt the beauty. You’ll see in a moment what I mean, but really, the colours are insane. The smell is fantastic, too. It’s very sweet and very intense. It immediately filled the bathroom and surrounding hallway with lovely smells. But none of that lasted long enough to satisfy me, at all.

The smell was instant and intense, but soon faded unlike many other bath bombs I’ve tried. The colours, as amazing and unbelievable as they were, lasted moments and soon the bath was a sludgy, grey blue colour. Granted, it was very relaxing (as long as you don’t look at the newly produced colour) and it did leave my skin feeling wonderful afterwards but I expected and hoped for so much more.

There needs to be a nice combination of: colour, smell, longevity and feel. The Experimenter seems to have focused completely on colours and smells, and left the other two necessary elements in the dust, which I think was a bad move.

Pretty though. And I would buy it again.

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The progress from colour to… well, see for yourself.

The Experimenter
The Experimenter
The Experimenter
The Experimenter
The Experimenter


Not exactly the most pleasant colour really.

Have you tried it? What did you think?

-Morgan

Frank Body Coffee Scrub Review

I’m many a thing: mostly humble, always caffeinated, naturally derived; and 100% Australian owned and made. I started as a simple coffee scrub, equal parts dirty and loving. Now I’m a growing coffee-based skincare range, because I’ve always said I’ll love every inch of your bod. I do a lot of things, which you’ll soon discover. Importantly, I only test on babes.

Frank Body creates cruelty-free, completely natural skincare products that primarily use the natural benefits of coffee to help enhance and improve the look and feel of our skin. The coffee scrub is their most popular product, and that’s the product I’ve been trying out for a couple of weeks now!

Frank Body

An all-natural scrub appealed to me instantly, especially with the claims from customers who have mentioned the visible difference in their skin! On top of that, there were a lot of impressive before and after images (#TheFrankEffect) of stretch marks, acne, scars and a shed load of other skin conditions.

I have very sensitive skin, so I don’t use my Frank Body scrub every time I bathe/shower (just in case), but I do use it once a week. I haven’t noticed a difference in stretch marks or scars yet, but the look, feel and smell of my skin afterwards is enough for me to keep using it. A couple of scrubs isn’t enough to notice a difference visibly, so I’m not yet worried that it isn’t working.

Here are a couple of customer before and after images from the website. Very impressive!

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Frank BodyFrank Body

The scrub I’m using, which is the original scrub, has an insanely gorgeous smell of chocolate orange and coffee. To use, you scoop out a little handful out of the environmentally-friendly, simple wrapper and rub the dirt-like texture all over your body after bathing. You leave it on for 10 minutes, so I like to have a bath first and as the water is draining I begin applying the scrub and once it has finished draining, I’ll use the shower head to wash it off.

After a scrub, my skin feels unnaturally soft but that’s not a bad thing. It feels insane, but beautiful. You know that meme that girls circulate  around the internet – “Feel my legs, feel me, I’ve shaved them, I’m like a dolphin” etc. –  well, this is it. The Frank Bod effect is pretty much converting ladies into dolphins, and it’s wonderful. The smell lasts all day, as does the silky smooth body.

Even if the scrub does nothing to improve the look of my stretch marks and scars, I’ll continue to use it. There is a huge novelty feeling when covering yourself with a handful of (what looks like) dirt, rubbing it into your skin in circles and standing in the tub for 10 minutes just waiting.

-Morgan