Beverly Hills Hotel…..

Tropical trees, pink hues and swimming pools are ticking every box this week. Not only are we pining over the super cool wallpaper, but as this week’s soaring temperatures continue we’ve found ourselves fantasising over splashes of turquoise water, plush deck chairs and cocktails. Oh, if only we could all be at the Beverly Hills Hotel right now, so this week we’ve brought a little bit of this iconic gem to our studio on The Kings Road. We have some exciting new props coming up to make for an amazing summer studio shoot. Take in some of our inspiration and feel free to join us in our day dream…..















To B or not to B….

Every now and then we have our clients ask the beauty team for tips and advice regarding skin care, new beauty products or recommendations of the tried and tested brands we all know and love.

With spring knocking on our door (we can’t wait) all the latest trends will soon follow, even our makeup bags and their contents get a makeover. With so many amazing beauty brands and products to choose from we had our beauty team pick some of the best BB creams on the market, along with a little breakdown of what these little beauty creams really do and how they work. We interviewed one of our smiley makeup artists and this is what she had to say….

2012_3_13_PHOTO-a52fc16dde863fd8ff77e650853a68f5-1331644337-58WHAT DOES BB STAND FOR?

BB can either mean “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm”. The two terms have now become synonymous with the product.


BB Creams were developed over 60 years ago in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patients’ skin after surgery. Patients were coming in for lunchtime procedures (laser treatment or chemical peels) but leaving with red inflamed skin as they were unable to put their make up back on post-procedure. It became clear a product was needed that could calm and neutralise the redness yet be gentle enough not to aggravate the newly treated skin. And voila the BB cream was born.

BB creams were then introduced to South Korea and Japan in the mid 1980s where healthy-looking, porcelain skin was highly prized. The cream became particularly popular among Korean actresses and became heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities. BB creams now make up an estimated 13% of the cosmetics market in South Korea. Western cosmetic companies began launching BB creams in 2012 although some of these creams have been criticised for being no more than a tinted cream. More on that in a moment.


A BB cream has 5 key benefits.

To provide moisturise to the skin. In my opinion if you have very dehydrated or dry skin you may still benefit from applying a small amount of your regular moisturiser first, while oily to combination skin may get away with using the BB cream on its own.

To be hypoallergenic. You may see it described as being “non-comedogenic” which means the same thing. This makes them suitable for use on the most sensitive or problematic skin. They are also ideal to use if you are undergoing laser treatments or have reactive skin.

To possess anti-redness properties whereby the application of the cream will neutralise and correct against any redness. This includes redness due to acne, rosacea, chronic flushing or broken capillaries.

To be used as a primer or on its own depending on the level of coverage you wish to achieve. Used on their own they will unify skin tone and provide either a sheer matte or dewy finish (depending on the brand). You may apply a liquid or powder foundation over the top if you want to build the coverage.

To provide sun protection. This can be in the form of either mineral or chemical protection against UVA and UVB rays. Mineral UV filters are mineral pigments or to be a bit technical, micronized metal salts in the form of titanium and zinc oxide that sit on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays away from the skin. The most popular chemical UVA and UVB filters include benzophenone, avobezone, parsol and cinnamates.


The similarity between BB creams and tinted moisturisers has been noted but BB creams are designed to go one step further with the inclusion of the aforementioned skincare benefits. Not all tinted moisturisers have skincare benefits and their level of coverage generally tends to be higher. Furthermore, BB creams often use transparent pigments that adapt to your skin tone whereas tinted moisturisers come in a variety of different shades.


I find application with fingers works best as the heat generated from fingertips is most effective to work the BB texture into the skin. Alternatively, you can use a dome shaped foundation brush so long as the fibres are synthetic.


In no particular order:


Designed to be worn as a primer, MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Balm works on retexturising skin whilst providing important UVA/UVB SPF 35 coverage. Layered under foundation it evens skin tone and gives your make-up extra lasting power.
MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35; £22.

Christian Dior

Dior’s original Diorsnow BB cream was created for the Asian market, followed by a Hydra Life version for the UK, but their new formulation caters for rosier skin tones. Providing substantial coverage, in keeping with the original Asian BB creams, the three shades feature SPF 10 protection, hydrating properties and a formula which adapts to suit your skin tone. Perfect for English roses.
Diorskin Nude BB Creme SPF 10; £30.

Shu Uemura

London Photography Studio , The Face London, Make up advise

This mousse formulation is as light as air, but provides good coverage, an impressively matte finish and SPF 30 protection. Best of all, it covers blemishes better than most other lightweight formulations.
Shu Uemura BB Under Base Mousse SPF 30; £29.

No 7

With separate formulations for dry, normal and oily skins, No7’s offering has a nutrient-enriched formula to help prevent blemishes, as well as SPF 15 protection and a light, easy-to-apply texture.
No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream; £12.95.

La Roche Posay


Perfect for sensitive skin, this soothing BB cream includes La Roche Posay’s thermal spring water and focuses on conditioning the skin as much as it does on providing coverage.Non-oily and creamy in texture, it also works well dabbed on as a light concealer.
La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Cream; £15.


Using the famous Korean Red Ginseng that Erborian is renound for, this BB cream transforms your skin with a velvety, ultra-soft, spotless finish. All three formulations contain a highly concentrated association of longevity herbs, used in Asia for many generations. 
Erborian’s break-through high-tech formulation will unifiy your skin tone to conceal all imperfections, leaving your skin wonderfully moisturized, nourished and velvety to touch.
Erborian Crème au Ginseng 45mL, £34

Dr Jart+


BB creams originated in Asia – so Dr. Jart’s coveted Korean formulas caused much excitement when they launched in the UK in June 2012. He offers several different formulas, but we like the Regenerating Beauty Balm, which brightens and hydrates, as well as offering light-to-medium coverage and SPF 30 protection in an easy-to-apply formula.
Dr Jart+ Regenerating Beauty Balm; £21.



Great for fair skins, this lightweight formulation features white lupin to revitalise, ruby crystal to minimise fine lines and slow-release hyaluronic acid microspheres for plumping and resurfacing. Additionally, it has SPF 20 protection and is free of silicone, meaning dirt and bacteria won’t get trapped beneath it.
Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20; £80.

Estée Lauder

Packed with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, the Estée Lauder offering aims to plump, moisturise and control excess oil, whilst offering sheer but long-lasting coverage and SPF 35 protection. Plus, a little goes a long way.
Estée Lauder Daywear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme; £32.



Aimed at improving skin’s natural hydration, Smashbox’s shine-minimising formula features SPF 35 protection and anti-ageing peptides, and is available in five shades that accomodate most skin tones.
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35; £27.


Images from:—beauty-benefit-balms-with-spf


Mercedes Helwein….

A question which frequently crosses my mind and I apologize in advance as it’s completely and utterly superficial, but hey here we go anyway…why are redheads always so cool?

It would seem that maybe I’m making a massive statement with this question when in actual fact how can one really assume that all red heads are cool? Well, I’m glad you you asked….I would begin with a few names (both fictional and non-fictional) and I guess these names should trigger the “Oh yes I see your point” voice in your head.

So here we go-

Kate Bush- one music video is all it took for me to realize that this was one amazing lady- the visual treasure that is Withering heights and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree?

Karen Elson (Super model, former wife of Jack White and owner of what is probably the greatest vintage store in the world ( Venus and Mars) based in Nashville.

Ariel- from the little mermaid. (Obviously)

Susan Sarandon- Rocky horror picture show, Witches of Eastwick, the list could on…

Grace Coddington- Stylist extraordinaire and creative director for American Vogue, a lot of you will remember her from the fashion documentary “The September Issue”.

Strawberry Shortcake, the name alone speaks volumes of her brilliance.

Lucille Ball – American comedienne and actress most famous for the historic early sitcom she created with real-life husband Desi Arnaz called I Love Lucy (1951-1957). I Love Lucy was memorable for being the first American TV show to star a female.

To add to my list of flame haired “extraordinaire’s”, is the incredible visual artist and writer, Mercedes Helwein.


Image source-Lula magazine.


Mercedes Helnwein was born in Vienna, Austria, daughter to renowned painter and art provocateur Gottfried Helnwein. With a deep fascination developing early on in her childhood for both the visual arts as well as literature, she began to dedicate her time equally among the two.

She moved to Ireland with her family, where she spent her teens drawing, writing and listening to the blues in a castle. Her influences, which range from Southern Gothic traditions to the cartoons of Robert Crumb, to nineteenth Century Russian literature, American motel culture and the Delta blues, eventually landed her in a style distinctly her own – unsettling, direct and quietly humorous.

In 2003 she added Los Angeles as a second home. Teaming up with friend and photographer Alex Prager, Mercedes Helnwein began exhibiting her art regularly around L.A. in unorthodox one-night shows. Initially a lot of people came to these shows for the free beer, but her intricate pencil drawings of weird goings-on soon began to attract a strong following, making her a vital representative of the L.A. art scene.

In 2008 Simon and Schuster published her first novel “The Potential Hazards of Hester Day”.

Film became an important element in her work in 2008, when she made a three-minute film to accompany her exhibition “Whistling Past the Graveyard” at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles. Since then she has accompanied all her exhibitions with a short-film, for which her brother Ali Helnwein composes the music.

Mercedes Helnwein currently lives and works in downtown Los Angeles and Ireland.


Above words from Mercedes Helwein’s bio do check out her website at to see more of her amazing works, writing and current exhibitions.




Coloured pencil on paper works in her LA studio.


Above and below are a some of my favorite pieces from her earlier works.






 Suffice to say, Red heads rock!


Photo of the week…

We were most impressed when Anna Holmes Libbis walked into our studio with a clear outline of what she wanted to achieve on her day in our studio.

Her personal style is one to be admired and her inspiration was even more so, she chose to emulate the popular and much adored image of Rosie the Riveter– the cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during WW2.

Rosie the Riveter is commonly used as a symbol of feminism and women’s economic power. And we utterly loved the idea and choice of subject!


It’s great to see clients turning up with an inspirational mood board along with putting themselves in our careful and attentive hands. It really does allow us to do what we do best, which is to take breathtaking keepsake images and create wonderful memories.


The reference above


The original image, above.

We so enjoyed working with you Anna, you were an absolute star and we hope you love your images.

I know we certainly enjoyed working with you and the final product is well worth a mention on this week’s Pic feature.



The final product and our photo of the week!




For years I have long adored the work of American modernist Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky.)

His gritty, avant-garde and poetic vision has always spoken to me in one way or the other.  This being said it only dawn on me last week that a lot of references within the studio point directly towards Man Ray’s work, a perfect example of this would be the main image we shot in the studio that is frequently used and featured on many of our promotional advertisements and displayed at the trade shows we participate in.

If you have attended one of our studio days, you would know the image I am referring to.

The obvious influence here are the painted hands. An inspiration taken directly from Man Ray’s photo for which Picasso painted hands to look like gloves.

It’s funny how we as individuals are constantly emulating the things that speak to you the most, and incorporate them into day-to-day life and surroundings.

The image we took a few years back in our studio.

Man Ray’s photo’s for which Picasso painted the hands to represent gloves.

Another example of his influence is the painting presented in the entrance to the studio set – a painting of red lips on a washed out background, the lips appear to be  floating in the air much like the Man Ray mix medium photograph ” Le rêve de Vénus” featured below.

Uncanny!? Or not so secretly obsessed?!

Two different images taken against the famous lip-painted backdrop!

Sera our fantastic make up artist and Candace our studio stylist, sporting cherry lips and showing off out very own take on “floating lips” like Man Ray’s earlier backdrop!

Thanks Bernardo for the cheeky picture!

Check out Bernardo’s work, he is one talented photographer!

Sera has her own false eyelashes brand, beautiful fine eyelashes that look and feel natural, do check her site out here

Man Ray holding up an image of lips in his studio in Paris.

Another coincidence is that Man Ray to had a distinct favouring of portraits much like we do hence the name , “The Face London.”

I thought I would share my personal favourites with you.

Looking at his beautiful photography and mixed mediums, really shows how Man Ray was so ahead of his time!

 “Man Ray offered artists in all media an example of a creative intelligence that, in its ‘pursuit of pleasure and liberty,'”—Man Ray’s stated guiding principles—”unlocked every door it came to and walked freely where it would.”-Wikapedia

The beautiful Suzy Parker in a Man Ray shoot.

A perfume by designer Elsa Schiaparell, shot by Man Ray.

 L’etoile De Mer (The starfish) 1928 by Man Ray.

The Face London’s newest addition…

Ladies and gentlemen it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our newest member of staff!

He joined our studio on the Kings road at the start of this week and has proved to fit in perfectly.

We couldn’t be happier with his performance and all round contribution to the office!

He’s fluffy and sweet and a true gent by all accounts……

His name is Igby-our office Papillon and he is looking forward to meeting you upon your next visit.


Photo of the week….

It’s finally Friday and who can resist the feeling of the weekend drawing in closer and closer?

This week has been a very busy week at our studio indeed- clients have been on top form with some amazing pictures being produced and impressive ensembles have been on show Monday through to Friday…needless to say we’re impressed!

And with that thought we give you the photo of the week…..

This week it goes to the awesome Miss Egle (lady you sure do know how to work it ), well done you!!

Egle not only takes an amazing picture, but is an absolute delight to be around and work with-we certainly hope to see this lovely lady in the studio again and hope that you love all your pictures you took away on the day!
The Face London