I am also one-half of DJ duo, The Roustabouts!

We spin everything from Balkan Beats, Carnivalesque Cabaret, Electro-Swing and the filthiest guilty pleasures.  

 

Saturday
Apr052014

This Month In Pictures

What I've been up to during the past month, via my instagram @swiczeniuk!

 

You may have noticed I'm a fan of Ru Paul's Drag Race, and one of the most hilarious and memorable contestants has got to be Alyssa Edwards. So when I saw that she was performing in London with current Drag Race competitior Laganja Estranja, I snapped up some tickets. On Thursday myself, Mark (top left), Miranda (top right) and her boyfriend Anthony went down to The Black Cap in Camden to watch the show. 

We had SO much fun dancing and the show itself was brilliant! The only issue was that the venue was packed, so we ended up sweating like crazy. It was worth it, though, and we have booked tickets for Manilla Luzon next month!

I put together the tackiest outfit I had in my wardrobe, that I could still move around in. I'm loving my new lace front wig from Geisha Wigs! 

 

Top Left - Wearing my Geisha Wigs split wig again for a shoot with Scott Chalmers!

Top Right - A behind the scenes shot of one of the many, many looks I shot with Miss Betsy Rose a few weeks ago. She's wearing a corset by Ava Corsetry, and the hair and makeup was done by Bella Noell

Bottom Left - Another preview of Betsy! This costume was created by Alston Stephanus, for Betsy to perform in in his show, Sublime Boudoir. The detail on each piece is absolutely astounding, I can't wait to finish up the images!

Bottom Right - Betsy's beautiful little lady, Freida! The cutest dog I've ever met!!

 

Top Left - I haven't worn my red and gold style for a while! Perfect for wearing to DJ at The Aeronaut in Acton.

Top Right/Bottom Left - A little bit more dressed down for a mid-week champagne reception/meeting! 

Bottom Right - Testing out (forgive the lack of makeup!) another lace front wig from Geisha Wigs - I've yet to shoot in this beauty, but I LOVE it.

 

Top Left/Top Right - My birthday (13th March) happened to fall on a thursday, which also happened to be the day that my lovely friend Mr Pustra was hosting Room Service, a gay club based in Soho. I donned my biggest wig and we partied all night, it was so so fun. It's rare that I go out without working, so it was a change to be able to just dance, chat and relax! 

Bottom Left - Another outfit for DJing at The Aeronaut

Bottom Right - A snap of my finished makeup for the tutorial I made a few weeks ago, check it out here!

 

Birthday treats! I pretty much asked for books this year, or book related things. The top left are books from my parents (they also bought me plane tickets to Prague in August!). My wonderful boyfriend also bought me a kindle and an AWESOME cover for it - I thought that I would find the transition to kindle a bit difficult, but I have to say that I don't find it jarring at all. I've run out of space for books, so I'd rather just purchase the ones that I consider particularly special in hardback editions.

At the beginning of the month we also had a day of watching some of my favourite films on our projector screen. We re-watched The Pianist and Everything Is Illuminated - can you guess that I tend to love films that make me completely distraught?!

 

Thursday
Mar132014

A Quarter-Century Old

Today I turn 25!

I guess this is considered somewhat of a milestone in life? I never really reflect much on age, or really talk about my age much, so this kinda crept up on me. I suppose it's because I've felt a lot older for some time. Whenever anyone I know in "real life" finds out my age, they always seem surprised and say that I seem a lot older. I take that as a compliment.

I don't really understand the obsession with youth. When you are young, you aren't taken seriously (at least, that's what I found). You go through the drama of school, college, university, and finally getting a job. I'm always somewhat glad when people assume I'm older, because I equate that to being more headstrong and confident. Hopefully more cultured and informed, too.

When discussing this theme with a colleague recently, they mentioned that I seemed "accomplished", which, I guess, is right. I never really thought much about what I'd want to do or where I'd want to be in 5 years from now. I didn't set myself any goals when I was 20. I take things as they come, and if something isn't right in my life, I work on it to improve it. 

 

Me at 19 or 20 in my University bedsit, shortly before going out.


I do recognize that I've been incredibly privileged in my life, but I have also worked hard. I've had a middle class upbringing with loving parents, I'm an only child, I went to a good school (although it was a comprehensive/state school, not private), a good college and a good university. I had some level of financial support once I left university and got any retail job I could. I learned very quickly how to look after myself and others, leaving home at 18 to first stay in a bedsit, then with 4 other girls and finally in a 2 bed flat with my boyfriend. 

Back to the work aspect; in the 2 retail jobs I had prior to my current job, I tended to "move up" (albeit with little financial movement) in my position and responsibilities. In one of the jobs I ended up training people who were twice my age, while still doing all the other tasks that were expected of me, with a topping of rude customers. Of course there were times that I felt stuck in a rut, with little chance of moving up in the company, and few exciting opportunities coming by.

Luckily I did eventually see an opening, and it was an advertisement for a Shop Manager role at Playful Promises. I went to the interview, and I can't remember exactly how the events happened, but the brand director, Emma, saw skills in me that would be better suited to a different role in the company. So, I became the Marketing Assistant. All those years of "wasting time" on the Internet had translated into skills that are actually valued in the Social Media industry. 

That was in 2011, now 3 years later I'm the Brand Manager. It's my idea of a perfect job. I do all the things that I love doing, such as marketing, photography, social media; and working on skills that I feel I could develop further, such as selling B2B and managing other people.

Along with a full time job, I've also co-developed, marketed and worked as part of a DJ duo called The Roustabouts. This includes putting on our own club/cabaret nights. One of them being every week DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. Not only was I tackling the xmas retail customers and preparing for the January tradeshows at work, but I was working every single weekend (of course there was gin involved but can you blame me?). And then there's the occasional photoshoots I'd been fitting in there as well. 

So, yes, I suppose what I'm saying is that I am somewhat accomplished, but it hasn't just fallen into my lap. And despite my rather dry and sarcastic humor, I am happy and comfortable with what I've achieved so far. I've even booked my boyfriend and I a 5* holiday in Prague in August (the first REAL holiday I've been on in years and years)!

Although I would like a nicer flat to live in. New goal for the next 5 years ;)

 

Baby Anna!


Sunday
Mar092014

Makeup Tutorial: Green and Gold

 

 

So a few people have asked me to do a makeup tutorial, for blending in particular. Before I start, I'll point out that I'm not a professional makeup artist, so my techniques may not be the "proper" way, but I've been asked to show how I do it. If you'd like to know how makeup artists do it, you can probably find dozens of tutorials on Youtube.

 

The makeup I used for this look, not including my foundation and contouring. 

Before you begin, make sure you've moisturised your skin. Some people choose to do their eye makeup before their foundation (to avoid a mess), but I always do my foundation first. Before I put on my foundation I used a primer; in this case I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight, which has a nice gold sheen.

To begin your blending, use the lightest colour first, which should sit on your brow bone. I use a fairly large brush for this. Goldilux from Sugarpill is my saviour.

 

Choose your main colour for your eyes; I'm doing a green and gold look, so I've gone for the Forest Green on my Crown Brush palette. If you want a strong look like mine, choose a strong colour (like a red, or a blue), but you could also recreate this technique with neutral colours like browns or greys for a smokey eye look.

Using a slightly smaller brush, pull the colour into the crease of your eye, rounding underneath the eye. Make sure you get the pigment strong in the crease of your eye (don't worry about being neat right now).

 

 

Either use another brush (I used the other end of my brush, which was a much smaller brush-head) or your fingertip (clean, obviously!) to smudge the pigment up into the gold. I drew the green up and out into a wing as this suits my eye-shape; you might want to keep to a rounded shape, if you prefer. Experiment with which shapes suit your eyes.

You can also use a lighter green colour to help blend the colours together.

 

 

Use a black pigment in the crease of the eye, using the same technique as above to blend the edges into the green pigment. Keep your eyelid clear of colour for now.

 

Use the gold pigment on the eyelid to make it pop. My eyes are quite squinty (although I do play that up by having such heavy makeup on the top of the eye rather than underneath) so to help open them up, I always put the lighter pigment into the bottom corner of my eyes. 

Line your lower lid with black kohl eyeliner (I use Maybelline Expert Eyes pencil liner) and use mascara on the top and bottom lashes (at the moment I'm using Maybelline's Great Lash)

 

Finish off your look with liquid liner on the top eyelid (I swear by Collection 2000 Fast Stroke), keeping the line thin in the corner of the eye, and thicker towards the middle and edge. I create a wing shape to echo the green and black. 

I also add some extra sparkle using gold glitter, and ombre gold-black eyebrows (I don't have a tutorial for these, because Mathu Anderson's tutorial is so on point). If you want a more over the top look, choose some big lashes. I found these amazing gold and black ones on Boohoo.com (unfortunately no longer available, but these lashes from Sugarpill also look amazing) - I've cut them down slightly to fit my eye, which gave me an extra piece to place in the bottom corner of my eye.


 

Lips! I can never understand WHY some people don't blend their lipstick like they would their eye makeup. I keep seeing dark lipliner and light lipstick which hasn't been blended together, creating a look that's only fit for a halloween costume ;)

For full, 3D lip realness, moisturise your lips before you begin, then line with a dark lip liner. If the shape isn't completely perfect, you can always fix it as you go. Fill the middle of your lips with your chosen lipstick (I used Rimmel Lasting Finish in Alarm). Now, using your lipliner, blend in the edges into the lipstick (just imagine how you would shade a pencil drawing). To finish off, use your gold pigment to dab in the middle of both the top and bottom lips. 

Voila!

I hope this tutorial helps; I'd love to see the looks you create so feel free to post a link to photos in the comments.

 

Check out my new wig! I just got this from Geisha Wigs, and this is what it looked like before:

10 minutes of styling, this is what it looked like after.

Thank you, Mama.