The Cult of Dior’s Revolutionary Mascara, Diorshow

Dior’s revolutionary mascara, Diorshow, dates to October 2002, when John Galliano’s trusted makeup artist, Pat McGrath, used toothbrushes to create a plush, fluffy base for false eyelashes on the designer’s runway models. The technique inspired Dior to introduce a limited-edition run of its “big brush” mascara later that winter, giving runway watchers the false-lash effect at home.

Diorshow sold out faster than any makeup product the French luxury juggernaut had ever debuted. “If you didn’t have it in your kit, you were not in the game,” says Gina Brooke, a makeup artist who started using the mascara on Cindy Crawford and Madonna. “But Dior made dramatic, no-clumping lashes that don’t flake possible for the everyday person, too.” Diorshow returned permanently in 2004 and is now the third best-selling mascara in the world. This June, a fine-tuned version will hit the market, bolstered by tiny microfibers to create an even thicker finish and packaged to limit air from degrading its rich, glossy formula (available in four colors). Explains Dior’s creative director of makeup, Peter Philips, “There’s always a place for improvement.”

The Makeup Show 2014

The Makeup Show
Master Class with Gina Brooke
Los Angeles
Saturday March 1, 2014
2:00-5:00-studio 2

In this special master workshop session, Learn to work without limitations in your artistry, expressing your inspiration and what you can do to take your makeup to the next level.

To register: please email

All workshops are booked on a first come, first serve basis. First serve basis (16-24 attendees) All work shop Attendees must bring their own brush set all other products supplied.


I loved working with the New York Times to create this look just in time for New Years Eve.

Click through to see my full 5 step process and recreate the look!

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For New Year’s Eve inspiration this year, one might look to Amy Adams’s glamorous ’70s makeover on “American Hustle” (the beauty equivalent of the plunging sequined minidress). Herein, the film’s hair and makeup experts, along with Gina Brooke, Madonna’s makeup artist, and Michael Angelo, a favorite hairstylist of New York social swans, tell how to get the look you want to know better.

1) She prepped the skin with a lightweight hydrator such as Intraceuticals serum. Next, both face primer and eye primer by Urban Decay were smoothed on. “It keeps everything in place, especially if it’s going to be a long night,” she said. Then with a sponge, she applied Shu Uemura’s Lightbulb Foundation. “I’m obsessed with it,” Ms. Brooke said. “It doesn’t change with different lighting, so you know your party pictures will look good.”

2) To brush up brows and fill in, Ms. Brooke preferred Kevin Aucoin’s fine-tipped pencil.

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3) Line upper and lower lash lines. Ms. Brooke used Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre in Mirifique, a charcoal-black eye shadow with silver flecks and a texture she likened to mousse. “You can use it for a liner and for contouring into the eye crease,” she said. She drew a more elongated eye, very feline and Bianca Jagger. On the lid, she patted Mushroom eye shadow, a warm silver by Urban Decay. And because it’s New Year’s Eve and we’re talking ’70s, she added an extra dab of silver glitter to the center of the lid. The final touches: fake strip lashes trimmed to match your eye shape and a light application of Giorgio Armani fluid highlighter to the brow bone.

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4) “Much of the look was about this very aggressive blush that’s like a stripe,” Ms. Brooke said. “But too much blush can really age or date somebody.” Instead, she dusted a neutral-colored hue into the hollows for a hint of sculpturing before sweeping on L’Oréal Visible Lift blush in Rose Gold (“gorgeous on everyone,” $12.95) in an upward slant.

5) Line lips with a burgundy pencil. “There were a lot of rustic red-browns then,” she said, though “sometimes a dark hue can drag your face downwards,” in which case you can sub a peppier deep pink or crimson. For shine, she dabbed that old faithful, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, on top.

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Click through to see my full 5 step process and recreate the look!




I’m excited to share Shu Uemura’s new S Eyelash Curler for precision only. I use the S Curler after applying false lashes -it’s ideal to interconnect your false lashes to the real lashes for a more authentic lash appearance. The S Curler is also useful to go back and curl specific lashes that need extra curling the second time around. xxGina













Catch your best light always! with Shu Uemura’s “Lightbulb foundation”

I’m in LOVE with Shu Uemuras lightbulb foundation – it’s flawless and the sponge is magical in fact!  It cause’s no streaks, and it’s a better form of application than your fingers or even a brush, I can’t wait for you to try it!  You can purchase yours at

shu uemura _ lightbulb fluid foundation

We all know, that lighting is everything and Shu Uemura’s new lightbulb foundation (includes sponge) provides 12 hours!! of moisture and a flawless complexion under any light. Ten shades in total. Love it!  xxGina


I'm in LOVE with Shu Uemura's lightbulb foundation-it's flawless and the sponge is magical in fact, it causes no streaks and better than using a brush or your fingers! Cant wait for you to try!


Shu Uemura's Fall 2013 Lightbulb Foundation







Amber & Smoke, Interview with Lord Gavin McLeod

“I recently sat down with Lord Gavin McLeod of Amber & Smoke for an afternoon chat filled with fragrance! Gavin is also a freelance writer and New York Contributing Editor for FLAUNT magazine, and I loved the opportunity to share my thoughts on fragrance and share with you my adopted signature scent!”

Amber & Smoke is a daily journal providing news and insights into the worlds of Fragrance, Beauty and Fine Jewelry.

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WHAT SAY YOU? Gina Brooke

Gina Brooke needs no introduction. Regarded by many as the most inventive makeup artist working today, Gina Brooke is not only responsible for the many incarnations of pop icon Madonna but for revolutionizing the industry. Quite simply what Gina creates, others want.

Amber & Smoke is thrilled to discuss scent with the makeup queen herself. Enjoy!

From 2005 – 2010, Gina Brooke served as Artistic Director and the creative driving force behind L’Oreal’s Shu Uemura Brand. Best known for her revival of 1960’s eyelashes, Gina had everyone from Madonna, Sade, Oprah and Lady Gaga wearing her customized false eyelash creations.

Do you remember what you were doing in 2005? Of course you do! You were obsessed with Madonna’s diamond and mink lashes, created by Gina for the stars’ Confessions on a Dance Floor promo and subsequent tour.

As a result diamante lashes exploded onto the market. The public quickly realized that lashes could transform an entire face and one’s whole presence. That one moment of inspiration in Madonna’s bathroom led to a mega trend in beauty that still persists today.

Having worked with Madonna since 2003, Gina has played an fundamental role in helping the superstar develop her look, whether it be for her work on the stage, screen or in private life.

Most recently Gina’s work could bee seen night after night when Madonna took to her MDNA stage. Just as Gina’s lashes sent shockwaves through the cosmetic industry – her use of red lipstick on the MDNA tour has left everyone trying to find that ‘perfect red.’

While Gina’s work is constantly evolving, one thing remains the same – nobody does it better. Nobody understand the power of natural beauty the way she does and nobody else can make someone feel as good about themselves, as Gina can.

What do you or those around you consider to be your signature scent?

My signature scent is Fracas by Robert Piguet, which I consider to be a masterpiece of perfumery – a dazzling combination of Gardenia and Tuberose.

How did you come to adopt this scent and what do you think it says about you to others?

My Mother, Grandmother and older Sister wore Fracas. For as long as I could remember, it was the only fragrance that I had ever been exposed to. The scent is exquisitely feminine, elegant, delicate yet powerful and above all, refined. A true definition of the women in my family. The fragrance not only reminds me of my childhood memories but of the inspirational women in my life that I love most.

Growing up with Fracas playing such a prominent olfactive role in your life, how did it make you feel?

I remember when I was six, my Grandmother would give me a bath, style my hair and dress me in my Sunday best. My favorite part of the preparation was when she would take perfume from her mirrored vanity tray and place the fragrance directly behind my ears and wrists. The fragrance was memorable which made me feel grown up and feminine when I wore it.

Are there any fragrances that you love but feel you cannot wear yourself?

I’ve tried numerous fragrances over the years however, since i’m sensitive to scent, Fracas is the only fragrance I can wear without feeling unpleasant.

Can you recall any moment when a fragrance has stirred a memory within you or reminded you of something you had otherwise forgotten?

Years ago, I spent three weeks at a monastery in South East Asia to learn a meditation technique called Vipassana, which means, to see things as they really are. Throughout my trip, I was continuously inundated with the smell of lemongrass. Each time I smell lemongrass, all I can think about is the lessons I learned during that journey and the raw reality of any given situation.

Do you wear perfume to bed?

Yes, but not always. I do spray lavender on my pillow which helps me relax and fall fast asleep.

If you had the opportunity to create your own bespoke scent – what notes would you give the perfumer?

To capture a fragrance that is alluring, provocative and captivating yet refined. Romantic and sensual.

If God wore fragrance what would he/she smell like?

A scent that is bright (white in color)-the fragrance of nature and all that is heavenly and beautiful – just like a gardenia.

The key to creating flawless makeup

Have you ever tried to apply makeup on dry dehydrated skin? We all know, that It’s by far the most challenging experience when trying to create a flawless complexion.

One must always remember, “Beautiful makeup begins with the skin”

I recommend using Hyaluronic layering by Intraceuticals for intense hydration which will dramatically transform the way your skin looks and feels.

The Daily Serum, Hydration Gel and Moisture binding cream by Intraceuticals will instantly Hydrate and deliver potent anti-ageing ingredients and create the perfect canvas for make-up application. It will also Visibly improve your skin’s texture, radiance and vitality.

Hyaluronic Acid (also known as natures moisture) is an ingredient found naturally in the skin in fact, it is what keeps our skin supple but as we age, we begin to lose Hyaluronic acid which is why our skin becomes dryer.

Hyaluronic layering consists of layering three molecular weights of Hyaluronic acid to the skin- a low weight to revive the skin, a medium weight to replenish the skin and a high weight to lock in moisture and protect the skin.

To create a flawless canvas for makeup, begin by hydrating the skin using a lightweight version of Hyaluronic Acid. Apply the Daily Serum which will absorbe quickly by the skin for maximum dispersion of nutrients.
Followed by the Hydration Gel which contains a medium-weight of hyaluronic Acid which offers a reservoir of nutrients to the skin and lastly, apply the Moisture Binding Cream which contains a high weight Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate the skin’s surface and lock in moisture.

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