Join Hil and her savvy team on their journey behind the scenes in the world on makeup and hair. Mobile on the go EVERYWHERE!

Try a cocktail party look to see the New Year in.

What makes a great New years eve party makeup? Each woman has her own definition of evening glamour, but the consensus says there's something alluring about glossy lips, smoky eyes (the little black dress of makeup) and softly dewy skin. Cocktail parties are a chance for you to experiment with colorful evening makeup looks that brings out your best side. Herein, a few cocktail party makeup ideas to get you started for seeing the New Year in...

"Cocktail party makeup necessitates cocktail party hair. Try an elegant ponytail to turn heads", or a few random curls for that instant party girl glamour.

Come sunset, it's impossible to go wrong with liquid shimmer. Mix a dab with your foundation for radiant, party-perfect skin. Create a base for the eyes by applying concealer with a slim concealer brush, which is a must for getting into the corners of the eye to camouflage dark circles. Dab the color where your skin is most discolored, then use a finger to pat it in lightly. In lieu of an eyeshadow base, you can use the same concealer brush to pat powder onto the eyelids to give your shadow staying power.

For dramatic cocktail party eye makeup, create smokiness by smudging pewter or gunmetal eyeshadow all the in your crease. This look is less harsh than black but equally dramatic, and the color is one shade fits all (it's especially flattering on blue eyes). If you have green or brown eyes, consider swapping pewter for a plum-based shadow as shown here.

To score lush party fringe lashes, apply your mascara with a fan brush, which works especially well on hard-to-catch lower lashes. Swipe your mascara wand with the fan brush to transfer the color and use it to paint your lashes for an extra fluttery effect. Wipe the fan brush clean with a baby wipe or wash it with your regular shampoo to keep it clean.
You could also try false party lashes for that extra fluttery look,  these can be found in any 2 dollar shop and make a dramatic finish to your party look.  If a full set feels too much, cut them in half or even thirds and just attach to the outer corners of your eyes giving you the wide eyed party look.


Lastly, every girl needs her party gloss and shimmer dust.  Bobbie brown has the best Shimmer bricks in every shade which are just perfect for that party look.  Shimmer your skin for an alluring hydrated look, your cheeks for definition, cupids bow for the party pout and inner corners of your eyes for that eye popping effect that will have men in a trance!

Dust off that little black dress and go party girl!


Hils x

The teams lovely work this weekend

Our team was pretty busy over the weekend with brides so I just thought I would share with you some of our work.
Lea got the gorgeous Natalia and her flower girl ready in hair and makeup at her place in Wellington.
See photos below

hair and makeup by Lea

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Beautiful hair work by Lea

Ange and I went to Raumati South to get beautiful bride Anna Head and her bridal party ready in hair and makeup.  Anna had Ruth pretty catering for her reception and the menu sounded out of this world, anyone looking for catering should check out Ruth Pretty catering
Photos below

Hair and makeup by Hil Cook

hair and makeup by Ange Duncan

We had our other artist Nat who got to have the day off as it was her birthday, Nat spent the day preening herself for the evenings celebrations and were joined by the rest of the team once our brides were off up the iles to meet their future husbands.
Hils x

Party Season- try out some party tricks with your makeup

Party season is upon us, which for some means a whirlwind of parties and events. Here are a few make up tips to ensure that you get through summer looking like the diva we know you are.
The most important thing is your skin. It’s a canvas for your make up, if you choose to wear any. Get some great tips on how to achieve glowing skin in our blog

Eye liner:
When you’re getting all dolled up for a night of clubbing it’s better to go with bold eyeliner looks. A daytime liner will seem to disappear at night and your eyes won’t command much attention. Night time is when you can break out the black eyeliner and any other bold and beautiful color for that matter. Try something a little different, the world is your oyster.

Bold Eyes:
A great way to really enhance the look of night time eyeshadow is to moisten your brush with a wet wipe and then dip it into a bold shade of eye shadow colour, this makes the color bolder again, and gives it a heap of staying power. Use another brush (but dry this time) to blend the edges.  Line the lower lash line to frame your eyes and add more of a sultry, smoldering look to your gaze. Don’t be afraid to experiment with using two or three different colors of shadow on the lid and or underneath the bottom lash lines, the more creative the better!

Your eyelashes are very important to the overall look of your face because they frame your eyes, make them look bigger and draw more attention to them. If you  aren’t blessed with mile long eyelashes here are some tips to play up one your most striking features with a little “help”... Single flared lashes, these are applied individually and usually only 3-4 are needed on each outer corner of the eye, va va voom, you will not know yourself!  Mac have some great full lash sets but to be honest, we get most of our full set lashes that grace the pages of fashion mags from the $2 shop.
If its Lash extensions your after, give Lush lashes a call, they last approx 5 weeks and I LOVE them!


When you apply your mascara start at the base of your lashes. As you move the wand up, wiggle it from side to side to get the most coverage. Use an eyelash comb to separate lashes and remove any clumps of mascara. Use a combination of lengthening and thickening mascara to give your lashes the biggest boost. For everyday wear, brown and black mascaras get the job done nicely. Experiment with colored mascara to make your eyes pop and compliment your eye color and liner.

Apply mascara to the top and bottom lashes for a very wide eyed look. Only do the top set for a polished and sophisticated doe eyed look.
For the best coverage, hold the mascara wand vertically and swipe it back and forth across the bottom lashes.  Try to prevent smudging and smearing the mascara on the rest of your makeup but if a wee accident happens, reach for Hil Cook Solution buds. For luscious lashes apply up to three coats of mascara or even give tube mascara a try,  L'Oreal does a great tube mascara at a reasonable price.

If you’ve gone super glam on the eyes, pick a demure colour. If you haven’t braved the multi coloured eyes how about going for a vavavoom red colour on your lips.

Lastly, have fun, play around, experiment with colours and textures on your skin.

We made it to the MOON! Thanks Google :)

Click the caption and check out the amazing  personal video that google sent the Hil Cook team for Christmas!Hils x

Check this AMAZING personal video sent to me by Google!

Wow this is the most EPIC personal video, sent to me from Gooogle Adwordsfor Christmas. I am totally blown away !!!!


Mr Celebrity X reveled - Stephen Fleming hosts a fabulous 1920s party with his lovely wife

Well here is people, the big reveal...  Stephen Fleming and his wife, kindly said they would allow us to put their pics on our blog after Ange and I made them up for their 1920's party at their gorgeous home. Check out below.
The mo was knotted by Ange that afternoon out of Yac hair and looked very authentic.

Hils x

Stunning reference for our lovely artist Lea

Hi Lea

Thank you so much for making me look stunning for my wedding day!  You made the experience relaxed and fun and special.  I can tell that you love what you do for a job.  I appreciate the attention to detail and also the fact that you stayed to make sure I looked my best in my dress and that everything was just as it should be before I headed off out the door.  

I left like a beautiful version of myself when I left my parents house to go and marry my man.  The hair and makeup was perfect and you ensured that it complemented my-not-so-traditional dress - and you brought together a complete look for me.  I was completely delighted.  Also, the hair and makeup felt really natural - and it was easy to wear and made me feel so confident on the day!   Even at the end of the night after lots of dancing and wine - the hair and makeup looked fresh and perfect.

My Mum's makeup was beautiful too and I know she had lots of lovely comments on Saturday.

When we get the professional photos through I'll send you through a few pics!  Meantime I have attached a couple of guest taken pics - just so you can see how handsome my new husband looked given you heard a lot about him!

Thanks again Lea.  I won't hesitate recommending you to others and I only wish I had a ball or some amazing event to go to so I could get you back to do my makeup!

Thank you for being part of the day - it was fun having you with us for the morning.

Lucy and her new Hubby

How to create a 1920's look

We have just been booked by a Kiwi celebrity to make him and his lovely wife step into the Flapper world of the 20's tomorrow night.  They are hosting a fabulous party and want to look just the part, Celebrity X knew just the team to do it!
Mr Celebrity X will be wearing a pencil thin mustache lovingly knotted up by Ange today and having the true 20s slick hair style. Mrs Celebrity X will be having the whole works yay, what fun.

I thought I would share with you, how to create a 1920s look for anyone one else interested in vintage makeups and hair.

In the "Roaring Twenties," short, bobbed hair, heavily lined eyes and tiny dark lips were an indication that a woman was modern and liberated. Whether you are attending a costume party or you wish to modernize the look as your own, there are ways to make the 1920s face yours.

Difficulty: Moderate
Things You'll Need:
         Pancake or cream foundation
         Makeup sponge
         Dark eyebrow pencil
         Eye makeup primer
         Gray/brown-based eyeshadow ( matt tones)
         Black kohl eyeliner or gel liner
         Black mascara
         Blush with touches of red in it
         Waxy dark-red lip liner and lipstick thats matt
Apply a foundation in your skin tone that gives your complexion a creamy, perfect look. If your skin is naturally porcelain- or alabaster-toned, play it up.
Darken and turn your eyebrows slightly downward with an eyebrow pencil or eyeliner that is darker than your brow color. This works best if your brows are on the thin side. If not, cover your brows with a 1920s-style hat or with fringe chopped straight across as part of a bob cut.
Smooth on your usual eye makeup primer, then apply a dark grey/brown-based eyeshadow from lash line to crease.
Use a black kohl eyeliner on both top and bottom lash lines.
Color your top and bottom lashes with blackest black mascara.
Rub blush into the apples of your cheeks, and blend away the hard edges. Make sure the color is still evident, as though you just walked in from the cold.
Apply pale pancake foundation or concealer over clean and exfoliated lips. With a waxy dark-red lip liner, exaggerate the cupid's bow on your top lip. Draw your lower lip as slightly plumper than it really is by extending slightly on the bottom. Draw both upper and bottom lips as shorter on the sides.

Fill the new lip shape in with pencil before layering matching lipstick over it. When you are through, your lips should not be as wide as they really are, giving the illusion that you have them puckered and ready for a kiss.
9.If you are going to go the whole hog right down to nails, they were painted leaving the half moon and tip out.  Paint in between with a deep dark red.

And there you have it, just like you have stepped out of the 20's,  I will let you know how it goes :)
Hils x

Fun eye makeups to try

Changing your eye makeup can change your overall look dramatically, and there is no shortage of fabulous eye makeup products to experiment with! Try one of these fun ideas to change up your look:
  • A glamorous cat eye look is both sexy and polished. It's sweeping eyeliner really draws attention to the eye and makes eyes appear larger.
  • Bright eye makeup is a hot trend, and one that is easier for most women to pull off than they think. Try a bright shade, such as turquoise or yellow, on your upper lid, and keep the rest of your makeup fresh and bright -- but on the natural side -- to balance the eyes.
  • For a fun, funky eye makeup look, try using two different eye makeup colors on the top an bottom of the eye.
  • Spice up a smoky eye in a fresh new way with the addition of a metallic of shimmer eyeliner. Or, use a colored shadow for your smoky eye look, such as blue or purple, instead of the standard black or grey.
Fun purple smokey eyes to try instead of the standard charcoals 

Rave review from Kathleen (Bridesmaid for Kerrin Eckersly)

Hey Hil & Ange

I just wanted to send a quick note to say a big thank you for all of your hard work on Kerrin's wedding day.   Not only did you make us all look amazing but you were so friendly and easy to get along with, it really added to the days enjoyment.
Ange, thanks so much for helping do up Kerrin's dress, as you may have sensed I was having a few issues getting help with that and you were a life saver. 
All the best with Janine's wedding this weekend, I can't wait to see some photos of how she, Hiria and Rowan look.
Take care and if ever I hear of someone in need of makeup or hair in Wellington I will send them your way.

Kind wishes

Winner of HER Regional Businesswoman of the Year awards for 2010. Best new business

 'Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.' and I agree.

I want to shout my thanks out loud. I want everyone to know and hear how much the support of Ange, Lea & Nat means to me. But more than that, I want them to know. 

Ange you are there for me 200%. You share your support, friendship, passion,expertise and your time unstintingly and I am eternally grateful. without your time and energy, we would not have this business.  Our days tend to be frantic- always rushing around, I so appreciate the time and the extra mile you take to make our business be what it is!!

Lea and Nat, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in our team and going the extra mile for us, even when i cant pay you!
Thanks girls for being amazing artists, for being my friends. Thanks for being there for me and thanks for caring about me. Thanks for everything you do for me.... 
You don't need to, but I am glad you do :)

I going to quote something Mother Teresa  once said in an Easter service I went to in Calcutta...

We cannot do great things on this Earth,
Only small things with great love.

Thanks for making a difference girls !
Hils x

Lea, Ange, Hil, Nat

Our beautiful bride Ann and her stunning bridesmaids.

Hair and makeup by Hil Cook and Leanne Hoare

Ange shines for the Womama shoot

Hi Hil

Ange, as you know is brilliant - she made me look 20 years younger - no mean feet. We would love to work with her for all future shoots if she is available.
Next shoot will be early June.

Heidi Holbrook          

Our lovely Ange ( without the dreads)

A simple way to make your eyes pop with one tool !!!

I have the best tip to get some real eye brightening going on in your eyes and trust me, it is a girls best kept secret.  I have a picture below which really makes it easy to see where to highlight to get these fantastic results.  If you don't have the famous YSL Touch Eclat eye brightener, try this method out with a cream or  powder eyeshadow, in a very light tone with a shimmer.  The results are remarkable!

I would love to see before and after pics if you try it out, and I am sure our readers would too. Send them to hil@hilcook.co.nz and i will post them on :)

Enjoy.  Hils x

Christina Hoey's wedding day. Hair & makeup by Hil and Ange

Today was a lovely day getting stunning bride Christina Hoey,  her 3 bridesmaids and her mum ready for a fabulous sunny Sunday wedding.
Ange and I were at Christina's mother n law's house at the crack of dawn, getting the gorgeous bridal party ready in hair and makeup.  Everything went without a hitch and was a nice calm day.
Check out the pics below.  Apologies for the camera work, today I forgot my camera and only had my dinosaur cell ph.  Hil

Christina wears Richard Kavanagh tong curls  in her naturally straight hair

Ann smiths wedding today- Hair and makeup by Hil and Lea

Today Lea and I did a lovely bride, Ann Smith and her gorgeous bridesmaids.  They were all such lovely girls and all looked amazing!!!  A+  in fact.
Ann wanted everyone to look soft and and effortless with the hairdos, just imagining you could pull out a hair pin and it would tumble down their backs. Reality is, they could have been spun around on the "Dancing with the stars" dance floor, and that hair would have held, but it sure looked soft, effortless and girly.  In fact we even added hair extensions to our gorgeous brunette bridesmaid who had quite short hair, but it was undetectable once Lea had worked her magic!

The bridesmaids had a touch of silver in the inner corner of their eyes to tie in their silver shoes, then smouldering vintage rose colours on the lid and teamed with peacock greens in the contour. Outer corner single lashes were the flavor of the day and a vintage rose lip. Result... STUNNING

Ann looked like a Gorgeous petite princess in her beautiful gown. She was absolutely breathtaking. We did Ann's beautiful Burmese eyes in soft vintage roses, smokey purples and silvers along with several single lashes applied to her outer eye for the doe eyed effect.  Check out the end results below.

New Fishead shoot pics- Hair and Makeup by Hil Cook & Angela Duncan

Whats happened for the week...

Well another flat out week with bridal trials, shoots and Balls.  Our French powder room has seen all manner of beauties this week, I cant show you the bridal trials as we don't want any grooms snooping around seeing how hot their ladies are going to look, but i will show you a few of our latest pictures.

We had most of our team alternating freelance work for Bobbi Brown this week as they are flat out with Christmas, then racing back to our studio to fit in trials and shoots.  Oh the joys of the silly season!

Kerrin Erskey. The latest bride
Matisse Rendal  - Gorgeous for her 1st School ball
Magdelena, Latest Voon Clothing shoot

Gorgeous hair and makeup by Ange for some fun drama with this sister of the bride

Homemade Cat litter mask for all skin types! For real... try this one!

We got this recipe off a TV show a while back. The beauty expert (Diane Irons, the author of several beauty books) swore cat litter is made of the same ingredients as special clays found in $100 spa facials. Our team tried this and loved it.


1 bag cat litter (must be marked '100 Percent Natural Clay')
Drops of your favorite essential oil
Mix in a couple tablespoons of the cat litter with water and drops of oil (we find the oil helps make the experience somehow less kitty litter-ish)
Apply mask to face
Wash off after 15 minutes.

To be honest I was pretty doubtful about this mask but I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try. Its easy to make, the smell isn’t bad and the end result is AMAZING!!! It worked better then most of the expensive over the counter clay masks Ive bought at Kirks even!!. I will definatley use this again and again!

 A+++ 5 stars