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

Cocoa Berry designs- specialists in Wedding stationery

I get lots of brides asking if I could recommend any great people who specialise in wedding stationery so I decided to add these guys to our blog. Not only do they do wedding stationery, but all other types now too. Cocoa Berry designs have the option of tailor made stationery or off the rack and I can tell you, both are stunning. Check out the link added
Cocoa Berry Design - specialists in wedding stationery creation
Looking for NZ wedding invitations...? Cocoa Berry Designs ensure all your wedding stationery needs are met to the highest standard.
They specialise in fresh and stylish wedding invitations and wedding stationery that can be adapted to your own style and theme of your big day.
Cocoa Berry offers a full range of wedding stationery: save the dates; invitations; RSVPs; order of service; menus; place names; table numbers; seating charts; and thank you cards - all following your chosen theme.
They offer either "off the rack" where you can choose off the website from their extensive folio or "tailor made" designs where you can influence the style and theme.
They are based in both Auckland and Wellington - however Cocoa berry, can cater to all areas of NZ.
Have a look around and let them help you with your wedding invitations.

Hils x

Twitter Follow them on Twitter      facebook Find them on Facebook       Cocoa Berry Blog Check out Cocoa Berry Blog

Lush Lashes promotion for Valentines day. Get in fast!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – what a great day for your eyelashes to look their gorgeous best! 

We have a lovely gift for you – just make your Valentine’s Day booking before the end of February and we will give you a box of Hil Cook Solution Buds.  If you haven’t already seen these, they are ideal for your handbag for removing makeup blunders or just to “tidy up” after work before the Hot Valentine’s Date!

Just give us a call or reply to this email – mention “Valentine’s Day Promotion”, and we will help you look fabulous on this most romantic day of the year.


Vanessa O'Reilly
Managing Director
0275 533 793
04 212 6897

A day at the races

Susan and I were awake at the crack of dawn this morning. I greeted her in the studio where we both sipped on yummy lattes and discussed the look she wanted to have for the Wellington cup at Trentham races today.  Susan is one of my super favorite clients who turns up time and time again to be made up for all manner of events, the thing that makes working with her such a joy, is that every single event Susan attends, she has a complete new look for me to tackle. Today we went for a vintage look with a modern twist. bubbling finger waves, an interesting side bun and a quirky hot pink fascinator.  We went for the Rihana hot pink lip, doe inky eyes, long corner single lashes and pale shimmery pink shadow with a plum contour.  She wore Bobbi brown's gorgeous rose Shimmer brick on her cheeks and matched the look up with vintage lace gloves, a hot pink dress, hot pink shoes and clutch.

Susan looked so hot to trot that when a film producer came to our house this morning, he caught a glimpse of the sassy lass and left his number for her. (he he)  I think maybe I need to start up a match making business.  Think Susan may have thought he was a bit of all right too :)

Susan entered in the Stella fashion award and became a finalist. We think she's a winner!

Hil x

One of this weeks gorgeous brides.

Here are some pics of one of our gorgeous brides today. Penny had a fantastic hair style that was a real breakfast with Tiffany look, she had a french roll at the back and then intricate detail through top the side.  Penny hired one of our stunning vintage brooches to go with her do and wore a beautiful dress from Brides on Thorndon.  Penny's photographer Jenny Siaosi,  was the photographer of choice for the day and the reception and place of getting ready was at the lovely Wellesly boutique  hotel in Wellington.


   Hil cook solution buds 

***A MASSIVE 60% OFF*** 

 First 100 to click  this LINK http://www.smallfish.co.nz/hil-cook/shop/-60-off-promotion.aspx

Retailed normally at $13.00... today only $6.00 !!

Limited to one pack per person, New Zealand only promo !

Check out how they work below in our youtube video or jump on our webiste www.hilcook.co.nz

Grab n Run... Face book, twitter and email ya mates
Hil Cook Solution buds are the fast, easy way to touch up or remove your makeup, without needing a bag full of products and wipes. Simply remove the tip, watch the solution flow down into the bud, and replace the tip again. Use the solution end to clean up smudges or remove your makeup complete makeup, Use the dry end to wipe away the residue. Great for HD filming and sensitive eyes. Hil Cook Solution buds can be purchased on our E-Commerce store www.hilcook.co.nz or Pharmacies and selected New Worlds.

Danielle Hayes winner of NZ Top Model loves Solution buds

Danielle Hayes - Winner of NZ Top Model
Big thanks Michelle Perry for sending us this piccie :)

How to get well defined eyebrows

how to get well-defined, well-groomed brows
1. Brush your eyebrows straight up with an eyebrow brush. Using small straight scissors, carefully trim any hairs that are curly or too long. Then brush the brows back into their natural shape.
2. Hold a pencil along the side of your nose to ensure that the inner edge of your brow lines up with the inside corner of your eye.
3. Move the pencil so that it intersects with your iris. The arch of your brow should line up with the pencil.
4. Angle the pencil from the outside edge of your nose to the outer corner of your eye to determine where your brow should end.
5. Tweeze where necessary and fill in with a soft pencil or powder.
6. Brush with an eyebrow brush and apply eyebrow gel ( Bobbi brown has a great brow gel) to keep strays in place. You're done!

contouring lesson for the round shaped face

Contour to your temples, cheeks and jawline to create the illusion of an oval.

Highlight your forehead,under your eyes and your chin to draw attention to the centre of your face.
Contouring for round shape faces

Hils x

Behind the scenes with fashion pages of Fishead mag

The latest Fishead fashion pages are phenomenal if I may say so myself.  Samantha Hannah (stylist and beauty editor), once again out did herself with her slick styles, as did Tim Watson ( International Photographer extraordinaire) with his artistic eye for lighting and getting the shots just so.
I joined in doing the hair and makeup and together, our wee dream team once again made magic across the pages of Fishead. Our model Zoe, sizzled with Hotness and drew on her acting talents to get herself right into character, in fact she was sooooo good at playing the hot chick that poor Micheal (male model) was getting a bit of a sweat on and who could blame him . Speaking of Micheal, this was his first shoot and for a freshman, wowza, he did fab and I think you will agree he looked fab too! I'm sure it wasn't hard for Zoe to act out she was hot for him.  Kitchen n things lent us their venue for the evening to do the shoot which gave us all the gorgeous nooks and crannies for the perfect shot. Check out the unedited behind the scenes pics below.  Hils x
Zoe has on Nga Waiatas rings on. I got one for Christmas and are my new found love !

Tim Watson Photographer

How hot is this suit. I sooo want my hubby to get one!

Tim doing his thing!

latest Fishead shoot

For those of you that have not seen the latest Fishead mag, it has just hit the shelves and packed to the rafters of quirky, interesting Wellingtonian stuff.  Once again, we had the pleasure of doing the hair and makeup for the front cover and the fabulous fashion pages.  Here are some of the behind the scenes.
Hair and makeup by Hil Cook & Ange Duncan

International extraordinaire Photographer Tim Watson, our models and Ange doing final checks.
Hils x

Latest brides

Well, wedding season is totally in full bloom. I can hardly move with out brides on the land line, cell and email all trying madly to get booked  in for their special day.
This weeks bride is Naomi who is just a delight! Naomi was one of those lovely brides that when she got nervous she talked and giggled non stop.  Her bridal party were also all such lovely ladies and a pleasure to spend the day with. Pics below :) Hair and makeup by Hil Cook and Lea Hoare

How to clean lippy out of your lip brushes.

I have just been cleaning my brushes and though of a tip that you all need to know.... How to clean a lip brush.

For those of you that use lip brushes, you will know how hard it is to get all your lippy out of your lip brush when cleaning them.  Isopropyl or even hot soapy water wont do it, so what does I hear you ask??
Its as easy as opening you kitchen cupboard, getting out the olive oil, applying a little on a handy towel and working your brush back and forth until all that colour is worked out of your brush.  Once all colour is out, either wash in warm soapy water or dip in Isopropyl (100% alcohol found in your local chemist) and now your lippy brush will be just like new :)
Hils x

Look at this pic and see how they have used highlight around the cupids bow and heading up the two lines above the lip to create the illusion of extra pout. Simple but effective and cheaper than the Caci clinic :)

A wee article in the Cook straight times about our business :)


Meet Tilley, our Sassy Solution bud lady . On TV Soon!

You lot voted our Solution bud lady to be called Tilley.  Our commercial for Solution buds is nearly complete so watch out for her gracing your TV screens very soon :) Thanks to everyone for the input, we love her name!

Our latest gorgeous quirky bride.

These are the latest pictures of our last bride Debbie. She had gorgeous 1920 finger waves in her fringe and then we used hot sticks in her straight black bob to make delicious bubbly volume.  Debbie and hubby were married at Black barn in Napier.

Photography by the very talented "Shine studios" from Auckland.  They have just won themselves an award.

Hils x

Contour and shading made easy.

I wanted to show you how contour and shading really can make a difference to a face shape and symmetry.
The pictures below are both of the same lady, she has just been blended well to achieve the end result.

Give contouring and shading a try, even if its just to master one part at a time.
The results can be dramatic!


Choosing the right makeup brushes

HAIR TYPEMakeup brush hair type is THE most important factor when choosing your makeup brush. The best and the choice of professional makeup artists is natural hair type. The hair quality affects the prices of makeup brushes and ranges from the finest and most expensive Kolinsky sable to the most common natural bristle. Kolinsky sablesquirrelmink and weasel are used in top quality brushes. 
 Note: Famous brand names DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL higher quality. Decent quality choices include Goat, Pony and hair blends. Synthetics such as Nylon and Taklon, are best left for use on eyebrows and for applying foundations, respectively.
CUT: This refers to the method by which the hair is harvested. It makes a huge difference because virgin, first-cut fur makes the softest makeup brush and can make not-so-high ‘grade’ hair types cosmetic brushes feel as soft as possible for that particular hair type. First-cut (Top grade) hair, is also cruelty-free, as they are sheared from the tips of the fur. That is why they are the softest on your skin. The best way to relate I guess, is to imagine how the tips of our own hair would feel after a hair cut. Blunt-cut hair refers to the ‘lower’ cut of the fur. They are much coarser and can feel prickly against your skin. Imagine brushing cropped prickly hair against your face…OUCH! Blunt-cuts are widely used in lower quality cosmetic brushes because they are much cheaper than the first cut. Of course, this information is rarely provided but a good way to test is to look at the tips of the hair of the makeup brush. The finely pointed (natural-looking) ones are most likely the first-cut.
MAKEUP BRUSH SHAPE AND DENSITY: The shape and density determine whether they will perform the job intended, effectively and efficiently. You want the makeup brushes to do magic and do it fast!
In general, there are three kinds of makeup brush shape – square cutchisel cut, and round cut. No, we’re not talking about diamonds here! :) When we talk about makeup brush shape we’re referring to the shape of the tips of the cosmetic brushes. High quality brushes are hand made, not machine cut, as hand shaped makeup brushes have their precious tips (first-cut) still intact. The machine cannot compete with the skillful hands of the ‘masters’.  Why not? Well, that’s because machines can’t ‘shape’ the makeup brushes without sacrificing (trimming) the soft tips of the makeup brushes. That is why, high quality makeup brushes are hand made hence are usually more expensive but A’SQUIRREL makeup brushes are hand made too but are not at all expensive! 
2. Ferrule (Metal part) 
Check that it is seamless. That means, exactly that – no seams around it! Most makeup brushes are seamless. Metal types used include Aluminum (usually Aluminium Alloy as Aluminum by itself is impossibly soft), Copper and Brass(strongest). Whatever the metal type, ensure they are double crimped (2 circles around them) to avoid wobbly handles.
3. Handle 
Check that it is made from hard wood and that the length or overall weight feels good in your hand. The length of the handle is a matter of personal choice but usually most prefer around 7” or thereabouts. 

Another couple of gorgeous Bridal parties

Thought I would share some more pics of our latest bridal parties
Stunning Janine & her bridal party.  Hair & makeup by Hil Cook & Ange Duncan

Then the lovely Sarah and her wedding party
Sarahs Mum made all the bridal dresses. Very clever lady!
Gorgeous Victorian styled dress for Sarah made by her clever mum.

As you can see its been a busy week :)

Hils x

Contouring for your face shape

Contouring is the oldest technique in makeup and a great makeup artist's secret tool. Not many women know about it and the technique is advanced. So handle with care so you don't end up looking overdone. The key is less is more. Your makeup should be simple and natural. It's your face we want to notice not the make up.

When you contour you will change, accentuate, hide, strengthen and define your face

Think of contouring as painting a blank canvas. You apply foundation to even out your complexion. Then think of creating shape to your face.
The main principle is this:
   Dark shading will make facial features recede
   Light shading will make facial features more prominent

   Thin down a rounded face

   Soften a square face

   Define your cheek bones 

   Narrow a large or wide shape nose

   Define your jawline

   Create fuller lips

   Lift saggy eyes

   Minimize a large forehead or receding hair line

   Make your eyes look bigger

   Your true foundation color that matches your skin exactly

   Your contour color that should be 2 shades darker than your foundation and with the same undertone

   Your highlighting color that should be 1 to 2 shades lighter than your foundation and with the same undertone


Over the next few weeks, I will add a new face shape so you can try out the techniques that work for your shape.
Be great to see any photos of what any of you have tried. Email them to hil@hilcook.co.nz and we can post them on our blog.

Cheers Hils x