Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Merton Muaremi: The Master of Make-Up

Earlier this month, I had the enormous pleasure of sitting down with one of Australia's most respected and inspiring talents in the make-up industry. Merton Muaremi is a Melbourne born and based make-up extraordinaire, who is currently working his away across Australia teaching Master-classes, including Canberra, for those who wish to learn from him. With a background in the Visual Arts, Merton has an original take on make-up - using his skills and knowledge of colours and facial structures to really bring out the absolute best in each of his clients.

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With a long list of celebrity faces he has worked with, and a repertoire spanning more than 11 years in the industry, this humble and passionate man was a delight to speak to. I was so thrilled that he was able to make time for me and the myriad of questions I had prepared for him - and was in fact so fun to chat with that at times it was easy to get sidetracked. I did however, do my best to stick to the questions - and Merton if you are reading this, thank you for all your patience! Merton's passion and love for what he does is so genuine. In every word spoken it is clear to see how this hard-working individual has found such great success - with dedication, commitment, staying true to himself as an artist, and generally being an all-round lovely human. Scroll down to learn more about Merton, his tips for making it in the industry as a make-up artist, and his top 10 must have's for every beauty-loving girl's make-up bag. 

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Q. Reading the bio you have on your website, it mentions a background in the Visual Arts - could you tell us a little more about that, and how that helped you to shift into the world of make-up artistry and hair styling?
Well, it started in Art in Primary School, and never thought that I would get into make-up - the thought had not even crossed my mind. I did as many art subjects as I could throughout my schooling, including ceramics, graphics, visual arts... I then got into Uni. I did love drawing, I loved painting, but it still didn't grasp. Something was still missing for me. I ended up packing up and moving to Sydney and came across make-up completely by accident! Initially I thought I would get into special effects make-up but as time went on I really began to love the fashion aspect of it. I think in terms of make-up my art background has really helped me to understand colours and face shapes and I think that comes from my graphics background as well. Being able to analyse a face and know the right pressures to use - understanding the mediums to use when applying make-up. Art also helped me to understand products and the use of products and applying the right colours to different faces.
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Q. Would you say in a way there is a science to looking at a face and being able to see those mediums and know where to apply pressure?  
Yeah there is, and a lot of people do ask. I try to teach as much as I can about that and how to be able to look at a face and understand the structure. For some it comes easier than for others - like with everything. Some people find it easy while others have to train a little harder. I definitely do not hold back in my master classes and try to give as much of myself and my knowledge as possible.

Q. Your work has taken you across many parts of Australia, as well as overseas – most recently to Europe. Where in Europe have you been working, and what part of that experience has been your favourite so far?
I had planned to move to London so travelled there and was fortunate enough to score a job working with ZARA and was there for about 5 or 6 months. I then decided to continue my travels and found myself in Milan for a month before moving back to Australia. My favourite part of that experience was really just how passionate I was and how determined I was to get to where I wanted to be. I worked so hard while I was there. London for me was really more about self-growth. So that's the lesson I took away from that experience in London which was just amazing for me.
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Q. The list of publications you have in magazines is quite amazing – you’ve done work for the likes of Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazaar, Shop Till You Drop, In Style as well as Marie Claire – just to name a few. These are certainly more of the "fashion and beauty" enthusiasts’ choice of reading material, which really speaks to our readers as a fashion and style blog. Could you tell me a little bit about what it’s like to work behind the scenes on a magazine shoot?Yeah it is definitely a collaborative effort. Everyone works together - the photographer, stylist, hair and make-up stylists etc. We are usually given a mood-board beforehand of what we are trying to achieve for the shoot. It's our job to create a story with what we've been given in the brief. Generally I do tend to work with other people in the industry that I know but I think that is just a result of being in the industry for so long and having worked with so many different people over the years. It's great to work with people that you trust and it's important to trust each other's vision.
Q. You’ve also worked with some pretty well known celebrities – who are some of your favourite clients that you’ve worked with in the past or present? And who would you most like to work with in the future?
I have really loved working with every client I have ever had. Every single one of them have been amazing to work with and have all brought something different and have been really lovely to me. In the future I would say that I would definitely love to work with Cara Delevigne, Taylor Swift, and I also love Kim Kardashian.
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Q. I did notice that you have also worked with Sarah Donaldson of Harper and Harley. I remember coming across her about 3 years ago on Instagram – she has come a really long way and has made a substantive name for herself in the beauty and fashion industry, and has quite a strong sense of personal styling. One of the things I love about her blog is that her looks are always accompanied by really natural and flawless make-up. Do you have any tips for our readers on how we could replicate this at home?
For me, make-up is a personal choice - so how much or how little you want to wear is totally up to you! If you want to rock false lashes at dinner and it's going to make you feel good - then go for it. Sarah's got the features, and for me make-up is about enhancing your features, so I would say play to that - if you've got full lips flaunt them. If your eyes are your thing then play to that. In terms of the skin, finding a really good base is important. Try to cover up the blemishes and get rid of any redness and that will give you a good base for that flawless looking skin.
Q. Merton you seem so passionate about what you do, which is so lovely to hear and totally inspiring. Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring make-up artists who are trying to break into the industry?
I have been doing make-up for about 11 years now and it honestly doesn't even feel that way - I absolutely love what I do. I have learned in the last few years that work won't always come to you, you really have to create your own network and create your own buzz. I would say to other make-up artists - don't focus on other people. When you focus on other people you waste time that you could essentially be spending on yourself. It's something I say even to myself sometimes, it's a constant motivation. Especially when you are a freelance make-up artist. You need to constantly be putting yourself out there - just do your own thing and work hard. I remember back when I was studying, I clocked more work experience hours than anyone else in my course because I arrived early every day and was the last one to leave. It never felt like work to me because I loved and enjoyed it so much. But if you want to be successful you have to work, and I think that's an important thing for other aspiring make-up artists to know. I also think being a make-up artist is about the full package - your presentation, personal hygiene, and being friendly and approachable.

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Q. And of course what all of our readers would love to know - what are the 10 beauty products every woman should have in her make-up kit, and what are some of your favourite brands or picks?

1. For skin: MAC or Chanel are my favourite for foundations. It's really important to find the right colour for your skin, as well as the right consistency for your skin type.  

2. For eyebrows: Kevyn Aucoin Precision Eyebrow Pencil in Brunette. 

3. For eyes: Stila Palettes are amazing - at the moment I am loving the Stila Mind Palette and the Soul Palette. The Mind Palette is all matte with neutral tones. So you can really go for something natural during the day and work it up to something heavier for the night time. The Soul Palette is also full of beautiful neutral tones - but has a mixture of matte and shimmers. I also love Tom Ford in Cocoa Mirage. These colours are really velvety on the skin and glide on beautifully.  

4. For lips: I love Japanese Maple by MAC. It's a really beautiful neutral colour. Chanel 297 lip-gloss is also another favourite. I also love Greek Holiday by NARS.  
5. For contouring/bronzing: MAC Bronze Powder in Bronze.

6. For highlighting: Too Faced 'candlelight' highlighting powder duo for serious highlighting.
7. A really good primer is important too - find one that works for your skin type.  

8. Eyeliner - Blackest Black Eyeliner Gel from Inglot - will literally not budge once it dries.  

9. Mascara - Maybelline! Great Lash Mascara.  

10. Lashes - I only use Model Rock Lashes. They have such an amazing range - everything from natural looking to something more dramatic! For more natural looking lashes I would recommend the 411, and for something a little bigger I would go for the 464.  

By Melissa Daniels @beauty.and.thebasics

Check out more of Merton's incredible work at

Merton will be holding a booked out Wing it! Sculpt & Highlight make-up Masterclass in Canberra on Sunday 2 August

Friday, 24 July 2015

Fashion meets art: Cycle Culture hosted by Canberra Centre

On Wednesday night we checked out an event held by Canberra Centre to showcase suspended art installation - Cycle Culture.
Featuring work from local artists including:

Luke Chiswell
Alison Jackson

Megan Jackson

Charlie Kilmartin

The night brought champagne and light refreshments served throughout a panel discussion featuring artists Megan, Alison and Charlie, as Luke was away in New York for a show he is working on (TFV will keep you all updated on his progress overseas).
Each artist discussed their artistic styles and inspiration towards their individual creations.

A truly moving and of course inspiring event, getting to understand the breakdown of each artist's mind and how they came to their end product. Each piece of art was completely different than the rest and showed the creativity of the task at hand produced by the artists.

Huge congratulations to all four artists on their amazing work which is displayed outside David Jones in the Canberra Centre. 

By Jessica Rolfe xo

What we wore
Jess HM and Me

Jess HM (TFV photographer)

Outfit breakdown
Coat: The Fifth 
Sweater: Billions & Trillions
Top: Prime Mark 
Jeans: Bardot 
Shoes: dotti
Necklace: Christolfe

Jess Rolfe (Me)

Outfit breakdown
Flares: SABA
Denim shirt: SABA
Booties: Manning Cartel
Watch: Michael Kors
Bag: Alexander Wang
Long necklace: Sass & Bide
Short necklace: Campbell

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Ashley’s city shades

It was marvellous catching up with sophisticated DJ, designer and now clearly watch model – Ashley Feraud. With a long list of titles to add to his name, you can now add – personality.
Ashley is one of those well-dressed trendsetters. Never ever have I seen him out in public looking unpolished. He is a diamond that sparkles all the time. In fact, he confesses - he doesn’t own track pants? Not even for the gym!

He describes how he likes unstructured formality or, in other words, certain classic gentleman finesse with a casual approach. That’s in line with his attitude to many things he does, professional but not mundanely corporate. He strives for a point of distinction without being loud. He hopes - that the way he dresses tells his friends and people he works with, that he respects them. What a thoughtful way of dressing.
I wanted to get inside his thoughts about fashion, so I asked him four key questions.

What piece can't you live without?
So want to say underwear but that’s just not classy so how about we say my watch. Yep that German Maistersinger has only one hand, not because it was a knock off made in Asia and the other one fell off but because there’s a theory behind it. We pay so much attention to the minutes in our lives that it ages us ….time flows much slower when you only pay attention to the hours. Saying that, I tend to keep quite bust so without my watch I’d loose the discipline that time sets. So there you go- that watch keeps me young but organised. All this slowing down of time also explains why I’m so immature at my ‘actual’ age.

What is your favourite piece of clothing you are wearing?
Oddly enough this pair of jeans. Even though the blazer is a classic piece that lifts every outfit from a boy to man, it is these jeans that I find especially versatile. They work equally well with a white t-shirt in summer as they do with a heavy coat in winter mostly due to the dark grey colour and slightly thinner denim. And yes they are skinny… very skinny, but despite my parents constantly making fun out of it that’s what I really like, so it looks like I’m going to be trapped in that style until I’m into my 90’s.

What is on your shopping list to buy next?
Flowers for my girlfriend, she really likes those. Oh wait you mean, clothing wise… a pair of blue black dip-dyed Oxfords with contrasting low stacked tan heel by Paul Smith I just saw on sale. I once read that ‘no man over the age of 30 should wear sneakers’, that’s not a good rule for everyone but it works for me. So all of you that agree with that statement will probably geek out over that shoe description I just gave. Plus you should see the box they come in… good enough to use as a wedding gift package.

Who is your fashion icon?
I have quite a few people I relate to well in terms of style and honestly they tend to be older gentleman whose sense of style demonstrates a certain effortless experience. One such person is Nick Wooster, he pushes boundaries more than I would ever have the guts to do but overall his aesthetic is very well balanced and celebrates a blend of old and new. Plus he has a great beard, which I could never grow and some mysterious job that is all about getting paid for looking cool. So jealous.

He has the same view on Canberra fashion as I do. If you asked Ashley the same question a few years ago he would have said: armies of miss fitting grey suits during the week followed by sportswear on the weekends. But haven’t we come far since then? Now you go through busy places and notice people expressing themselves in work and weekend wear. The change in Canberra’s social and entertainment scene has had a lot to do with this. The increase in access to new clothing beyond Country Road. It’s the best! people are experimenting here, aiming to stand out, blending styles, being creative, aligning their clothing to their personalities.
Check out his small check list before heading out:
1.Is this the appropriate thing for the weather or the work I’m about to do?
2. Does it look like I’ve put in some effort but not too much?
3. Is it comfortable?
4. All of this really is relatively easy.

Do you guys do this too? we'd love to hear it!

Nick Wooster once said that “setting up your wardrobe takes time but don’t rush it … then one day you realise that everything starts working together, the old clothes with the new, the colours etc. That wardrobe is you and you’ll feel comfortable every day.”
Break down of Ashley's look

Blazer by Zara,
Cardigan by UNIQLO
Shirt by Jack London
Jeans by Ksubi
Shoes by YCA,
Watch by Maistersinger
Hair by Ashley.


Awesome photography by Kevin Landale

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Oh what a night! Dejovka Models launch in collaboration with Mussen

Last Friday Canberra got to experience a fabulous collaboration between new and upcoming Devojka Models and Mussen Clothing for a night of fashion and flair held at Tongue and Groove. 

There is no doubt you may have already heard of Mussen clothing located on Mort Street, they offer unique and eye popping collection of labels as showcased at the event on Friday. Ranging from sleek silhouettes to urban-chic and for the girl with an edge there were a variety of labels showcased on the runway including:

Nookie, Style Stalker, Staple the Label, Keepsake, Ministry of Style, Minty Meets Munt, Cooper St, Wish, Minkpink, and Lil & Emm



The showcase perfectly embodied exactly what Devojka Models is all about: a girl with an edge and sass about her who oozes confidence whilst dressed in the latest, hottest trends.

“Devojka Models is Canberra’s brand new elite modelling agency. We are specialised and non-conventional. For enquiries contact” Said Dejovka Models founder event organiser Tina Nikolovski. 

Simone from Mussen, Daniela (TFV) and Tina Nikolovski
The collaboration came alive with the urban beats thrown by Tongue and Groove, leading the sleek silhouettes and lacy lingerie pieces provided by Mussen on the night, showcasing some of Canberra’s hottest talent. A first of its kind and what a unique and innovative event it was. Combining the vibrancy of night life with the latest fashion will always do wonders for the local community of fashionistas.

The whole night engulfed you in the beauty of the models and of course the labels they were representing. The showcase kicked off with a performance of street dancers which worked wonders and set the urban vibe.  Overall a fabulous night and I am looking forward to seeing what the launch of Dejovka Models will bring in the future.

Daniela and Me xo
The emcee for the night was our very own Stylist and Co-Editor Daniela Jukic, rocking Mussen’s very own Vixen Dress by Viner, and what a stunner she was that night.

By Stylist and Contributor Jess Rolfe xo

Monday, 20 July 2015

Stars and Stripes

Last month I got to have a play in the studio with an awesome creative team. 

I styled Mary Faith whose legs go on forever (jealous), and the talented makeup artist Dave Reid and Photographer Geoff Jones. 

"Stars and Stripes"
Stylist | Deejay Jukic
Model | Mary Faith Bilal​
MUA | Dave Reid​
Photographer | Geoff Jones​

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Shoe Weekly - 19 July

We all need to put our best foot forward. Makes it easier when you are wearing some hot shoes. This is the Fashion Vaults weekly edit of the top three!

With the weather still at sub zero temperatures it's boots this week.

 Get it now: 


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Faux fur two ways - Rebel Muse Editorial

Gone are the days when faux fur was only appropriate with a gown for a gala ball or to dress up your boho look. It is now perfectly acceptable to add a faux fur piece to basically any outfit for a touch of glamour and to elevate your look from street to high street.

Traditionally faux fur would mean a great jacket found in any 'it' girl's wardrobe as a staple however this season we have fallen completely in love with the range of faux fur pieces by Ida Faux Fur fabrications, so much that we were not able to settle with one look and could not resist showcasing our two favourite pieces from the current range available at Rebel Muse.

Look 1

We loved the versatility of Ida's winter white over-sized scarf - the length is incredible allowing so many different ways of wrapping it around you in addition to wrapping the scarf around your neck. The beautiful white textures around frames the face and brightens up your features in addition to keeping you warm and cosy. 

 For outfit perfection we teamed up the over-sized scarf with a textured knit layered with a grey drop tee, crisp white jeans, fringed boots and a leather and faux fur detailed over-sized clutch.

Outfit breakdown

Ida fur fabrication -$350 winter white scarf 
Casa Kuma - $60 tear drop tee comes in white and black and grey  
Freja - $169 black knit 
Nobody jeans - $199 geo skinny in dazed white
All available from Rebel MuseFringed boots and over-sized clutch- TFV Stylist's own

Look 2

The black Ida faux fur wrap is a must-have if you love putting together an effortless look without compromising style. We promise you no matter what casual wears you throw on yourself on a lazy Sunday morning, adding this gorgeous Ida wrap will keep you looking like your stylish self. Don’t be afraid to wear the wrap to brunch and definitely wear it on a night out or with your favourite LBD.

We think this wrap was made for sports-luxe heaven so we teame sit up with an amazing midi knit dress, slick leather pants, a great toeless suede boot and polished the look with a statement necklace. 

 Outfit breakdown

Ida fur fabrication - $350 Sadie shawl black/tartarn
Rui Maxi - $179 grey
Nikolas leather leggings -$895
All available at Rebel Muse

Heels -models own
Necklace - TFV Stylist's own

Photography by Jess HM
Model: Cheyenne Dixon
Makeup: Elissa Parisi
Hair: Leslie Henshaw (Next Hair)
Stylist and concept: Sofia Polak (TFV)
Stylist Assistant: Daniela Jukic (We Are Found/TFV)
Thank you: Rebel Muse


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Shoe Weekly - July 12

We all need to put our best foot forward. Makes it easier when you are wearing some hot shoes. This is the Fashion Vaults weekly edit of the top three!

With the low temperatures in Canberra this weekend it was all socks and sneakers style!

 Get it now: 
2. High Street - Nike - Air max 1 $188.22


Street style urban, Kayo Marbilus

Street style urban, Kayo Marbilus has all the blue layers and gold going on. He doesn't really have a staple piece of clothing in his wardrobe but says "if you like something that fits, feels and looks good, then buy it!"

Kayo's fashion advice is to be ahead of the game and stay unique. Everyone seems to dress the same, so pretty much - be you and wear what you want.

On the days I see Kayo he's often swaging around the city in these Reebok shoes. He loves to rock it in his trusty G Star jeans.
Kayo wearing
Jeans: G Star/ Jacket: G Star/ Watch: Rolex.

Awesome photography by: Kevin Landale 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Shoe weekly - 5 July

We all need to put our best foot forward. Makes it easier when you are wearing some hot shoes. This is the Fashion Vaults weekly edit of the top three!
In the nude... 

 Get it now: 


Fashfest 15 flash back - What I wore

Left to right: TVF fashion contributor and stylist Jess Rolfe, Rebel Muse owner, Alicia Xyrakis and Me.

I was super lucky to be dressed by the Rebel Muse owner Alicia Xyrakis, monochrome all the way! Wearing this super comfortable and flattering, 'I split maxi skirt' by Nicholas the label. This skirt sits on the waist which is flattering for my shape.. The crop top paired back with the skirt was by Macgraw called the 'not interested top' has an amazing texture and structure to it. 

I spent three days making copious amounts of pom poms some for me and some for Sofia and Daniella. I made a heap of them for a fashion project when I was studying in Italy. I picked up this Vogue clutch from Croatia, sailing through the islands. Such a great find!

Sportsgirl have some really good make up products and they have some really not-so-good-ones. I found this amaze lip chalk from there. It stays put without having to reapply every five minutes. To be honest I had my heart set on wearing my hair down but it didn't work, so up it went! You have to think of balance when putting any outfit together and was pleased to finally wear these earrings I got a year ago from the Sunshine Coast.

I almost forgot my shoes, my gorgeous red sole, Christian Louboutins. Every girl need a pair!

Fashfest 15 rocked our world and it was so great to be with the TFV team! More fashionable, memories to be had next year.

JL xo


Friday, 3 July 2015

Australian Bridal Fashion Week Re-cap...

First of its kind for the Australian wedding market. Australian Bridal Fashion Week was launched by (WEOA) Weddings and Events of Australia.

Media & Photographers
ABFW opened on Friday 5th June for Media and was held over 2 days for the general public. The 3 day event offered the opportunity to bridal designers to showcase new collections and launch their labels not just to the media but to brides and bridal gown retailers first hand.
Samantha Wills
The ABFW showcase included some of Australia's most talented bridal designers including favourites: Samantha Wills, Liz Martinez, Akira Isowaga, Johanna Johnson, Jennifer Regan, Diane Lewis, Sarah Joseph and Leah Da Gloria.

The runway
The venue was lined up with pop up shops, giving a taste of the designers' style and allowing a detailed look at their collections and the chance for buyers to speak to designers on site after the shows. Each day there were two  hour long showcasing 12 designers at both time slots. 

ABFW delivered a truly magical and moving event for all those involved.
ABFW Pop- Up Stores
Sarah Joseph on the runway
After Sarah Joseph's show I got the chance to catch up with designer/founder Sarah Joseph and asked her a couple of quick questions backstage:

1.How would you describe your style?
Classical traditional silhouette mixed with contemporary fabric with a modern quirky twist.

2.What inspired this collection?
The collections was named “Madame Butterfly”
It was inspired by oriental cultures using peacock feathers, intricate bead work and delicate lace.

3.How long have you been a designer for?
I’ve been a designer now for about over 15 years

4.Who is your style icon?
Bruce Jenner 

5.What’s next for Sarah Joseph?
I aim to secure more bridal stockists both nationally and internationally, and to create more show-stopping evening gowns.

(Me) Jessica Rolfe
Check out more of Sarah’s designs on facebook or at

By Jessica Rolfe
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