Beauty Tutorials and Product Reviews

My Photoshoot Survival Kit | 5 Must Haves for Models

Photoshoot essentials for models | Velvet DeCollete

Every model needs a photo shoot survival kit. Heck every pin up needs an event survival kit! You know, those absolute essentials that save your butt time and time again. Our overstuffed bags always cradle lippy and powder but here’s a few must haves from my modelling kit…

Velvet DeCollete’s Photoshoot Survival Kit

  1. Mini Hairspray.
    Obviously it holds those flyaways down, but spraying it inside your skirt prevents static cling and applying it to a run in your hosiery will help stop it running any further! I don’t bother lugging a huge can around, these mini cans are far more convenient.
  2. The Bonnit.
    Why didn’t I have one sooner?!
    The Bonnit is a cute retro style rain hood that protects your ‘do from the elements. Travelling to and from shoots and between locations gets so much easier when wind and rain aren’t destroying your hairstyle!  The super organised Miss Charlotte Cake gave me mine and she always carries one herself.
  3. Cotton Pads.
    This may seem a little odd, but cotton pads have approximately a million uses. Blotting shiny makeup, polishing fingermarks off jewellery, cleaning shoes, or my personal secret – stuffing them down the middle of your bra to stop that awkward boob sweat patch when you’re posing under the sweltering summer sun.
  4. False Eyelash Applicator.
    I am absolutely useless at applying false eyelashes. Before I found this I was sentenced to a life of sad stubby lashes. Not only do I now get to shoots on time, but it makes getting ready on location far easier and is perfect for pressing wayward falsie ends back down without messing up your eyeliner. I’ve also used it as an emergency eyeliner guide ( it is designed to follow your eyelid shape after all ), apply diamantes to my face and to clip an oversized robe in at the back!
  5. Water.
    In a sipper bottle or with a straw to be specific. Staying hydrated without ruining your lipstick is a highly underrated ability. I usually use a Bobble bottle so I can fill it up anywhere without worrying about the chemical taste of mains water supply. Otherwise grabbing bottled water ( Please choose one in a recycled bottle! ) and a straw will do the trick!

So that’s my top five photo shoot essentials, what are yours? I always love to learn new tips and tricks.

Essentially yours,




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Viva La Diva Lipstick Review | Chi Chi Cosmetics


With extensive eyeshadow palettes, no animal testing and almost every colour of lipstick you can imagine, Chi Chi makeup is a daily visitor to my face. Having never owned a nude lipstick (hello red and coral my friends!) I wondered if their recent Viva La Diva collection of deep nude shades might convert me to neutral lip-dom. Read on to find out!

Before we foray any further into my lipstick opinions, this post is in no way sponsored or paid for by Chi Chi cosmetics or their suppliers. Just ask my sister who sourced this set for me when my local store didn’t have it!

The turquoise box Viva La Diva set holds three shades – Show Pony, Modern Minimalist and Urban Chic. I tried them all over Rimmel Honey Clover lipliner – which is pretty close to my natural lip colour – because I like to draw my lips on.



left to right | Urban Chic, Modern Minimalist, Show Pony

Here’s a quick arm swatch to show the colours without lip liner underneath.


bottom to top | Urban Chic, Modern Minimalist, Show Pony

Now on to the lips…


Show Pony (above) is the most neutral shade in the set. With hints of terracotta Show Pony leans closer to brown than I’d usually like. It didn’t convert me to nude lips, however it looks gorgeous paired with warm autumnal shades so I’ll definitely wear it more heading into winter.

Modern Minimalist (below) is my personal favourite and closest to my natural lip colour. Slightly deeper than Urban Chic and more berry tinged than Show Pony I can wear this with just about any eye shadow colour and it’s a really nice understated day shade.
(Since trying it Modern Minimalist has made it into my weekly lipstick rotation!)


Urban Chic (below) is the lightest shade in This Viva La Diva collection. More what I’d consider a traditional nude, Urban Chic is a touch lighter than my natural lip colour. It’s an innocent peachy pink and complements a french pink manicure for effortless chic. While it’s pretty with soft makeup it’ll take me a while to adjust to having lipstick lighter than my actual lips.
(I keep thinking I have face powder stuck to my lipstick!)


Wearable shades are all well and good, but a lipstick’s only as good as it performs…

Feel | The Chi Chi Viva La Diva lipsticks have a creamy texture, swiping on matte and opaque. They don’t irritate my sensitive skin, and I haven’t had any issues with drying, flaking or seeping outside of my lip line, even without lip liner.

Wear | Working long shifts and modelling any lipstick that wears off or smudges goes in the bin pronto.  These aren’t in the bin. Thanks to the creamy matte texture I find these stay put through eating, drinking and talking all day. These lighter shades also appear to be fairly kiss proof, but smudging might be more apparent with dark colours.
The photo below is of Urban Chic, over lip liner after a full days work. Taken at 1:00 am it’s not the best lighting, but trust me, the lipstick’s still on.

Random observations | The packaging is pretty but the caps tend to fall off in my bag, so use a lipstick case if you have one. Typical of Chi Chi cosmetics they smell good, and the colour swatch bases make grabbing the right one easy.


The verdict?

While I’m not converted to brown toned nude lipsticks, I am in love with Modern Minimalist! Urban Chic comes out occasionally on super girly days and I want to try it with a dark smokey eye. At $39.99 NZD The Viva La Diva collections are a budget friendly way to expand your collection, as a solo Viva La Diva lipstick retails at $22.99 NZD.

I’m really interested to see what your favourite nude shade is (of any brand) , and how it looks on you so please share and inspire me!

Gorgeously yours,



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