Have you ever wondered how they make the animated faces work in video games? Not the Super Mario kind of animated, but the kind where it looks like real people animated? Well, frankly, neither had I. I can’t even do an excel spreadsheet, let alone play Call of Duty.

But then I got booked on a very cool job with a company called Captive Motion, and that is exactly what they do! They have become a great client of mine now and I work with them often.
Their specialty is animating faces and bringing them to life with all the facial tics, expressions and characteristics of a real person. Oftentimes a video game is designed to accompany a blockbuster movie, and so a specific actor has to be recreated. That, in and of itself, is a crazy difficult task.

Then Adam Kraver, the mastermind behind Captive Motion, came up with a brilliant new technology for creating faces on computers for video gaming, and all manner of other applications.
I don’t even pretend to understand it, but it is completely genius!

Without giving away the proprietary secrets, I can tell you that the actor comes into the Captive studio, and into the ‘make up’ chair, where I start coloring in the face for the computer. Its all actually very specific.

They then act out their scene on camera, the colored dots talk to the computers and next thing you know a face gets created. Either a brand new fictitious person, or the replica of the actor.

kinda creepy, huh?

inside the studio…


In order to really see what I’m getting at here, go to their website, www.captivemotion.com and watch the video demo.

Here’s a little teaser…

Its quite something! In fact, I’d have to say, it’s amazing!
I just love being a very (very, very)peripheral part of something as exciting as this break through technology, even if I cannot even begin to understand it…..

Ooohh! I’ve got a favorite new thing!!!

I am always telling girls that your make up will never look fabulous unless you really, really take extra good care of your skin.
Nothing in beauty-land is more important than a great complexion , so I am always on the lookout for new, exciting, fabulous skin care products. And guess what? I just found something really special!

My new favorite thing is a product by Philosophy called Booster Caps. These are individual capsules that you twist open and add to your nighttime serum or moisturizer to give it a super boost. You can look at their website for details on ingredients etc, but here’s the low down:
this product is all about restoring youth and elasticity to your skin. It’s anti aging and firming, and will give you a smoother, more radiant appearance (and we all want that!). It contains retinol, which is going to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out and improve skin tone and texture. Told you this was special!

I am a firm believer that we need to keep our skin really well hydrated. It is quite difficult for well hydrated, robust skin to look aged, in fact, it tends to look quite gorgeous instead.

Consequently I’m constantly seeking out ways to add more hydration and make moisturizers pack a bigger punch without leaving a greasy film on the surface, so I am just love love loving these Booster Caps! They are significantly add to the power of your products, and you can use them with any moisturizer or serum. Just make sure they’re part of your bedtime routine, not your morning routine.

For more info on these little gems check out the Philosophy website

A little side note here, I do a lot of long haul flying to Europe, Australasia etc, and when I’m on those big flights I don’t wear make up. I pack on the hardcore skin care products and reapply them during the flight, so that when I land on the other side of the world I don’t have that beat up, tired, jet lagged looking skin, but instead am waving the flag of the fabulous. These Booster Caps will be going on all long haul flights with me now.

The holiday weekend is here, and I know most of you are heading to the beach/lake/river/poolside for some aquatic fun in the sun. I can’t help but notice that I’m not in the Greek Islands at the moment, or somewhere delicious along the Amalfi Coast!

But after blogging about the after work beauty repair tools, I started thinking about what to put in the beach bag for the holiday weekend. Even though I’m not in the Aegean, the products essentially remain the same.

After the super- hydrate, super- moisturize in the morning, once all the lotions and potions have well and truly soaked into my skin, I like a super-liberal slathering of La Roche Posay Athelios SPF60 (at least). If not Athelios, then Neutrogena Helioplex SPF7o or above. Either will give you extra good sun protection, and wont leave you with a greasy coconut smelling face.

I cant tell you enough how fanatical I am about protecting face, throat and chest from the sun! A gorgeous healthy tan today will leave you looking like a wrinkled old boot tomorrow. So not worth it! And melanoma has no glamour value whatsoever. You really must invest in a really good facial SPF product.

Ideally you want to really give your SPF some quality time to do its magic before you apply anything over top. I’m not into a completely naked beach face (well, not on me anyway) and a face full of make up looks silly at the beach, but these products let you cheat it a little.

I love Julie Hewett Shimmy products.
A little dab here and there on the upper cheek bones, I use it on eyelids just to add a tiny bit of dimension and some shimmying love.
I’ll blend it with a little Cheekie cream blush, just enough to give a hint of color and break up the endless beige that the face can become.
Now it should be noted that I am talking about dryer climates. If you are in a humid place you may want to keep your skin a little more bare. Don’t try and fight the humidity though – it will always win. Add a little shimmy high on your cheekbones and go for a dewy, fresh faced look.

The only time I advocate waterproof mascara is when we’re by the water. And why not use the mac-daddy of them all? I love Diorshow Blackout Waterproof. Build up some serious clump free lashes. Give it several coats, as this is going to be the main attraction on our pared down face.

I avoid anything much else around the eyes. If I know with 100% certainty that I’m not going in the water I may use a little smudged out liner, but really you want to avoid makeup-face.
That being said, my eyebrows are always on, groomed and fabulous!

Often ladies forget about their lips. You must wear something with SPF protection. I have tons of MAC SPF15 tinted lip conditioners. I like a hint of color and moisturized, protected lips.

Your hair and hair color need sun protection too. I love Phyto’s Protective Beach Spray. It keeps your hair supple and shiny, and has UV filters.

You should always have a nice, big, sexy hat on to protect your scalp (melanoma often goes undetected in the scalp) and to shade your ears, face and neck. This year I am loving these hats by Juicy!

You will never catch me out there in the sun without huge glasses on. I like a nice wide arm on my glasses to protect the outer corners of the eye area.

Last but not least, a good book! I am re-reading the fabulous Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve got the eating part down, now for some praying and some loving…..

What’s in your beach bag this summer?