Lucia Pieroni

a minimalist makeup artist with maximal appeal

"I'm obsessed with lips at the moment," Lucia Pieroni told us backstage at Rochas, where she was administering a velvety red pout still burned in our memory. The makeup artist engineered a few of the most impressive mouths of the Spring 2013 collections, from a fluoro pink at Giles to a glossy wine at Jonathan Saunders to an electric cerise at Missoni.

While the precise applications may have looked the same to showgoers in the front row, each was slightly different, tailored and tweaked just so for individual models. "When you're doing someone's makeup, it's about what brings out their features, what makes them look more beautiful," she says. "That's the thing about being a good makeup artist. You can do anything if you can adapt."

The face-painter, who's closing in on 25 years in the industry, and eight at the creative helm of Clé de Peau, has been adapting since she picked up a makeup brush on a whim in the 1980s. "I don't love makeup that much," confesses Pieroni, who grew up as a fine artist—and still thinks of herself as one. "But I love creating." Her unique approach to beauty, which favors understatement over theatrics, keeps the innovative makeup star in demand with the fashion crowd and Hollywood, not to mention product fiends hungry for her next creation. Her new launch, a limited-edition palette due out this month, promises not to disappoint.

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—Celia Ellenberg

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