August 31 2014

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16 posts tagged "Linda Cantello"

Putting The “Fantasy” Back In Couture Beauty, Backstage at Armani Privé


Armani-HC-Backstage-Beauty“I think it’s the best collection he’s done in a while,” Linda Cantello candidly remarked backstage at Armani Privé—and she’s on good authority to say so; as Giorgio Armani Beauty’s international makeup artist, the famed face painter has seen a fair bit of the designer’s work firsthand. For his Fall Couture presentation, Mr. Armani focused on a neutral palette, which Cantello adopted into makeup form with a few twists and turns along the way.

Working off the show’s Death in Venice-meets-Old Hollywood theme, Cantello honed in on a look that was part Tadzio from Visconti’s classic film and part Carole Lombard, while also offering up an impressive study in subtlety. “He’s very into nude,” she elaborated of Mr. Armani’s preference for toned-down hues, which prompted her to accentuate a matte base of the brand’s forthcoming Maestro To Go foundation—which puts Cantello’s original weightless complexion corrector into the convenience of a compact—and a dusting of its Luminous Silk Powder, with muted eye and lip contours. After treating pouts to a custom-mixed bois de rose stain, which will be called Tadzio when it is released as a new shade of Rouge d’Armani lipstick come January, Cantello set to creating an eye gloss using its light bronze Fluidsheer #2 and a highly reflective luminescent pigment that she layered on top of a diffused brown pencil. “It’s harder to look for something in the exact color that I need than to just make it myself,” she laughed.

If Cantello’s interpretation of screenstar glamour was an exercise in restraint, Orlando Pita’s was indulgent. “It’s a little twenties, thirties, Great Gatsby,” the coiffing star suggested of his Armani debut, pointing out that the hair was “more couture” than the designer has done in a while. “Now that John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are gone from the business, a new guard has created a kind of couture that relates to the street,” Pita said with a wistful air. “It was always about fantasy; that’s gone for now,” he continued. But it lived again for a few short hours here, courtesy of Pita’s soft sets, which were side-parted and fashioned into ridged faux-bobs offering some of the most stunning silhouettes of the week—particularly as models got some fresh air on the Place du Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower providing a properly grand background behind them.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri / InDigital /

Linda Cantello Does Her “Thing,” Backstage At Giorgio Armani


“There’s a lot of lip going around,” Giorgio Armani international makeup artist Linda Cantello said backstage at the designer’s Fall show. She’s certainly not wrong. The crimson and berry pouts that gained momentum in New York and London have really hit their stride in Milan, turning up everywhere from Fendi and Antonio Marras to Prada, Bottega Veneta, and Marni. “The collection is very ‘garçonne,’ so he didn’t want too much makeup,” Cantello explained of Mr. Armani’s boyish tailoring with a slight 1930s air. “But I’ve still got to get my thing in there.”

Cantello’s “thing” included a beautiful play on shaded contouring, as though all that remained on models’ faces were the aftereffects of stronger pigments that were once there. “I wanted a cold color,” she elaborated of the custom lip concoction she whipped up for the occasion—literally; Cantello had a small Pyrex dish filled with a deep pigment she had hand-mixed to achieve the exact right clear, vampy purple hue with a brown base. Blending together a few shades of Armani’s forthcoming Rouge Ecstasy lipstick line, which she turned even more sheer with the addition of some gloss, Cantello pressed the color onto models’ mouths so it subtly stained them a lighter shade of its Nail Lacquer in Night Viper, which varnished tips and will launch as part of the brands full polish line-up come October. “Imagine if they came out with super-dark, Clara Bow lips—it would be awful!” she pointed out of the importance of the transparency. Restraint ruled on lids too, which were sculpted through the crease with elongated swipes of the gray and taupe-y brown shadows from Armani’s Eyes to Kill palettes in #1 and #4. “It’s like character makeup,” Cantello said of the effect, which worked well with the heavy black fringe hairstylist Franco Gobbi affixed to sleek topknots and arranged beneath a series of hats, not to mention models’ perfected skin that had been primed with Armani’s standout Maestro Fusion Makeup and mattified with its Luminous Silk Powder in No. 2.

No mascara and well-groomed “statement brows” completed the look, which was, in a way, very similar to what we’ve been seeing in Milan. Reconceived by Cantello, however, it got a whole lot more mileage.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Couture Cuts And Cat-Eyes, Backstage At Armani Privé


Aside from that showstopping, crystal-encrusted lip moment backstage at Dior, there has been a collective focus due north of models’ mouths at the couture shows this week, as designers are requesting luxe lids with regularity. And historically, no one loves a well-defined eye quite like Giorgio Armani, who actually came up with the flicked banana liner at his presentation yesterday on his own. “Mr. Armani always has his idea of how things should be, and then we work on it together,” explains the Italian house’s international makeup artist, Linda Cantello. “It’s a very contemporary couture look—sort of a mash-up of the eighties, the nineties, and a little of the fifties,” she continued of the beauty story here, which revolved around a palette of white, red, and black.

Such a stark approach requires perfect skin, according to Cantello, who started her base by massaging Armani’s brand-new Crema Nera Extrema, a lavish salve that uses extracts from the hardy South African survival plant Reviscentalis to quench and plump parched complexions, into the face. Following that up with a layer of Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation, Cantello etched on a graphic eye through the crease, which she paired with garnet lips—the result of a mix of the brand’s new matte Lip Maestro and the juicy, high-shine Flash Lacquer gloss, due out in April. “The one thing I hate is penciled-in lips,” Cantello pointed out of the rigid effect of precisely lining lips, relishing instead the myriad options now available to her, like glosses and balms in matte and shiny finishes. “In a show context, everything is perfect—but out there in the real world, you need to look at the woman and not the makeup.”

“Perfect,” it turns out, is a good way to describe hairstylist Franco Gobbi’s “urban tribal girl” coifs, which relied on laminated strands that were tucked and twisted into quasi-short cuts that dispensed all notions of volume in favor of a sleek, graphic texture with segmented, wet bangs created from flipped-over lengths. “She travels the world, east to west, and wherever she goes, she picks up little elements along the way,” he explained of Mr. Armani’s couture woman, who favored an “ethnic Mexican wrap” hairstyle that was prepped with Moroccanoil Oil Treatment to add glisten before being set with Sebastian Shaper Fierce Hairspray and tucked beneath a bevy of caps. Just because the season’s cuts are short, Gobbi notes, it doesn’t mean hair shouldn’t have texture. “Wet or dry, it [adds] a really chic touch.”

The 411: Linda Cantello


In the annals of makeup geniuses, Linda Cantello ranks very high. The international makeup artist for Giorgio Armani cosmetics has been sharing her beauty wizardry with the masses since the latter part of the eighties, when, after graduating from London’s Harrow Art School she moved to Rome to build a beauty career. Since then she has worked with literally every iconic photographer in the biz—Klein, Avedon, Penn, Roversi, van Lamsweerde and Matadin et al.—playing a crucial role in building some of the most groundbreaking fashion images the world has ever seen. Here, the beloved makeup artist who splits her time between New York and a farmhouse outside of Paris gives us a peek inside her own beauty black book.

The Hair Hero: Christophe Robin
“I was one of Christophe Robin’s first clients; he calls me his godmother. I couldn’t live without my ritual every six weeks of a salon visit to get my blond back. He has a suite in the Le Meurice hotel, very chic, and very much like The Women. I wash my hair daily with his rose shampoo, and soak it once a week with his rose conditioner.”
Christophe Robin at Le Meurice, 228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France, +33 1 44 58 10 10.

The Signature Scent: Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle
“I have worn Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower since 2000, but have recently started wearing his Mediterranean Lily; I go to his store on rue de Grenelle, and spend hours talking to the guy who works there about old fragrances, new fragrances. I want to buy the entire store; I am a fragrance freak and have a weakness for buying it, even if I wear the same fragrance every day. Literally I am a sucker for anything that smells good…perfume, bath oils, candles. I have cupboards full.”
Available at

The Makeup Essential: Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
“In my capacity as international makeup artist for Giorgio Armani cosmetics I do get to visit the amazing labs with Mr. Armani. It’s high tech and security is crazy, but I do pick up some incredible things there; pigments and bases to mix them with so my kit becomes a kind of portable lab. I get very excited before a visit. Maestro Foundation is my must-have foundation. It’s a whole new generation of makeup that feels incredible, looks invisible, and makes skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it!”
Available at

The Tip Pros: Blush Nail Lounge
“I like fast speedy fixes in New York, and I only love getting my nails done there. I go to Blush in the East Village; they do a great job and are lovely people.”

Blush, 218 East Fifth Street, NYC, (212) 375-1340.

The Liquid Lunch: Juice Press and Healthfully Organic Market
“My life is very schizophrenic, slow and indulgent in Paris, fast and healthy-ish in New York. I love Juice Press for juices, and Healthfully, my local health food store is great. They have a great range of organic beauty lines and a big selection of organic and raw products for such a small store. My latest obsession is shea butter; they have a wild, raw shea butter, karité, that’s amazing. I used to use emu oil years ago, and then progressed to argan oil, but now I use camellia oil on my face, and the raw shea on my legs and arms.”
For more information, visit and

The Yearly Ritual: Panchakarma
“I have to confess that I don’t do yoga, and I am not a gym bunny, but I do try and get a Panchakarma every year. It’s a total detox for mind, body, and spirit, and very full on. The place I was going to, the Lancaster Health Center in Massachusetts was founded by the Maharishi, and was a total time warp; I loved it, but sadly it closed down a few months ago. They have a sister clinic in Germany so I might go there, or I would love to go to Kerala.”
For more information, visit

The Regular Restaurants: New York and Paris Standbys

“My hands-down favorite restaurants in New York are ABC Kitchen and Omen. And in Paris my favorites are Prunier for its wonderful seafood and laid-back atmosphere. And Stella Maris has a Japanese chef cooking French food that is amazing.”

Omen, 113 Thompson St., NYC, (212) 925-8923; For more information, visit,, and

Photo: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty

From Dawn To Dusk, Backstage At Armani Privé


After a Fall and Resort show season that had makeup minds firmly focused due north of the nose, the eyes continue to have it for Couture. Blue-gray smoky varieties dominated at Chanel, and they turned up again yesterday at Armani Privé, where the brand’s creative director of makeup, Linda Cantello, eschewed more common, black varieties of the classic, sultry shadow technique and went with slate and pewter instead. As Peter Philips did for Karl Lagerfeld, Cantello delivered a completely updated shape to the standard style for Giorgio Armani, calling it “a wash” of color. Extending brows all the way toward the hairline in a single, dégradé stroke, Cantello concentrated her pigment on the inner corners of the eye, sweeping her brush only halfway through the crease, breaking, and then continuing the color toward the outer corner in a thicker, more transparent block that tapered out toward the temple. Models’ lips received a dusting of powder with a similar palette so they appeared pale, matte, and muted to go along with the designer’s theme, which took its inspiration from the light at dawn and dusk. The striking yet still minimal face-painting effort created a certain futuristic consistency that still managed to hark back to more classic eras—a point that was certainly helped along by Franco Gobbi’s sleek, 1930′s “ocean waves,” which boasted sculpted ridges along the hairline and a bun in the back to allow room for the army of black Philip Treacy headpieces that marched down the runway.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /