April 20 2014

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5 posts tagged "Liu Wen"

Gettin’ Flossy, Backstage at Anthony Vaccarello


anthony-vaccarelloInspiration comes from everywhere, and in the case of makeup artist Tom Pecheux, we mean everywhere. Before the face painter left for Milan, he had concocted an entirely different look with the designer. Upon returning to Paris, they both decided it wasn’t right. So what brilliant tool does one turn to when in need of something fresh? Floss. (Yes, really.) “That same morning before going to the fitting I had an appointment with the dentist, and I was sitting in the dentist’s chair, and I was like, ‘Ah, yes—floss,’” Pecheux said. (It wouldn’t have been my first thought while awaiting the drill, but hey, that’s what makes the man such a genius.) After prepping lids with powder and using a black pencil in between the lashes, he coated a strand of floss wound tightly between his fingers with Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Envious, then pressed it above the top lashes and below the bottom set. With model Liu Wen acting as his “sexy assistant” by holding the Double Wear Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner while he ran the string over the tip, Pecheux framed the graphic red lines with skinny black bands, adding a final onyx slash in the “banana” (i.e., crease). Aside from a trip to the dentist’s office, illustrators like René Gruau and Tony Viramontes inspired the eighties-meets-rock-and-roll maquillage; the color palette came by way of the collection (particularly the shiny, crimson ruffle on Look 26). While this isn’t the first time Pecheux reached for floss in a fashion context (having used it for an editorial in V magazine), improvements in oral care did pose a new challenge: “Fifteen years ago dental floss was dry, and now it has wax on it, so it’s very slippery,” he noted.

The hair by Anthony Turner was equally as edgy, but in lieu of clean lines, the pro employed a “bit of bend” to give strands movement. After prepping with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Pli Thermo-Fixing Spray, he pressed sections in with his fingers while blow-drying. “It shouldn’t feel too sad—it’s not about grungy, lank, nothing hair,” he explained. A masculine side part was made, Wild Stylers Next Day Hair (“a dry shampoo without the dustiness”) was misted all over, and the length was tucked behind the ears and into the “polar necks” that completed the majority of the ensembles—a gesture we’ve seen multiple times throughout the season. “She means business, I reckon, this woman. She doesn’t even think about her hair,” said Turner. I reckon I’d agree.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde;

Tom Pecheux’s Lips Are Sealed No Longer



Tom Pecheux, backstage fixture and creative makeup director for Estée Lauder, could hardly contain his excitement last season at Anthony Vaccarello when he described the packaging that was in the works for a mysterious new line of lipsticks. He discreetly referred to the more architectural look and magnetic closures, but considering these types of secrets are strictly confidential in the corporate beauty world, that’s all he could share…until now. The cosmetics giant is launching twenty shades of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick, a formula that boasts time-released hyaluronic acid and multifaceted pigments (available February 24 at In this exclusive, the pro reveals all—including the shades he hand-selected to suit the many model faces of the brand.

How would you describe the new Pure Color Envy collection?
When I look at the collection, the first thing I think is the packaging is absolutely divine. Richard Ferretti did an amazing job with the case. For me, twenty colors is the perfect amount. The range captures every woman’s desire. The shades and formula are [traditional] in that they have the high coverage you expect from a lipstick and include a pure red and a perfect nude, but the new technology gives the line a modern twist. It’s like a classic wool dress that is made in cashmere. The new texture and formula make Envy extremely luxurious.

What are your favorite shades in the collection?
As a makeup artist, I cannot limit myself to one favorite shade. It will be the one that fits the person that I am working with on that day.

What do you think a lipstick says about a woman?
Lipstick tells us so many things about a woman. It tells us about her personality. For example, a woman wearing a strong lipstick—bright red—suggests she wants to express a certain power.

What is the best way to apply lip color? Fingertips, brush, or straight from the bullet?
There is no recipe. It depends on the result you want to create. A bullet is the best application because it’s fast, precise, and gives nice coverage. Fingertips create a transparent finish with no precision—more like a stain. A brush is for when you want perfection and a high-quality finish, particularly when you apply a red lipstick.

What are your tricks for making lips appear fuller? Does lip liner help?
Lip liner can help, but for me, a liner only works if it’s a nude or a color that matches the color of the lip. To make them fuller, you can go slightly outside the lip line.

If you have small lips, avoid a dark shade. The darker the shade, the more intense your lips look, but on smaller lips it can give you a mean, severe look. Also avoid very pale lipsticks if you want a fuller-looking mouth.

What is your favorite lip look?
It depends on the woman. But I am totally in love with red as much as I am with nude. I love women who play with makeup to emphasize a quality of their personality or character. That’s why in terms of lipstick, I love colors that have something to say—so either a pale nude, a true red, a dark plum, or a bright color. When it comes to a gentle pink, I understand why women want to wear it, but as a makeup artist, it doesn’t reflect a personality so well.

Which shade in the collection would you choose for each of these Estée Lauder spokesmodels?

Carolyn Murphy:
Envious. She loves a red lipstick.

Constance Jablonski:
I love it when she focuses on her eyes, so a nude color like Insatiable Ivory works on her lips.

Joan Smalls:
I love her in a dark burgundy like Insolent Plum.

Liu Wen: I would go more pink, [one that's] powerful and dynamic. A shade like Dominant would suit.

Arizona Muse:
I love her in a red as well, so Vengeful Red.

What do you think makes a woman enviable?

I think Carolyn Murphy pretty much embodies that—gotta love a bad bitch on a bike who knows how to make a serious statement by slicking on some lipstick and revving up her engine.

Liu Wen Talks Tattoos


The backstage beauty preparations at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show yesterday started in the wee hours of the morning. But when press began arriving around ten, all of the girls had slowly started to emerge, swathed in pink satin robes, to begin their divine transformations. Except Liu Wen. The Chinese stunner went into makeup and didn’t come out again until around 2 p.m.—at which point she was covered in ink. “She’s got the exclusive bodysuit,” Saved Tattoo’s Stephanie Tamez said with a tinge of pride, referring to the “Americana flash”-themed designs she had scrawled on Wen’s legs, arms, hands, and knuckles. “She’s got ‘em on her stomach and back, too,” Tamez effused of the monarch butterfly that revealed itself across Wen’s abdomen when she stepped into her two-piece, chain-link costume. The myriad drawings, which included a series of hearts, daggers, roses, mermaids, and gothic print text, were original transfers that Tamez created with guidance from VS creative consultant, Todd Thomas. But the bright additional makeup accents came courtesy of hand-painted touches with Temptu, the airbrush makeup system that stays put. “It sticks on!” Wen insisted, rubbing at her leg. Would she be keeping the body art on for a few days, then, we inquired? “No, no. I have to work tomorrow for Estée Lauder,” the brand’s face said with caution.

Photo: Courtesy of Temptu; Tommy Ton

First Look: Estée Lauder Gets Iconic


What makes an icon? “Confidence,” according to Constance Jablonski. “She’s the full package,” Joan Smalls chimed in when we encountered both models last night at the launch of an Estée Lauder campaign that aims to answer that question. “I’ve always loved simplicity; it’s timeless,” global creative director Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer explained of the new visual direction for the brand, which was lensed by Craig McDean and draws inspiration from Lauder’s seventies and eighties archives, putting current spokesmodels Hilary Rhoda, Liu Wen, Jablonski, and Smalls in white ensembles. When asked about her own personal icons, Lauder named a few: “Kate Moss has great style. And Gisele—I’m always intrigued when I see pictures of her.” Lauder’s grandmother, Estée, is of course at the top of her list. The brand founder’s indelible quote, “Every woman can be beautiful,” was blown up and plastered alongside each and every ad image.

The task of painting the faces of Lauder’s icons-in-the-making went to the brand’s creative director of makeup, Tom Pecheux. “You have to pay attention not just to the face, but to the character,” Pecheux said of crafting iconic makeup. “Liu Wen is so playful; that’s why I gave her that eyeliner,” he explained, pointing out the elongated black flick Wen wears in her portrait. “Constance for me, she has that innocence,” Pecheux continued, which translated to a lot of mascara and brown eye shadow mixed with black, “so it’s not so dramatic” in print. As for Rhoda, Pecheux saw beyond her signature sporty glamour and instead chose to focus on a delicate, romantic femininity. “I can see her fragility,” he said explaining his use of rosy pigments and powders. The pictures officially hit Estée Lauder counters beginning in July, but we’ve got a preview right here. Thoughts on the new campaign?

EXCLUSIVE: Estée Lauder’s Belles Of The Ball


When translated into beauty terms, the Costume Institute’s “American Woman” exhibition immediately registers as a single name: Estée Lauder. The company’s Queens-born founder built her eponymous brand from humble New York beginnings into a global empire that has undeniably fashioned our national identity. “It’s really an American company with an international face,” stylist Mary Alice Stephenson offered as she watched Lauder’s Global Makeup Stylist, Rick DiCecca, use Lauder’s Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Black Smoke to build a shimmering smoky eye on Chinese model and brand spokesperson Liu Wen at the Surrey Hotel only a few hours before red-carpet festivities got underway this evening. Lauder’s other new face, French beauty Constance Jablonski, sat alongside Wen, waiting for her turn in Dicecca’s chair. To bring it all back to the U.S. of A., Stephenson made a point to dress the Met Gala newbies in designs from local talents—a hand-stitched, beaded Naeem Khan number for Wen and a feathered sleeveless Jason Wu shift for Jablonski.

And what of Hilary Rhoda—perhaps Lauder’s most recognizable face and the woman designer Prabal Gurung calls “the only true American model working right now?” Tweeting, of course, in the suite’s adjacent room, where makeup artist Kaoru Okubo was crafting a seriously dark eye and nude lip to compliment Gurung’s structural black and red double-faced satin dress. Rhoda is tall and athletically built, with strong brows and tan skin—you immediately understand Gurung’s assessment when in her presence. Having been to a few Met balls in her day, she took liberties with her glam squad. “I know my face,” Rhoda said, reaching for Lauder’s Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara and its Double Wear Eyeliner in Onyx to apply additional pigment over Okubo’s base of Pure Color Eyeshadow in Black Crystal. She also opted for Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer. A high-and-tight slicked-back chignon that hairstylist Rudi Lewis created using a glycerin-dipped comb completed Rhoda’s tough, edgy beauty look. “American fashion allows you to see the woman first, before the clothes,” Rhoda said as she headed toward the car that would take her to the museum. We’re guessing there was nary an onlooker who could keep their eyes off the 23-year-old from Maryland as she walked up those 26 steps.

Photo Sherly Rabbani and Josephine Solimene