April 20 2014

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21 posts tagged "Make Up For Ever"

Graphic Design, Backstage at Fendi


blog“It’s about purity of line,” hairstylist Sam McKnight explained of the sharp and minimal look he crafted at Fendi. “Karl sent me an illustration with a very small head.” To keep strands compact, McKnight employed a lot of Sebastian hairspray and made two side partings on either side of the face, dividing the hair into two small sections near the crown. Next, he folded the sections over one another, tying each off into a ponytail with a piece of elastic. “It’s like a basket weave or origami,” he noted of his technique. Then the sides were scraped back to cover the elastic and gathered into a low pony, which was later wrapped with a piece of the tail to hide the band. While the style appeared seamless, it required “pins and grips” (which were pulled out after the hair was set into place) and at least two pros per model to create.

Playing off the linear elements in the hair, face painter Peter Philips opted for cinematic highlighting and shading over a “proper makeup statement.” Seeing as the collection was filled with stark contrasts—tough fabrics and delicate orchids; fluffy furs and shiny, sleek jackets—he wanted to keep the look strong but simple, so as not to clash with or overtake the clothes. A full-coverage foundation was used to perfect complexions before it was powdered to a semi-matte finish. Then he applied a pure white Mehron CreamBlend Stick on the cheekbones. Philips said he tested out a pearly illuminator but found the result “too pretty,” and these girls needed to be “tough.” A taupe, matte pigment was run along the hollows of the cheeks, and eyes were given a graphic feel with a blend of two brown Make Up For Ever shadows (#17 and #165) just on the outer corners. Not wanting a cat-eye effect, Philips concentrated the color on “the spot between the socket and the eyeball,” angling it downward, “like old photos of Marlene Dietrich or seventies Guy Bourdin makeup.” Lips were topped off with transparent gloss. “It doesn’t look natural, but 50 percent of the makeup will blend in with the light on the catwalk,” he explained. And Philips was right. With drones buzzing overhead, the intense, almost-theatrical contours disappeared—all that remained were models’ perfectly chiseled features as Cara Delevingne kicked off the show, a Lagerfeld-like Fendi bug daintily dangling between her thumb and forefinger.

Getting Wiggy With It, Backstage at Fendi



Everything is going digital these days—a fact acknowledged by Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi this season. The concept was infused into the collection via graphic shapes rendered in close-cropped fur and bold blocks of chiffon, while face-painter Peter Philips translated the creative director’s “digital code” into one distinctive hit of “chemical peach” on the lips, a shade inspired by the show’s invitation (pictured above). After outlining the mouth with Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil in 18C, he filled it in using Rouge Artist Intense in 39 straight from the tube. “It’s a bit of an odd [hue] that has a very classic feeling—it could be a sixties lipstick,” the face-painter explained, “but it’s also very futuristic looking.” The rest of the face was devoid of color, using foundation and powder not only to lend a “satin-matte” finish to models’ complexions, but for practical purposes as well: “It’s easier to brush the [clippings] from the wigs off of this type of texture,” he said. After running a thin stripe of Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ébène across the upper rims, he curled the top lashes and locked in the shape with Inimitable Waterproof Mascara.

The short and choppy mop tops, created by hairstylist Sam McKnight, were influenced by Lagerfeld’s original sketch, Linda Evangelista in the eighties, the Beatles, and “a little Japanese thing thrown in,” he said. To blur away the individual and create a singular army of Fendi-bots, black wigs were fitted to each girl and tailored into a bowlish shape using a razor. “I wanted to keep it looking wiggy,” McKnight added. “Not kid people into thinking this was real hair.” The imperfect crops were finished with a liberal dose of Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for a “fluffy, not dirty” finish. If the Kaiser and the King of New York (Marc Jacobs) have given the bowl cut the green light, perhaps it’s time to think about using your dishware for things other than cereal, and replacing the spoon with a pair of scissors. Or maybe just trying the trend on for size at the nearest wig shop…

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde /

“Fresh Matte:” Spring’s Favorite Skin Finish—And How to Get It


As previously mentioned (on multiple occasions), minimalist beauty was one of Spring’s big, overarching trends, as clean complexions, sculpted contours, and, in a lot of cases, no mascara at all became the norm from New York to Paris. But within this new world of less-is-more makeup, a preference emerged for a particular skin finish that looks to have some staying power off the runway. Gone was the dewiness that typically comes with spring’s warmer clime; in its place, a bright, velvety texture that never verged on chalky. “Fresh matte” is how Pat McGrath described it backstage at Valentino, where she was channeling Dutch stunner Maud Welzen’s soft peaches-and-cream complexion. “A lot of people don’t want shiny faces anymore,” McGrath pointed out—and by “people,” she was referring to the laundry list of big-name designers and magazines that entrust her with face-painting duty each and every season. “When you’ve got HD cameras and sweaty faces, it just doesn’t work,” she rightly pointed out. The secret to achieving the kind of matte skin that still looks breathable and bright? Pulling out your powder compact after you’ve applied everything else, according to McGrath. That’s right—the makeup maestro actually blended in her blush, contours, eyes, and lips, and then swept on a veil of fine pressed powder.

We realize this sounds relatively crazy—especially to those of you for whom powder never even factors in to the equation (we’re with you). But the right powder just might make a believer out of you yet. Hitting shelves this month are two great options, from Hourglass and Make Up For Ever, that put a new spin on more traditional mattifying compacts. MUFE’s Pro Finish multiuse palette can be applied wet for a sheer satin effect or dry for a fuller matte finish that still reflects light, thanks to a formula bolstered by the minerals silica and sericite, as well as ximenia oil and aloe vera to ensure a smooth application. Hourglass’ new Ambient Lighting Powder filters out harsh, unflattering rays as well, using color-correcting particles in six different shades to reveal super-fresh, shine-free skin. Dust on liberally.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/; Courtesy of

A Lipstick Fit For The Queen of Pop


All right, America. After a whirlwind global tour that has taken her from Israel to Istanbul with stops in Rome, Barcelona, Berlin, and Paris shorty thereafter, Madonna is wrapping up the far-reaching, European leg of her MDNA tour and is looking to make landfall in the U.S. of A at the end of the month (there will be a few stops in Philadelphia and Canada before the Material Girl finally touches down in New York on September 6). And while there are some reliable constants seasoned Madonna showgoers can expect from the superstar’s latest heart-pumping performance piece—expert choreography and mind-boggling costumes, to start—there is one brand-new feature ticket-holders have to look forward to: a red lip. “I tried doing a red lip once,” Madge’s trusted makeup artist Gina Brooke admits. “But in the middle of a quick change, they ripped off her boot at the same time as I was doing her lip and it went like this,” Brooke recalls, motioning across her cheek. “It was a nightmare”—and it has kept Madonna’s onstage makeup an eyeliner-only affair ever since.

Until, that is, Brooke caught wind of a new lipstick innovation from Make Up For Ever. Debuting at Sephora this September, its new Aqua Rouge is a lip-saver modeled after the brand’s successful Aqua Cream franchise. A double-sided wand, the pout perfector offers a supersaturated pigment that applies like a stain on one end and a glistening gloss on the other for a lacquered effect that is waterproof, smudge-proof—and even boot-to-the-face proof. There are 12 shades in all, including one that Brooke custom-created for the MDNA tour. Here, after a month of grueling rehearsals followed by two months on the road, Brooke talks to about pre-show prep, why creams always trump powders, and what it’s like working for “the most detail-oriented person you’ll ever meet in your life.”

So take me back a few months. How does the creative process for one of these mega global tours usually start?
I start about four weeks before the tour. [Madonna] is in rehearsal for months before that, but I work with [stylist] Arianne Phillips, who will send me the sketches and the concepts of the show, and then from there I’ll start thinking about what we’re going to do with the makeup. Then I’ll create storyboards, show [Madonna], and then she ultimately knows what she wants. I’ll bring some ideas to her and then she puts her own twist on it.

Where do you typically take inspiration from for your storyboards?
I have a huge collection of art books. I have files. When I’m not working, my assistant and I make copies of everything in the art books, and we put them in binders, so when it’s time to do an editorial spread or something like that I pull it out. It’s easier to make storyboards that way. A friend of mine got me this Melvin Sokolsky [photography] book—it’s amazing. You have to wear white gloves to open it! It’s just beautiful and it’s all his work from the fifties and sixties. You know, Madonna loves her eyes. She likes that fifties, sixties look and I love the sixties, so combining the two seems to work. I always focus on her eyes, but for this particular tour we’re really focusing on the lips.

What caused the shift in focus?
Just to change it up. Because, you know, she’s always been very much about her eyeliner. She’ll never go on stage without a really strong line to her eye. But I just wanted to create something that’s more shocking. Her skin is really creamy and beautiful, so we wanted to make something like a strong red and I was searching, and searching, and searching for a color, but I couldn’t find a color that was bright enough to really stand out on stage, and I heard that Make Up For Ever was doing this Aqua line. I wanted a really, really blue red that’s shocking, and I wanted it to be waterproof and not move. Because I would say out of all the tours this is the most strenuous tour.

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Beauty and the Beat: Adventures In Makeup With Shirley Manson And Her Lifetime MAC Account Card


We have the beauty department at Miss Selfridge in London to thank for Shirley Manson’s signature look. “When I was young I worked behind the makeup counter,” the Garbage frontwoman and nineties alt-rock icon recalls. The experience left its mark on the Edinburgh native: “I love makeup—it can transform somebody, and there’s an escapist element to it. So I have always loved it,” she says, letting out a loud, guttural laugh before adding, “It’s a great pleasure in my life!” Anyone who has watched Manson perform onstage, seen her in a music video, or spotted her on the cover of a magazine knows this all too well: Between her alabaster skin, always-bold choice in lipsticks, and trademark fire-engine-red tresses, the musician has never shied away from embracing the beauty world and all it has to offer. Remarkably, that’s still the case; after a break from the band and a stint on TV, Manson has returned to the stage with her fifth album for Garbage, Not Your Kind of People—and she looks better than ever. Before heading out on a European tour, the vocalist and guitarist spoke with about her evolving views on face-painting and coming to terms with her hair before spilling the beans on the existence of perhaps the most covetable item on earth: the lifetime MAC account card.

It’s been seven years since Garbage’s last album. Does it feel different this time around?
It definitely feels different. To take so much time off, you get a real chance to get some perspective on what happened to us, the band. You get a clearer idea of what we want to do and how we want to do it. The industry has changed so much since we entered it. But that’s life; it’s constantly changing. We wouldn’t want it to stay the same!

Does that apply to your personal style, too?
I would have to say my style—if indeed I have a style—has most definitely changed. A lot of that is to do with the fundamentals of aging, and obviously I’m more economically secure than I once was, so I can actually afford to dress myself. When I first entered the scene I literally had no money. It would be pretty scary if I was 45 years old and still in tiny mini-skirts and Dr. Martens boots [laughs].

Has your relationship with makeup also evolved as you’ve gotten older?
I have to confess to maybe the biggest luxury in my life, a lifetime MAC account card that was gifted to me when I became a MAC spokesperson. It’s incredible: I’m allowed to go into any store anywhere in the world and pick out what I want. And I often do! And I’ve been lucky enough to be gifted all kinds of delicious treats from makeup companies, because they know I love it and they know I’ll use it and they know I’m photographed.

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