EXCLUSIVE: Katy Perry Takes Paris; We Take A Powder With Her Makeup Artist
Katy Perry arrived at Paris fashion week last week with a bang. A day into the season’s festivities, the blue-haired pop star showed up to Karl Lagerfeld’s Hogan dinner and compared her Balmain minidress to the stylings of a “Vegas hooker,” much to the amusement of the blogosphere, which quickly made the singer PFW’s latest mascot. And Perry has not disappointed her newfound fashion fans; she matched her cobalt hair to a cobalt Viktor & Rolf jacket when she hit the designers’ show on Saturday, thus sending the Twitterverse into a flutter yet again. But the spectacle that will forever surround Perry—and any artist who can lay claim to five #1 singles off a single record—is overshadowing something uncharacteristically subdued: her makeup.
“Katy is evolving,” according to her longtime makeup artist, Jake Bailey. ”I think she’s only begun to tap the surface of all the different looks she’s going to do in her career,” he suggests—a career, it should be noted, that has seen its fair share of beauty incarnations. There was the raven-haired, Bettie Page moment that featured a revolving cast of lip colors and many a row of fake eyelashes, which has been followed most recently by Perry’s adventures in hair dye: Last year saw her experiment with shades of red, blond, pink, and purple before she finally settled on her current shade of Smurfette blue. “When it comes to her music videos and performances, she has more fun than anyone else. That’s her show,” says Bailey. “She likes to be over-the-top, maybe too much at times, but this is fashion week and she is respectful of the designers and she wants to represent,” he explains of his client’s recent foray into a more neutral color palette that has included a focus on smoky eyes and tawny cheeks.
Perry and Bailey have a collaborative relationship, so in the morning before a show, like for Chanel today (more on that in a bit), they looked at her clothing options, had a back-and-forth, and then ultimately came to a place where they were both “really happy.” Keeping it a bit more demure than Perry is typically used to has been on the agenda, but every so often that agenda gets scrapped. ”For Viktor & Rolf, we actually didn’t tone it down,” Bailey admits. ”They are such imaginative designers, and I thought the shift that she wore had a very sixties look, so we went with a very sixties mod eye using Yves Saint Laurent’s Gel Eyeliner in black, which I set with a loose powder to give it extra staying powder.” The thick-flick-and-heavy-lashes concept came from a mood board that Bailey has set up at Perry headquarters. “It’s a 4 x 8 foam board, and I put a lot of reference pictures up so we all stay inspired,” he divulges.
Inspired, say, to create the “Firework” singer’s look last night at Yves Saint Laurent, which was Bailey’s proudest moment on Perry’s European tour. “We both saw this as an opportunity to do something different,” he says of the makeup, which was meant to be “strong but chic without too much color.” Rimming the upper and lower lash lines with Yves Saint Laurent’s Waterproof Long-Wear Eye Pencil in No. 1 Black Ink and working it into the base of the lashes, Bailey softened the line with the shimmering charcoal shade from its Pure Chromatics Wet/Dry Eyeshadow in No. 1, which he applied with a damp brush for a wash of color. A peachy lip, courtesy of YSL Lipstick in Beige Etrusque, and targeted strokes of its Bronzer in Terre Saharienne to “add warmth and dimension” to Perry’s cheekbones, right under her hairline, and on her chin, rounded out the face, which got a dose of signature Perry drama courtesy of a strip of eyelashes from her new capsule collection with Eyelure.
As on-again, off-again haters of Perry’s often outlandish beauty moments, we’ve been particularly impressed by her complexion at the shows, for which Bailey is quick to give credit to Proactiv, the skincare system that borrowed Perry’s star power a few years back for its widely seen infomercials. But he’s got a few other tricks up his sleeve to ensure that her skin is clear and porcelainlike—without any trace of dreaded maquillage mask. In addition to Yves Saint Laurent’s Top Secrets Instant Eye Wake Up Patches—”they definitely depuffify,” Bailey attests of the treatment pads—he has been using a test formula of a new product line he’s currently developing. “It’s a long ways off, but [Katy] loves it,” he says of his foundation in particular, which manages to be perfectly light while providing a decent amount of coverage. “People have told me that they’ve noticed a difference in her skin,” he claims. “It just looks really…pretty.” Confirmed.—Celia Ellenberg
Photo: From left, courtesy of Hogan; Getty Images