The Problem With Gisèle

Let me tell you about my secret love… FRECKLES! I love them. From Julianne Moore to Eddie Redmayne who explained in the Telegraph recently that he’d take extra time to slather on sun screen each day before filming Birdsong. See, “when the sun ambushes the skin, freckles are the skin’s first defense mechanism” my dermatologist tells me wagging his finger as I come face to face with him. I’m pale as a ghost so he insists I slap on the factor 20 every single day. But I’ve always loved my few (um, hundred) freckles dotted about my arms, and on my nose. And despite the fact that my freckles might be at odds with my derm’s advice to blanket bomb myself with factor 20 daily because I’m so fair, I do like cute freckles that peep out at the slightest sign of a sun ray – as in the ones that make people go “Wow! Stop! Those are so cute? Are they real? Really? You wouldn’t lie to me would you?” When I saw this girl (in the picture above) backstage at Simone Rocha’s Autumn/Winter 2012 show I immediately said “Wow! Stop! …. etc.” The expert positioning of each little dot made me think that they were real, but Nuh uh! The galaxy of freckles ranged from fakes being ladled on to accenturate real freckles as in this picture above…

…to a medium scattering of fakes in this second girl here…

…to a subtle dusting on this girl in the picture above, as if the sun had just sceretly ambushed her for a few seconds. This type of scattering is currently what my own freckle resemble most.

From far away all the fake freckles were hardly noticeable at all.

While up close even thought they were confined to the nose and cheeks, nothing on the rest of the face called attention and said “Hey look fake freckles here”. The beauty team prepped the skin with M∙A∙C Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum to prepare the skin and then added a layer of Studio Moisture Cream to fully hydrate and refresh. A little M∙A∙C Select Moisturecover concealer lightly applied covered any little imperfections.

Then M∙A∙C Pro Basic Chromaline in red was lightly buffed into skin to effect a flush (like when you exercise). It’s a product that I’ve added to my spring/summer make-up kit (yay for a change in the temperature) and intend to try it out even more over the coming weeks. M∙A∙C Pro Basic Chromaline is a gel/cream liner which comes in a pot and isn’t the easiest to find so I’ve found a MAC substitute that works as well accessible to everyone. M∙A∙C Cream Colour base in Shell patted on gently adds a little natural colour to the cheeks. There’s also a shade called Fabulush which has become my little secret recently to pulling my pasty face from ghost land. Try it out yourself and you’ll see how it makes cheeks and freckles pop a little more. Just to say that these Cream Colour Bases aren’t really suitable for eyes or lips (they have been known to irritate a little) and no I didn’t go overboard and end up looking Scarecrow Aunt Sally (well maybe just the once).

All of these products are a great solution for me for the coming months because I’ve always had a problem creating natural make-up to compliment my freckles. M∙A∙C will be laughing their heads off if they ever see this post because even Mr. Goddess knows Le Problem avec Gisèle is that as her nose freckles disappear each winter (just like Gisèle’s twelve freckles in this book he bought me after only knowing me for twelve weeks and witness my sadness and then my joy the moment some new feckless started to appear). Yup he knew early on that I love freckles. Oh well, either way, M∙A∙C wins and I’m going to be visiting them more often now and asking even more nonsensical questions like – “Err what do I do to look naturally tanned in July, even though I’m pale as a ghost and err… how can I make my legs look less blue and lips look more lush?”

By the way this Lip Conditioner SPF 15 was used on all the girls above and gives super healthy and hydrated lips. Oh and the little pencils used to create and enhance a wash of fake freckles on everyone were the M∙A∙C Eye Brow Pencils in the Stud and Strut colours which I have and also in the Lingering shade which I don’t (yet). So with this little lot Le Problem Avec Gisèle will be well and truly solved. When my freckles start to fade I’ll just dot them in.

Make-up Glowing In The Dark

For those who read this other blog post here and asked me about the khaki eyes at John Rocha’s A/W2012 show, then this is for you. If you pop in here regularly then you’ll know that I’m a bit of a mole at the fashion weeks when it comes to all things cosmetics and beauty and can be found wandering about mumbling and repeating things to myself backstage until I find a blank space in my notebook on which to jot things. My mumbling and scribblings are a combination of respect – how do make-up artists constantly throw up such new and fascinating ideas? – as well as my learning process – if I repeat a thing a few times and then jot it down maybe it’ll help me get my brain around the beauty speak so I can try and translate it? And when it came to understanding Danielle Winkworth’s khaki eye make-up above I mumbled and scribbled a lot backstage because it was something of a fun epiphany. You mean I can……

Mix my colours up on a paper plate, with a brush, or my fingers, like at a birthday party? Any colour I want?

Any colour? Including this green on the eyes?

And the I can mix these other greens into it?

Yes it all looked pretty tame and easy at first, but then I thought of vampires for some reason when I saw the brows being finished in little strokes with a brown pencil and didn’t feel silly for long because….

The inspiration for the eyes was Lord Byron and vampires and the little round green colour palettes being passed around backstage were a hushed secret until I was eventually told that they were theatre eye make-up colours from a palette made by a very, very old German theatre make-up company called Kryolan. The colours were also mixed on hands to get the correct shade of khaki for the eyes.

And the lips? The trick here is to brush on some foundation to take the natural lip colour down instantly and then a touch of lilac from the same 24 colour Kryolan palette gives a vampire wash to the lips.

And just when I think I’ve learnt enough to be able to mix up a batch and play responsibly with Kryolan’s vampire colours and order the 24 colour palette which has these greens I realise that they also do fluorescing ultraviolet colours which glow in the dark. They were used on Coldplay’s Charlie Brown film on fifty dancers. Watching how they glow in the dark in the second half of this Coldplay film just throws up all sorts of summer festival possibilities.