If you had to choose between being invisible or being able to fly for one day which would you choose? It’s a tricky one. Moving about undetected may carry its attractions; robbing a Swiss bank or tracking down an ex lover. But when you think it through properly, invisibility also brings with it lots of potential holes. What about stuff outside yourself that you’d have to carry? Would that be invisible? Would the Swiss bank people see bags of money floating round the room? And an ex-lover, surely you’d be identified by your unique scent. These questions have posed problems for H.G. Wells, David McCallum, Harry Potter and The Fantastic Four (remember Jessica Alda?). So I don’t think we’re going to solve this one, right here, right now. I reckon if you really want to be invisible, there’s no magic or mystery to it at all, here’s what you do….. you just go along to a fashion week and make sure you’re the smallest person there. Works for me.
While I’m usually invisible, everybody else is frantic backstage making models/clothes/hair and make-up appear as visible as possible for their moment. Do you see this skin? Do you see these orange (sorry, coral) blushed cheeks in these pictures above? Are you gettin me????? I’d like to get the hang of those. Getting the “pop” just right is a bit of an issue at home. Tough to perfect alone so until I did I decided to stay off the radar and practice. A cheek like that if done incorrectly can be seen from MARS? Big ask that, enormous ask.
Hannah Murray (the lead MAC Pro make-up artist who created this look for the Jaeger Spring/Summer2012 show) and I talked this over. I said (in my most serious beauty accent) that I may have to claim special dispensation at the Jaeger show because although I’d heard the word used for years I’d really NO IDEA what the word “pop” meant in the context of “look at the way that product makes her (eye, cheek, temples) pop”. Hannah said OK, fair point I’ll explain. “It’s basically when a product imitates the play of light on the face to make your best feature “pop” or stand out.”
So what could I make pop? Weeeeell. I’m not sure really. Wait. Stay there one sec. I’m going to ask….. Well three people have just said three different things to me; “Your eyes”, “Your cheekbones” and “Your clavicles”. My clavicles????? (It seems everyone has a different one.)
I personally like the cheekbones answer. How do I “pop” those? By this stage a large cast of models had arrived and were banked up against the mirrors until eventually Hannah Murray did the decent thing and issued orders. “First cleanse and moisturise the skin (they were using Bioderma Sensibio and several different moisturisers), add eye cream (use your ring finger as it has the lightest touch). Give it a minute to settle. Apply a little foundation or tinted moisturiser to even out blotches (Hannah was using MAC Studio Fix). Alternatively if you don’t want to be messing with tubes or bottles use a face-sculpting mineral foundation and a big brush and put-it-where-it’s-needed to carve out your bone structure fast. ” Great fun.
Next apply your eye make-up (Orange/coral eyeshadow and Plushlash mascara on top ashes only). So to recap that’s foundation and eye make-up BEFORE your concealer. This way you avoid bits of fallen shadow or smudged mascara landing on freshly applied concealer. Next apply concealer where needed. Now for the funner part.
Besides the normal products and items I like to call things in pots and tubes, there are also the commandments of the business: I open my notebook at the start of a show, and close it again a few hours later, and in between, I write things like…. “First up, pinch the cheeks to gauge the most natural flush for your skin, trick” and “apply this coral blush look near a window or standing under a bright light. Applying blush in a dimly lit room can yield Bozo-like results” and “smile in the mirror, and dab cream blush onto the apples of the cheeks with fingers, blending up and out. Swirl a brush in more blush and orange/coral eyeshadow and blend and apply in circular motions, out to the temples.” The other thing about blush application is the brush “A midsize brush (with a diameter of an inch and a half) is best for blush application. Larger ones are difficult to control; smaller ones can create streaks.” So. to summerise: pinch cheeks, find shape, stand near a window with a brush, some blush, a mirror and SMILE!!!
Around this time, things are well under way and obstacles I might encounter at home start running in a loop inside my head. I reckon the day I’ll try this will be the day I wake up with a huge spot. “Cream blushers blend better into the cheeks then powder – although cream will magnify blemishes, so powder is better if you’re acne prone.” And that shine… it’s lustrous and dewy how do I get that? “Use Golden bronze iridescent loose powder to highlight the upper cheek bones and pat MAC Pearl Cream colourbase over and above the cheekbones.”
After a diligent two hour stint, right at the end Hannah explained “if this blend of corals isn’t your colour try light peach or pink for fair skin, terra-cotta or apricot to warm olive skin, and reddish rose or a darker coral for a darker skin tone.” Phenomenal knowledge. OK, what was on the lip? Any of the Plushglass lipglossses.
And what if I make a mistake???? Tone down the intense colour by brushing translucent loose powder over the apples of the cheeks and fix with your fingers with some Golden bronze iridescent loosepowder
Hannah of course relieved finally to see the back of me, told me to add one more thing to my notes. Apparently “none of this will make a whit of difference if you have dry, rough skin. It’s essential to exfoliate with a gentle scrub once or twice a week to remove that dead outer layer. Otherwise your skin won’t be able to reflect light and blush will gather to rough spots and give an uneven tone.” Together we finished our chores. I closed my notebook as the models were ready to hit the ramp. She continued to do “touch-ups” I moved to another notebook to start sketching/noting the clothes.
So that leaves….. I ran back to ask Hannah about highlighting clavicles… “if the body needs a boost of radiance, apply a body moisturizer with a hint of glimmer. Mac Strobecream work s well. I then asked finally about oil-based body shimmer “most formulas slide around and don’t stay put. If you apply one to your chest everyone you hug will twinkle.”
On my travels to Paris, I’ve since found Chanel Sheer Brilliance in Golden Apricot, it gives a sheen that dries nicely because it’s got silicone as one of the ingredients (look out for that). Gives the illusion to cheekbones and clavicles that you could hang your hat from them. So never mind your Oceans Fourteen, I’ve got the makings of a handy little gang here with tricks that’ll make your eyes, cheeks and clavicles pop. All they need is a leader.