Article Archive: March 2011

Part II – The Perfect Summer Lip

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As I write this morning, I’m excited after trying out my favourite new beauty secret from make-up artist Gucci Westman. My day with her was amazing, yet it was this incredible yet small nugget of knowledge that she shared with me that I shall cherish the most. Gucci had recreated the Perfect Red Lip step-by-step for Temperley London (see here) but for those of us not brave enough to wear this as a daytime lip (yes, me) I asked if she’d show me a lighter more summer daytime alternative. Before doing so she had to cleanse all remaining evidence of the red lip she’d created with lipstick earlier and it’s as if Gucci KNEW that I’d been waiting ALL my life to learn this one tiny thing.

My biggest fear with red lipstick is how difficult it is to remove. You have no idea

II: Cleansing a red lip!

As Gucci reached for her secret weapons an alarm went off in my head. When it’s just me at home trying to remove lipstick, it’s a task, when it’s just me at home trying to remove deep dramatic red lipstick, it’s a task  and a half. I braced myself. My biggest fear with red lipstick is how difficult it is to remove. You have no idea. It seems to get everywhere. The lasting power of a well done red lip can be insane and there’s always the leftover bits to contend with. Time was ticking. I was sitting opposite one of the world’s most famous make-up artists and I wanted to ask her… well… HOW? Sooooo…..this is what she said…

Gucci: “Take one of these  Shiseido Pureness Cleansing Sheets and simply remove the heaviest layer of lipstick first. Now add a little Dr Hauschka Normalising Oil to the cleansing sheet and watch as it cuts through heavy lipstick. Continue to remove every last trace adding a little more oil if needed and use a Q-tip to get right into the lip contours. The oil breaks down any remaining lipstick and lifts it out of the tiny creases and also helps condition lips and prevents dryness.”

Now Gucci was ready to show me a light summer lip for everyday wear.

III: The perfect summer lip!

Gucci: “If you’ve to pack one lip product pack this one for the summer.”

Gucci reached over to take the Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain for this day look. The Just Bitten bit is an accurate description of its effect with it fiendish DUAL ACTION impressiveness; Is it a lipstain? Is it a balm? Well, it’s a bit of both, actually, a balm at one end and a stain at the other, it comes in a range of different shades. So turns out that this little bad boy is great for a touch of summer colour. Immediately lips look, well……. plumper – in a good way as opposed to plumper in a bad way (after several slices of chocolate cake).

As for me, I was ecstatic. The lipstick cleansing fear had left me. The fear of leaving half my lipstick on my hands had left and had been replaced by well??? A promise to myself to be a little braver.

*Just a little note… Before you go rushing out to the shops, Revlon Just Bitten will be landing in stores from today through April until then you can covet your favourite colours online.

and then remove every last trace with a little

Part I-The Perfect Red Lip at Temperley London

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See this red lip at Temperley London? Well I took one look at it and thought hmmm! Red – just too difficult to achieve G (for me anyway). Why? Because red lipstick defies logic – the more I put on, the more likely that it will have moved and taken up residence elsewhere. Within a few minutes of meeting Gucci Westman I’d at least solved this conundrum. I hadn’t been using a lip brush to apply it correctly.

A brush gives more coverage with less product, so your colour will stay longer

Observing Gucci Westman backstage at Temperley London A/W 2011 as she drenched mouths in crimson I scribbled and snapped and listened. See the You Tube clip below and it will give you a taste of just how busy everyone was backstage (Gucci had to oversee the make-up on thirty two models). I was incognito in David Attenborough mode and then…

“So Gisèle! Would you like me to show you how to achieve this perfect bee stung lip over breakfast?” Gucci asked me.

“Wait, Gucci would I like … wait, what?” (I looked to see if there was another, taller Gisèle standing just behind me.) And that was how I came to be sitting opposite Gucci Westman the morning after the Temperley London show in Soho. The mission? How to achieve the prefect bee stung red lip as seen at Temperley London the night before. I was super excited. This is what was said…

Gisèle:  “Do you think I’m crazy Gucci to be afraid of red lipstick?”

Gucci: “I think it’s a good question. There’s a universal fear that it clings to just about everything except lips. If you added maybe a few more steps to your application routine it would help keep the colour where you want it.”

Gisèle: “Can you ‘show and tell’ me please?” *And just like magic a model appeared*

Preparing your lips for the bee stung look!

Gucci: “Firstly, dry chapped lips won’t hold pigment. So before putting on ANY make-up prepare your lips by rubbing a HOT wet towel vigorously over your mouth. This removes dead skin cells and brings the blood to the surface and plumps the mouth up naturally.

Pop a layer of Vaseline or balm on the lip and let it sink in for five minutes and then rub off with a second hot towel. Do all this BEFORE applying your foundation or powder to your face.”

Gisèle: “OK, that I can do”.

I sat looking at the model’s bare lip and was petrified. Wasn’t it difficult to come from this to a proper, grown-up, velvety, flawless red lip? Then Gucci, turned to me and said, “Watch, there’s no reason to be afraid.” (I think she could see my fear.)

I: The perfect bee stung  lip!

Gucci: “I’ve prepped the model’s face with Revlon Photoready Foundation and I’m mixing and painting two matte lipstick shades using a lip brush over the whole mouth; Revlon Really Red (a strong red with a blue in it) and *Revlon Strawberry Suede* (a sort of orangey red which is kinder to pale skin).

*Note Strawberry Suede is discontinued so replace it with the nearest matte coral red you can find. I found this extra bullet of Strawberry Suede on eBay

Gucci “And use a lip brush, it gives more coverage with less product, plus the lipsticks are matte not gloss, so your colour will stay longer.”

Gisèle: “I’d no idea that a matte texture could make that much of a difference. That’s a lot of lipstick. Does it ever go outside the lines?”

Gucci “Everybody has little lines around their mouth – actresses, models. When doing a dramatic lip colour, I take a big foundation brush, tap it in foundation or translucent powder and roll it over the skin below and at the outer edges of the lip to clean up the edges. NEVER over the mouth.

Gisèle: “Hold on there one nanosecond…why never apply foundation and powder over the actual lip before or after applying lipstick?”

Gucci: “It muddies the colour and dehydrates the lip. Instead after applying the lipsticks I use foundation below the lip to stop bleeds and a lip pencil around the edges to keep it from seeping. I continue to brush the lipstick into the lips to help it settle and then I add the Revlon Just Bitten lip stain to set it all. And that’s the perfect bee stung lip”

Okay, I shall have to return a little later to let you know what happened next, because Gucci Westman is just too brilliant. If you’ve read down this far, thank you, if you’d rather not read another lipstick novel let me know. (There’s always the You Tube clip showing Gucci at work below). Think I need a little rest now.