Article Archive: April 2012

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.

Val Garland’s backstage secrets

From the cleanser which should be on all of our beauty lists to the powder we’ll be queuing to buy, I went backstage to meet Val Garland to find out what I should be asking Santa for this Christmas… It’s a fact, make-up expert and industry legend Val Garland has access to beauty’s newest products first. Opting for super-gentle cleansers and moisturisers to calm models’ make-up weary faces and ‘prep’ them for the next look, she opened up her beauty kit and shared these wonderful tips. “Backstage or before a photo shoot I go straight for Bioderma Créaline H20, which is the best cleanser I have come across; it doesn’t aggravate the skin, even after numerous shows. I get it from Parisian pharmacies. Then I usually use an SK-II Eye Mask, £45 for 14 (0800 072 1771), to help reduce dark circles and puffiness from flying, late nights etc. On shoots, I’ll use SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, £45 for six (0800 072 1771), it’s an excellent antidote to jet lag, late nights and it regenerates the skin’s tired appearance and replenishes moisture (a good one for after a party). Next, I go straight to YSL Hydra Feel Fresh Hydrating Water Gel, £32 (01444 255 700), a fab moisturiser which makes skin feel baby soft, or Skinceuticals serums or nourishing skin creams (05603 141 956) which work like magic to wake up the skin and leave it well-hydrated and ready for make-up!”

As for make-up, two of Val’s favourite secret products are; MAC’s Set-Powder, “I sweep a load of this across the cheeks with a fan brush so that it catches any eyeshadow or pigment from a smokey eye (see the picture below). You just brush it away when finished.” Backstage at the Marios Schwab Spring/Summer 2012 show Val also had MAC’s Prep and Prime powder in her kit (see pic above) “I can’t go anywhere without this, it gives a wonderful transparent finish and reduces shine while optically minimizing the look of pores, lines and imperfections. It’s a must-have.”

And Val’s best beauty tip? “Buy good brushes, I buy great quality ones at art stores.” And seeing as Val Garland is responsible for some of Hollywood’s most famous faces I can be sure that all of her recommendations actually work (ie products that are guaranteed to make my friends skin (that should really read my skin) happy this Christmas).