Just a quick Public Service announcement – I’m off on a working holiday to London this afternoon, so my posting schedule is going to be…well pretty much nonexistent for the next couple of weeks.
But never fear, I’m going to be scouting and scouring the makeup counters (and pharmacies) of London to make up for it. New products will be purchased, and you can be sure that there will be some fresh new brands investigated in my absence. (Because what’s the point of going away if you can’t spend hours cruising makeup counters?)
So it’s Friday which means it must be time for 70’s GLAMOUR! Check out this amazing video I found of Lauren Hutton in Avedon’s studio in 1973. I think every makeup artist I know has had those days (OK, maybe not with Lauren Hutton and Richard Avedon, but those days when you’re run off your feet).
And PS on a side note I urgently need some gold lamé trousers for next time I’m working. Imagine the Studio 54 glamour I could be radiating at work with a pair of those!
Recently I have been looking a lot at body painting, and one of the masters and pioneers of body painting is also one of the world’s most beautiful women, a 60’s model by the name of Veruschka. She was actually known as the world’s first supermodel.
In the 60’s models did their own hair and makeup so she was a very gifted makeup artist, branching out in 1966 to body painting, which then became a lifelong artistic pursuit. Using only makeup she would transform her extraordinary gangly physique into animals, rocks, trees, wallpaper – anything that took her out of her own skin.
Six feet three inches tall and with impossibly long limbs she inspired countless photographers and is the subject of many of the iconic fashion photographs of the 60’s and 70’s.
I was fortunate enough to meet Veruschka when I was assisting Kay Montano on a shoot with David Bailey, one of my favourite photographers. That day he was shooting four of the greatest models of all time – Veruschka, Penelope Tree, Twiggy and Kate Moss for Vanity Fair. You can imagine what an amazing day in the studio that was! All of them are incredible women and there were some extraordinary and quite surreal moments that day as they reminisced together.
Veruschka is still a force to be reckoned with now, and when you read about her life, you know why. Born into the Prussian aristocracy, her father was a key member of the German Resistance, and eventually was executed by the Nazis. Veruschka and the rest of her family then became refugees, spending the rest of World War II in labour camps. She eventually moved to Florence where she was discovered as a model at the age of 20, before ending up in New York and becoming one of the world’s top models. She was a muse of Avedon, Peter Beard and Irving Penn and famously appeared in Antonioni’s 1966 cult film, Blow Up. (The photographer in Blow up was also modelled on David Bailey).
Here’s some Veruschka videos for you – the first from Style.com about the release of her book, Veruschka, with some of her extraordinary fashion moments in it. The second one is dubbed into Russian (so super handy for my Russian readers), but who cares if you can’t understand it – Veruschka’s breathtaking face speaks for itself.
I dare you not to dance when you hear the new version of CHIC’s disco classic, “I’ll Be There”, which has been directed by famed photographer duo, Inez and Vinoodh – and if you’re a fan of Paris Vogue as I am, you’ll know their work from every recent issue of the magazine. (This month has an absolutely gorgeous 70’s disco spread in it, so they’re on a bit of a roll with that theme).
The incredibly lovely model Karlie Kloss provides the eye candy and I also dare you to not enrol immediately in an abs class at your local gym after seeing her floor-based disco moves. Trying on sequinned mini-dresses never looked that good.
And it’s up! This week was the launch of the gorgeous new beauty blog from one of my favourite actresses, Thandie Newton, and my absolute number 1 makeup artist, Kay Montano, and let’s just say it was worth the wait. Beautifully written, it really is the thinking women’s beauty blog. It covers the gamut from mini makeup movies, to interviews with Hollywood stars (like Lucy Liu), and an amazing article on acid attacks on women. It’s so refreshing to find a site that covers beauty and feminism and just generally being a modern woman – brain and all!
Their incredibly strong friendship and love for life comes through in every post, and I love that it’s a proper forum for women off ALL ages, ALL ethnicities, and ALL body types to get together and share what’s beautiful.
And it just so happens to be from two women I admire enormously. Here’s Thandie and Kay’s first makeup tutorial together, called Lavender Love. Only Kay could get that much oomph out of one eyeshadow! A gorgeous model helps too, of course.
One of the biggest revelations for me from my recent sojourn to London was getting to try Top Shop’s range of makeup. One of my very first (in fact embarrassingly fast after we landed) trips was to the Top Shop flagship store on Oxford St, where I was, literally, like a kid in a candy store. The nail polishes are like yummy gum drops, the range of lipsticks is to die for, and they have all these cool lip markers and chubby lip and eye crayons in all sorts of amazing colours.
So I picked up quite a few pieces whilst I was there and then as soon as I got home I did some fancy rearranging and muscled them into my kit, and now with summer shoots coming up, they are doing me proud.
My absolute favourites are the nail polishes and the lipsticks. When I was in London I was on a job with a top manicurist – I won’t say their name as they have a contract with another company, but they were raving about the staying power and the colour selection of the Top Shop polishes, comparable to some much more expensive brands on the market.
I snapped up the nail polish in Late Show, a bright purple which for some reason reminds me of Willy Wonka (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!) as it’s the exact shade of his jacket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
PS How crappy is that machine in the Willy Wonka YouTube clip? It looks like something that Sooty and Sweep might have put together. But I digress…
and Easy Breezy, the perfect turquoise robin’s egg blue which I pulled out recently to use on a Virgin Suicides shoot as it’s 70’s girlish innocence in a bottle. It’s the colour of the dance (if a 70’s high school prom could be a colour) from the Sofia Coppola film. It also fits perfectly with the season’s blue obsession. It’s like a mintier version of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague from a couple of season’s ago. Delish.
This season nail colours have all been a bit off, a slightly kitchsier, more interesting take on classics and these were no exception. I’ll be doing more Top Shop beauty reviews over the next few weeks as I’m yet to find a product from the range that I don’t like – and they’re a bargain as well. Top Shop, you can do no wrong!