With the merry-go-round of the international shows starting in New York again yesterday, it seemed fitting to have a look at fashion shows past – check out this video I found of Cindy Crawford from her 90’s TV show, MTV’s House of Style (the greatest thing EVER for those with a love of fashion history and/or supermodels).
It’s from the 1991 Giorgio di Sant’Angelo show with all the supers, and what struck me is THEY DID THEIR OWN MAKEUP. It’s quite amazing seeing the biggest models in the world, at the time and arguably ever, and they’re just cracking on with their own makeup and body moisturiser. Different times indeed.
I’m a little bit obsessed with fake tan lately. I realized recently that I never cover bronzers or tanners on MM. Not because I don’t like them (I love a gorgeous Capri glow as much as the next girl) and sorry to be rude, but it’s kind of boring to write about, don’t you think? Other people might disagree but until now there’s been nothing about bronzers that have inspired me to write a word. I couldn’t even rustle up a haiku on the subject. I have my old favourites and they come out when I need them and that’s it. Case closed.
Until I finally tried St Tropez tan, and now that my legs look –well a little bit more Gisele like than they did a few hours ago, I’ve got to tell you, St Tropez is kind of amazing.
It’s super easy to use, for a start. They even have YouTube videos to help you if you’re not sure about applying it. And I used the also bloody amazing Le Tan application mitt (I think St Trop have one of those too, but mine is Le Tan). It immediately solves the horrible streaky orange tell–tale palms problem which is what I remember usually puts me off self-tanning. So armed with my glove, it’s just a couple of pumps of mousse onto it, and you rub it in. Evenly. And that’s it. Wait a couple of minutes – so none of that needing half an hour to walk around stark naked to let it dry business. Hello 1985 called, thank God those days are over! – and you’re ready to roll. Bronzed goddess indeed.
And best of all, no funky monkey smell. It has a light, pleasant scent that doesn’t waft around screaming look at my newly fake tanned legs! On shoots it’s a godsend as I can do a super fast tan on a model before we start shooting, and then I don’t have to spend my day marinating her in MAC Face and Body Foundation, which is a great, great product and my go-to for body makeup but if you don’t have to spend your day in the sand slathering that on, it’s better, no?
So if you want to tan like Gisele, St Tropez is your best bet. To get her body you’re on your own though.
I’m sorry to do this to you because I may well be taking hours out of your life by telling you about this incredible series of videos from famed British photographer, Nick Knight. They are interviews with models to show the history of contemporary fashion photography through their eyes, and after watching quite a few of the Kate Moss videos so far I’ve found it’s an amazing behind the scenes look at some of the world’s most iconic fashion images.
Block out some time, because I warn you, they’re addictive!
So these days I’m a little bit married to my skincare favourites – it takes quite a bit for a new entrant to muscle its way into my makeup kit. You have to test it, first on yourself, then on a few shoots, then on a few more and most of the time they don’t make the final cut.
Not so Alpha H’s Liquid Gold, which I’ve been using more and more lately. It’s a liquid glycolic acid skin polisher, which I’m starting to swear by as part of my skin prep on jobs. I first came across it some time ago through the UK makeup artist Kenneth Soh
Models always look like they have amazing skin, don’t they? Well I’ll tell you a secret – they often don’t. That’s what makeup is for! Quite often models have the same skin concerns that the rest of us do – spots, hormonal breakouts, hyper pigmentation, excessive oiliness, excessive dryness, rosacea – you name it, makeup artists have to deal with it. One of the trickiest things is when a model doesn’t take good care of her skin and it’s all weirdly dry yet congested, and a big part of the problem is that just don’t exfoliate enough.
Before Liquid Gold I’d use a YSL or a Dermalogica scrub – I’m talking a full facial with hot water, applying the product, buffing it off and then clearing all the product off to leave baby soft skin beneath. This works really well but does take quite awhile, which so often you don’t have on a hectic day’s shoot. Now I keep a bottle of Liquid Gold in my skincare bag, and actually pretty much everyone who sits in my chair these days is getting a quick buff over with it on a cotton pad. It takes off the dead skin cells, leaving the nice juicy new skin cells ready for makeup. And yes, it gives you THAT glow.
So skincare bags get ready, there’s a new product in town.
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.
These might be the greatest thing since sliced bread – actually way better than sliced bread since they are perfect, shimmery molten eyeshadow sticks of exactly the colours that you want, and best of all, they’re gluten-free!
I’ve become obsessed with these of late. They are a lightweight cream eyeshadow that just has the most perfect texture. They’re in a thin stick form, so not only are they extremely lightweight (which you are SO GRATEFUL for when you have 40 kilograms of makeup to lug to work each day), but the shape of the tip is absolutely perfect for creating dreamy highlights around the eyes. There is a reason that all the top red carpet makeup artists are using them on their celeb clients you know! Mai Quynh used them on Chloe Moretz at Cannes, as well as Reese Witherspoon at the Golden Globes.
They also come in a great range of colours and are a lovely base for a smoky eye or perfect as a shimmering accent. You can use them as a shadow or as a liner as well, so they’re just right for everyday life as they do double-duty and are even small enough to fit in an evening bag, if you need a quick retouch.
There are now 23 shades available, and since Laura Mercier is, well Laura Mercier, they really are gorgeous, flattering colours for every skintone. These suckers are fast, also. For when you have literally two seconds to do your makeup (and a toddler may or may not be dragging themselves up your legs trying to get to your makeup because the best thing EVER is a toddlerin your makeup) they are literally just swipe, smoosh with brush or finger and go.
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.