“When I was growing up, I didn’t have dolls. My parents were very feminist — girls were as good as boys, girls can be engineers. I really learned about makeup from reading magazines. My mum puts on her lipstick every single day, but she doesn’t really care that much. She’s more into books and art and music. I remember thinking that after you’ve gone out for the night you would wake up with black smudges under your eyes, because my mum would never take off her makeup. She’s very tall and she’s dark, very striking, and she would wear very dramatic outfits with these short blood-red nails and some sledgehammer fragrance. I thought she was so glamorous and magical when she would come and kiss me goodnight all dressed up and smelling of Yves Saint Laurent’s Y.
I went to St. Martin’s and I studied fashion and my first internship was at The Telegraph Magazine in London. I had to assist both the fashion and beauty editors, which was great – .I learned a lot and I got to try every product under the sun. I then went to work at Wallpaper Magazine where amongst other things, I commissioned the beauty page, and again at Interview Magazine after that, I conceptualized and wrote the beauty pages, so to me beauty and fashion always went hand in hand. I’ve also been very fortunate enough to work with excellent hair and makeup people, and I’ve picked up a lot of tips. I’m always poking about on the makeup table, seeing what the experts are using and making lists of products and colors to try. The best tip that I ever got was from Tom Pecheux (Creative Makeup Director at Estee Lauder), who says that one must massage one’s face with moisturiser and tell your skin that you love it.
I can be extraordinarily late for dinner because getting ready normally takes me half an hour to get ready, but i start enjoying painting my face and before you know it, I’m an hour late, with a smoky eye and false eyelashes. That, to me, is the first step in self creating a magical night , to put some music on, have a lovely bath, and a glass of champagne and paint your face. The preparation is often my favorite part of the evening, and gets me mentally in the right place to have a delicious time. It’s the first step in creating the mood to create yourself.
I keep all the colors that I don’t frequently use in clear plastic makeup bags – given to me by my old roommate who is a makeup artist. Then I have larger bag that one that lives in my bathroom cabinet and I have one really small Louis Vuitton makeup bag that can travel with me and I can actually fit all my makeup in there. I’ve started to use a lot of RMS Beauty, which are excellent products and also multi-purpose, so I can fit my whole face in that small makeup bag, so nice not to have to lug a lot of STUFF around.
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover Up in 22: I really like this because you can use it instead of foundation. My skin went through a really wonky patch the past year and I wasn’t supposed to wear makeup. Christian McCulloch, who is a makeup artist friend recommended this to me. You can use it as concealer and then put on a bit more where you need it, so you don’t really need foundation.
Cle de Peau Refining Fluid Foundation in 020: If I do use foundation, it’s usually in the evening. Sometimes I’ll mix it with moisturizer for something more sheer. It covers and it’s not too heavy and it makes your skin look really gorgeous.
NYC Color Smooch Proof Lip Stain in 490 Persistent Pink: It looks like a Sharpie and you just swipe it on. The color is just like your lip, it’s very natural. I’m not a big one for lip gloss. I feel like that type of wet mouth thing can be very unattractive.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek: I really like this. Sometimes I put a little nude or beige and then I dot the Lip2Cheek in Smile, just on the apples. Whenever I have my makeup done by a makeup artist, it’s pretty much guaranteed I’m going to say “Please can I have a bit more pink on the cheek and a ton more mascara?”
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer: I like this very much because it can be really great just on your eyelids or the corners of your eyes to open them up. What I also like to do with this is use the RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest which is a really nice, natural pinky lip color, and then I put the luminizer on top, so it’s nicely glow-y without being overly wet.
On my eyebrows, I tend to use the L’Oreal Elnett hairspray on an eyebrow brush, because none of them really keep my eyebrows where they should be. I really like the Shobha Brow Pencil in Sand. I brush my eyebrows down, make the shape of the eyebrow at the top, and then brush them into place with the hairspray and then fill in where they need to be darker. It’s a made-up face thing.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: Who doesn’t love this?
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara: I love this mascara because it’s thick and clumpy. I like a thick, clumpy lash rather than a long, spidery lash. I’m all for a Twiggy lash but just on the top. I don’t put on a bottom lash. I was on a photo shoot with Bobbi Brown and they were just using mascara on the top lashes. Even with the Louis Vuitton collection this season, it was all just the top lash. It’s fresher looking, just to have the top lash.
Estee Lauder Mad Man Lipstick in Cherry: I find it more of a pink than a red. I put it on with the bullet and then use my finger to smudge it. I think a red lip should look velvety. It’s one I don’t put on thickly, like with a pencil. If I’m going to do a red lip, I’ll do a NARS Red Square. I just bought the NARS Red Square, which is the velvet matte lip pencil, and I just bought that NARS 413 BLKR. It’s a red gloss but I just put it on in the center. The velvet matte lip pencil can get a bit hard on the lip after awhile. I use the gloss in the middle for both a day or night red lip. I don’t wear it everyday because I feel like it’s something that people get into and it becomes their trademark. For some reason, I never wanted it to be my thing, but I grew up wearing red lipstick.
The first piece of makeup I ever bought was the Lancome Felt Eyeliner. I used to do a really big flick of eyeliner and I thought I looked like Brigitte Bardot or Linda Evangelista, until my Dad told me I looked like Dusty Springfield. The second thing I bought was a red lipstick. At 16 years old I was wearing red lipstick and I thought I had an awful lot in common with Sylvia Plath, because she also wore red lipstick too. Red lipstick and suicidal tendencies.
For evening, sometimes I’ll do an eyeliner or I’ll use the Chanel Illusoire, which is a pewter color and Mirifique, a black. They come with a brush and you can put them on near your lashes for a very quick smokey eye. If I do a black liner, it’s a thing on its own. Or I’ll just use a pencil to draw between the lashes. I like the Hourglass Script. It’s a really, really fine one. But I’ll also use Revlon Color Stay. It’s waterproof, comes in a pot, and it’s got a thin brush in the lid.
Frederic Malle Perfume in Carnal Flower: It smells like gorgeous lush white flowers with a hint of an animally musk. Which animal specifically, I couldn’t tell you. Probably a badger. I used to hate it when I first smelt it but now of course I love it. In the winter I’ll wear Black Jade by Parfums Lubin and in the high summer, I wear Shalini – both from Aedes de Venustas. I don’t like most mass-market commercial perfumes because I think that most of them smell like air freshener or unnecessarily fruity. It’s very much like boxed wine vs. vintage wine. I’m not wearing boxed wine.” -Annabel Tollman