I often quote Edward de Bono, “To find inspiration in the everyday is a powerful source of creativity”. It’s become my motto. I also sometimes find real life more interesting than art, particularly how women really wear makeup. This striking metallic lined lip was inspired by a lady who worked on the till at Mothercare, who kindly allowed me to take her photo. I recently came across it in a drawer and thought I’d share it.
Congratulations to Lily for her number one status! I really enjoyed doing the makeup for her video because she loves a look. Fresh skin can carry dramatic eyes and Lily can work a flash lip too… fluorescent orange for a loud mouth pictured here but we had four lip looks on the day, including clear gloss, midnight navy and shimmering pink. The eyes stayed the same - nothing catches the light better than crystals. They’re easy and effective once you get the hang of it and like eyeliner, worth practising. Dot a little eyelash glue on lids and apply crystals one by one with a dampened cotton bud. Pop videos entail long days but they’re fun, and I loved working with the talented hairdresser Alex Brownsell, stylist Richard Sloane and nail technician extraordinaire, Michelle Humphrey. We team up together for Maybelline NY so she’s a real creative collaborateur. We’re looking forward to whatever Lily wants next…
The question ‘is beauty art?’ was posed to me and a few fellow makeup artists by Victoria Hall at Bazaar Beauty online. Here’s what I said below and you can read the rest of the article at uk.bazaar.com/1eoumlZ - it’s interesting!
“I don’t believe that ‘the face is a canvas’ as each face is unique and you shouldn’t sacrifice beauty for creativity. In my opinion, make-up should enhance the features and communicate a certain amount of character. Fashion is completely inspired by art at the moment – where art leads, fashion follows – but I think that real life is more interesting than art, so I try to be more inspired by the everyday (as Edward de Bono said, “to be inspired by the everyday is a powerful source of creativity”). After all, most artists are trying to communicate or capture a moment of real life. If you’re inspired by what’s happening around you, you’ll always be current.”
Which artists have inspired you?
“I have been inspired by so many artists, including Lempicka for cubic highlighting and shading; the Fauves for their ‘savage’ use of colour, which was considered so shocking at the time; and Gilbert and George for their initial restraint with colour. They only used black and white at the beginning of their career, before introducing colour by colour until eventually their work looked like stained-glass windows. ”
Pictured: Todd Lynn SS14
Continuing with the garden theme, I’ve just come across this advertisement for Perrier Jouet which I worked on way back in December last year, shot by the incredible partnership Warren and Nick. The garden was created in a studio not far from where I live, and was very much like the garden I’d like to live in! I fell in love with the pure white Japanese anemones and who wouldn’t be happy if champagne was on tap…
I really enjoyed making up Georgia Jagger for this story shot by Venetia Scott and styled by Bay Garnett for British Vogue’s October issue. We were on location at Great Dixter House in Rye, probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever worked in. Nature has a way of combining colours that you’d never put together yourself, so it’s very easy to be inspired to try something contrasting – it obviously works because it attracts bees!
Here’s an unpublished closeup from the current Vogue Ukraine, shot by Phil Poynter with hair by the amazing Lyndell Mansfield, also at CLM with me. You can see the full length fashion shots at http://clmuk.com/hair-make-up/make-up/sharon-dowsett/fashion/vogue-ukraine-phil-poynter-3#1. Five different looks on four models in one (not very long) day in Paris. Go team!
The Osman show was held at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, and the makeup was to be pure, fresh and expensive - ’sophisticated youth’. This look translated as pampered complexions with Garnier Moisture Match and Maybelline NY’s Dream Pure BB Cream – which is ideal for oily skin and ideal for the show, as Osman hates powder! Blemishes were calmed with FitMe Foundation Sticks (which also have an anti-shine core); brows were groomed with the new Brow Shaper and eyelids iced with Color Tattoo in Eternal Silver, sheered out with Baby Lips (I told you it wasn’t just for the lips!) Cheeks were blushed and lips flushed with Baby Lips in Cherry Me and a slick of MegaPlush mascara was meticulously applied to lashes. One coat was enough. What’s most important is the light on the catwalk, as this is how the makeup will be seen. In this case it was very bright, which meant that we had to make the makeup look as discreet as possible. In some ways, it’s harder than tricky eyeliner to pull off something simple – you literally need a light touch. Fortunately my LFW team are truly excellent and I’d like to say a big thank you to them all, with special thanks to my number one and two, Hannah Paul and Lucy Pearson (who were SO on the ball), plus special guests Hannah Dinmore, Kristina Theodoris and Rhea le Riche. I couldn’t do it without you! Finally, my favourite model of fashion week, the beautiful, funny and appropriately named Zen.
My ex-assistant and makeup mistress, Athena Paginton, was so interested in my blog yesterday about backstage at Ashish, I’ve decided to post some more photos especially for her. Here’s my demo model Flo; the aforementioned creative artists Ali Pirzadeh and Chloe Norgaard; me with the minxy Xiao Wen Ju (currently ranked 29th in the world league of top models!); my current number one assistant, Hannah Paul, with a look of determination on her face, and photographer Mark Molloy who impressed me by using a reflector AND beauty dish (you can see his great backstage pictures at www.markmolloy.com). I asked him to take a photo of me and Chloe (not that I’m obsessed with her or anything…) It just shows you what a difference the right light makes, which I’ll touch on in my next posting, the fourth and final of LFW.
Ashish also wanted an eyeliner, but a very different one, inspired by a photo of Liz Taylor on a yacht, wearing Cleopatra style makeup. The theme of the show was ‘the morning after walk of shame’ when you’ve been out all night partying and go to the corner shop for your pint of milk. I created a kohl lined eye with a very long tail, using the top of the ear as my guide. It’s easy to go too far up (retro) or too far down (sad) – the line had to be horizontal to keep it street tough. I used Maybelline NY’s new Master Duo eyeliner which enables you to draw thick or thin lines and has an intense glossy finish. To enhance our story, a little ‘gold glitter’ was scattered onto the cheekbones and tired eyes were accentuated with smoky violet mixed with Baby Lips (it’s not just for the lips) to give a worn-in (or worn out!) effect. Again, preparation is everything so my assistants Hannah and Lucy practised and I tried a few different methods of application to make it easier for my LFW team to replicate. Which they all did, perfectly! The show was fantastic fun with 80s dance music and I was thrilled to meet Chloe Norgaard, the amazing Danish model/artist who uses her hair as a canvas. The hair look for the show was in the talented hands of Ali Pirzadeh, also at my agency CLM. Egyptian Cherokee!
David Koma sent me this graphic moodboard before I went along to the fitting, which gave me a clear idea about his collection. Apparently, when David is inspired by a concept, he follows it all the way through. For SS14 the inspiration was Samurai warriors, made incredibly modern. When I met him at the fitting he mentioned uniformity, and realising how precise he is, I thought I’d better get mathematical (never my strong subject). David also wanted a makeup that would be worn by a real woman, which is why we came up with a cobalt blue (so flattering) rhomboid eyeliner, sliced by a Samurai sword (had to get that reference in there somewhere!) Preparation is always key, especially when you’ve got two shows back to back, so my assistants Hannah and Lucy made sure they practised until proficient and I rehearsed my demo in advance. Also I printed out photos of the look for the team to follow. It paid off – the line up was a dream, the designer was happy and the show was stress free (thanks to my agent Cassandra at CLM and the fabulous Maybelline NY PR team too).