Thursday, 14 February 2008

#63 Backstage Whispers...

I'm not a 'fashionista' - lord, I hate that word - nor am I a gossip. But I have been backstage at London Fashion Week this week, jotting down what the top make-up artists have had sprawled across their work spaces and peeking in model's handbags for some insight into their beauty routines. It's been a long time since I was naive enough to assume that the products mentioned by the 'beautiful people' would be the holy grail of great skin - after all, this beauty biz is nothing if not entirely subjective. I know women who rave about Eve Lom and have not strayed from her pricey cleansing pot for years - and others for whom it is devil's juice - packed as it is with mineral oil, which can play havoc with blemish-prone skin.

Anyway, back to my i-Spying, where after five seconds witnessing the work of the backstage pros, one thing struck me more acutely than anything else - just how YOUNG the models were. You know their faces, you've seen their smiles, pouts and heavy-lidded winks - but until you've stood a centimetre away from Agyness or Bette Franke - all angular cheeks, velvet skin and licorice-lace legs - you really have no understanding of just how precious and cute these kiddies actually are. They are not powdered and painted to look so - they just ARE. Their skin, then, is hardly a product of expert handling - more a genetic wish granted and yes, wasted on the young. They're models for a reason - they walk in looking this good and were born to be beautiful. You might be able to pick up their favourite lipgloss or share their cleansing ritual, but it won't get you any closer to their look. Fact is, for the most part, the artists I shadowed did little more than blend a bit of concealer over circles (where there were circles), dabbed Vaseline over lids and brows, tapped cream blusher onto cheeks and etched in arches (most models have their brows dyed lighter which gives them a chameleon-like quality - want dark? Pencil 'em in. Want light? Et voila). Hardly taxing.

In the kits of three top artists, I spied Estee Lauder Maximum Coverage Lightweight Make-Up, MAC Face & Body Paint, MAC Cream Colour Base in Fabulush (patted onto lips and cheeks), Vaseline, Johnson's Baby Wipes, YSL Touche Eclat and Guerlain Issima Precious Light.

There wasn't a single girl who needed much work and most were in and out of the chair in ten minutes. It seems that if you are blessed with a canvas this clear, it's a case of child's play, all the way to the runway.

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