"Eddie thought this might be fun for you as it's really high fashion and will test your makeup artist skills," PR pro Margaret Batuszkin told me when she described the look for the Gaudet show, which took place yesterday at LG Fashion Week, Beauty by L'Oréal Paris at the Exhibition's Allstream Centre. She'd just asked whether I'd like to work alongside Artistic Director Eddie Malter (formerly Maleterre) to do a model's makeup for the runway. Another offered choice was a fresh, rosy-cheeked look that falls much more in my lifestyle-makeup comfort zone. But, dang it, I knew a gilded goddess with a lace face appliqué would be a challenge, and therefore a more interesting tale.
Eddie's makeup design called for a gleaming golden sheen across the hairline, forehead, eyelids, cheekbones and bridge of nose of each Gaudet model. Eye makeup was relatively simple: smudged black liner, dramatic false lashes, strong brows. Vibrantly red lips and intricate scraps of lace were finishing touches. The above image is of Eddie (well, his arm) at work as he consults with the team of backstage artists.
The model assigned to my chair was Madison, from Ford Models, a girl-next-door beauty whose base was already done, thank goodness, as was her hair. (The ’do was inspired, said lead hair artist Eric del Monaco, by a traditional beefeater-esque man's hat common to Georgia, a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union).
Was I nervous? Uh huh. Would my affinity for discreet makeup get in the way of executing a decidedly dramatic look? Would I be able to concentrate despite being surrounded by scores of fashion-show makeup veterans? Would using someone else's brushes rather than my own familiar tools affect the finish, too? And were my shaking hands the result of nerves or too much caffeine?
Ta da! The gold metallic sheen on Madison's face is in fact a gold pigment powder mixed with a transformer liquid and painted on with a brush (it's a finish too theatrical to be achieved with the regular L'Oréal Paris line, which comprises the rest of the look). The black half of a HiP Studio Secrets duo in Platinum adds depth to the outer lids and strength to the brows. Infallible Eyeliner in Black defines upper and lower lashlines and lips are finished with Crayon Petite in Reds and Color Riche lipstick in #713. Eyelash glue holds the section of lace in place -- I deliberately selected a one-appliqué look.
I must thank makeup artist Vivi Bui, who got me set up and generously lent me some of her brushes. I found out later that she hadn't been briefed that some journalist type was going to be playing in the makeup -- explains the brief flash of censure I saw in her expression when I said I'd been told not to worry about bringing my own tools. (I didn't take offense; she had enough to do without having to worry about some sketchy makeup artist. She did later quietly tell me that I needed to work a bit faster, but again, that was before she found out I wasn't part of the crew. And she was right!)
Eddie gave me a five-star rating, by the way. Said he was "very, very, very, very surprised," and complimented my technique. I think I acquitted myself fairly. This won't be a popular bridal look, but it was certainly enjoyable, and Madison, bless her, also unaware of her circumstances, was lovely. Thanks again to Eddie, and to Julie Tremblay and Margaret Batuszkin -- what a fun story angle!
See Madison in her makeup on the Gaudet runway, here on ElleCanada.com.
L'Oréal Paris cosmetics are available at drugstores and mass retailers.