Make-up tells a story
Monica Waldron talks to MACs
Gordon Espinet and Charlotte Tilbury on make-up and how it empowers
the modern woman
Above: Sharon Dowsett, Gordon Espinet and Charlotte Tilbury.
THE NIGHT WAS cool and the streets
rather empty. Too empty. All I could hear was the rhythm of my high-heel
shoes, but as I neared the red carpet on 24 Endell Street, I knew
I was in the right place. The MAC
Salutes 2009 party, held on February 22, was a night of celebration
in which the UKs fashionistas
and glitterati came together to pay homage to renowned make-up artists
Sharon Dowsett and Charlotte Tilbury. Additionally, the event marked
the start of a year of activities to commemorate 25 years of British
My concerns of appropriate attire for such an
event melted away as I walked into the venue. Almost everyone was
dressed in a variation of black: I had made the right choice after
all. It was a lively event with a well mixed soundtrack, excellent
canapés and cocktails, but I was not solely here to enjoy
such things. Global Vice-President of Make-up Artistry Gordon Espinet
and award winner Charlotte Tilbury were the people to see.
I was immdediately at ease in Espinets
presence. He is openly passionate about his work and the importance
of beutification, and rightly so. He has had an interest in make-up
from an early age. Espinet is himself an esteemed make-up artist,
who has worked backstage for designers such as Vivienne Westwood,
Armani, Chloé and Dsquared. Although Espinet moved from Trinidad
to St Catherine in Canada at 13, his accent is still recognizable
and a delight to listen to.
My discussion of his background was shortened
when he discovered that I was a Kiwi, as he put it.
Having travelled around a good part of New Zealand, Espinet divulged
that he loves New Zealand, its lamb and Marlborough wines.
Travelling aside, he tells me that the heritage of make-up has come
a long way.
In the past it was just about making people
beautiful, but now it is about telling a story, and women are more
aware of whether they are wearing the right colours and using the
right products, he says.
Make-up today and the forecast for the future
is all about core beauty and the core products,
he says. Basically it is the essential items a woman should carry,
because the look is chic.
At this point in the conversation Charlotte Tilbury
was introduced to me. Like a beacon in the dark, she wore a sparkling
emerald dress, which contrasted beautifully with her flame-red hair.
With over 16 years experience as an international make-up
artist, Tilbury has a wealth of knowledge of the industry. She has
worked alongside prestigous photographers such as Mert Alas and
Marcus Piggot, as well as stylist Katie Grand, and has created catwalk
looks for Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Alberta Ferretti,
Donna Karan and Lanvin, amongst others. Her abilities extend into
the celebrity realm, having beautified the likes of Demi Moore,
Mariah Carey, Penelope Cruz and Gwen Stefani. With a repertoire
such as hers, one can agree with her comment that make-up can transcend
ones status and success. In her words, It literally
has the ability to put you in the running for a better job
Make-up is now an accessory as a bag is to an outfit. It is becoming
As for the importance of makeup within the fashion
and beauty industry, Tilbury believes that the focus is now on what
is happening behind the scenes. There is more extensive documentation
on the goings-on backstage at fashion weeks around the world. Consequently,
we can forecast the coming trends based on the very colours and
products showcased on the catwalk. These in time end up at cosmetics
The ability to look beautiful is now even more
accessible to the women of today, but is it a medium that can empower
us? And is make-up more than skin deep? Both Tilbury and Espinet
agreed: beauty equals confidence. If you look in the mirror
and you portray what you see, you are a confident person.
Monica Waldron is London correspondent for Lucire.
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From top: Jasmine Guinness. Laura Bailey. Jo Wood, ex-wife
of the Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood, on the right, with her
daughter. Liberty Ross.