Lucire  Lucire home page / Fashion / / Volante: travel features and news / Living / Lucire: Insider blog
News headlines / Lucire Reader Forum / Subscribe to the print editions of Lucire
Lucire Community 
Lucire feedback 
Subscribe to the Lucire Insider feed
Subscribe to Lucire

beauty: feature

Make-up tells a storyMake-up tells a story

Monica Waldron talks to MAC’s 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 UK’s 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 fashion.

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 Espinet’s 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 one’s 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 more powerful.’

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’ counters.

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.


Add to | Digg it | Add to Facebook


Jasmine Guinness at MAC Salutes in Lucire

Laura Bailey at MAC Salutes in Lucire

Jo Wood and her daughter

Liberty Ross at MAC Salutes in Lucire

From top: Jasmine Guinness. Laura Bailey. Jo Wood, ex-wife of the Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, on the right, with her daughter. Liberty Ross.

Related articles
Lucire 2005 | The Global Fashion Magazine

Autumn beauty, according to MAC
MAC summarizes autumn–winter 2008–9 into five trends, based on its behind-the-scenes catwalk work

Lucire 2005 | The Global Fashion Magazine Electric company
Daniel Chavez sees himself empowering women and their make-up as he travels the globe for Smashbox Cosmetics by Jack Yan
From issue 21 of Lucire