Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Meetings with maestros


I went to a party last night and was introduced to a woman,who, I was told, was a make-up artist. This turned out to be akin to being told, this is Saul Bellow, he's a novelist, or this is Christian Dior, he's a dress designer, or this is Nelson Mandela, he's a politician. For Mary Greenwell is not a make-up artist, she is the make-up artist, whose celebrity clients include Uma Thurman, Cate Blanchet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightly, Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen.

She began her career in Paris in the 80s working with Christy Turlington, Stephanie Seymour, Tatiana Patitz, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford. By 1985 she was working for all five Vogues on a weekly basis and created the no make-up look we all work so hard to achieve. Today she runs a course where for £1000 you will be taught how to do your own make-up but last night she was tired and wanted to sit down, so in exchange for keeping her company on the sofa instead of making bright chit-chat standing on my high heels, I received a half hour ruthless re-appraisal of my make-up, writing down the new rules and products on the back of the invitation while balancing a glass of champagne on my knee.

Look, where make-up is concerned I genuinely thought I was at the top of my game. She shockingly told me that there are women who won't wear foundation because it is 'dishonest' ie it covers flaws. Yes? You don't want your flaws concealed? But it seems I was using the wrong type of foundation, the wrong shade of blush, an insufficiently volumising mascara, was applying my lipstick wrongly on the lower lip. She took out her make-up bag and redid me. Then she jabbed at three or four points on my face around the jaw and upper lip and told me what Botox would do and gave me the number of her botox man. The idea lurks in a corner of my mind like a little curled up kitten, sleeping.

Meanwhile I am off to buy several new products, chief of which will be Chanel lipstick in Silhouette and Chanel's Teint innocence in cream to powder formula instead of the liquid I'm using right now.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am wearing Teint Innocence Cream to powder right now and very good it is too! Esp. on top of Diorskin Icone primer....I think I read Mary herself recommend it in the Times or somewhere and how right she is! Will look at Silhouette lipstick....but will not have Botox even when I am a PRUNE!

Marlène said...

I find the cream powders by Chanel slightly too chalky for my skin and their Vitalumière slightly too glowy. However, the comfort of these products on your skin is unbeatable as are their pigments. I find that Vitalumière as a base with Clarin's Shine Stopper translucent powder on top is the perfect combination for an even, non-shiny, non-chalky finish. Having used Chanel make-up products almost to the exclusion of all other brands for many years, I am surprised to find myself so pleased with another brand's product.

Linda Grant said...

Marlene

after staying with you in the summer I bought the Vitalumiere on your recommendation but it doesn't work for my skin at all. I asked at the Chanel counter at Pter Jones on Monday and she said she thought it was for drier skin than my own. Mary pointed out I had too much shine and that the cream to powder would work better for me.

Janeyboo said...

On the subject of the proliferation of makeup and difficulties in finding what really suits you - I've just read The Handbag Beauty Bible, by Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey. Published by Kyle Cathie, it's a brilliant guide to over 1000 products, all tested by ordinary women with the top 3 in each category. It covers everything from eyebrow pencils to makeup primers.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* Linda, will you take me to one of these parties; please, pretty please? Phyllis

La Belette Rouge said...

You are a lucky, lucky woman! If I were you, I would be off to the Chanel counter buying everything she suggested and then making an appt. with her Botox man.
Botox done by the right person can be fabulous.

Ms Baroque said...

Oh my God. Well, I know I'm not at the top of my make-up game, or maybe it's just my skin not looking like it used to. I'm still detoxing from being ill earlier in the year. But I'm also prone to shine, and the balance between shiny and dried-out seems hard to strike. What an opportunity. I'd have balanced three glasses of champagne on my knee.

Deja Pseu said...

I'd given up on foundation in recent months, couldn't find one that wasn't either too shiny/waxy looking or too powdery. Lately I've just been using T. LeClerk pressed powder on my nose and chin, but it doesn't last as long. May have to give that Chanel a try.

Toby Wollin said...

You know, I have always wished to end up sitting on a couch(with or without balancing a glass of champagne on my knee) and having someone knowledgeable help me out in the makeup end of things, but it just never happens to me. I end up sitting on the couch with people who want to show me pictures of their grandchildren, or their new boat or something useful like that. Sigh.
I ran through a rather nasty spot of rosacea over the summer and was told by my dermatologist (in her office, not on a couch at a party)to not wear anything. Which, given my rather pale skin, I ignored. It all worked out - she had me taking antibiotics and smearing this lotion on my skin with a horrific sulphurous smell. When my skin stopped being red, I happily gave up both. I'm still trying to just find a moiturizer that works in the winter time though; it's only a couple of weeks since we've turned on the heat and my lips are already cracking.

Paulius said...

very nice and beautifull woman,nice to work in her birthday:)