Red Carpet to Reality by Gregory AltFriday, January 31, 2014
Ok, I must admit: sometimes I get fascinated by Hollywood or celebrity makeup to the point that I wanted to cover my face with pigments and change it completely. The fact is that, while we can (and so we see Paulo Ballesteros amazingly copying Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey etc, changing structures of face through makeup - although of course we know that he's just doing this for fun) - we must not. Each beauty has its own unique feature and after all, even Hollywood or red-carpet look is all about enhancing a person's unique features. The same applies in reality.
Last week, I was so privileged to be invited by MAC Cosmetics to learn techniques and realise important things about makeup from Gregory Arlt, Director of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics.
Gregory has been with MAC for 20 years and a red carpet expert. He worked with some of the most famous faces in the world including Gwen Stefani, Liza Ninnelli, Dita Von Teese, Minnie Driver, Kim Cattrall, Katy Perry, Fran Drescher, Alicia Keys, Cher, Victoria Beckham, Mandy Moore, Cindy Crawford, Sienna Miller, Anne Heche and Mary J. Blige to name a few.
|Gregory Alt's work on Katy Perry|
He can be found backstage at the fashion collections in Milan, Paris, and New York designing makeup looks for Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, and Chloe among many more.
According to him, "I consider myself a beauty exorcist. Instead of piling makeup on he face, I bring out a woman's beauty, respecting her features, bone structure, colouring and most importantly, her personality.
Gregory started the seminar by mentioning red carpet trends (how Red, Orange and Plum lips are in) but also and more importantly, by defining what makeup for the Red Carpet is all about. By showing pictures of his works on actresses and personalities, he just showed how makeup is really about enhancing a woman's radiance. As I elaborated in my previous post, most makeup artists don't overdo it for the red carpet. It's always about synergy and compatibility.
Then the demo followed, showing step-by-step how everything supports his beauty philosophy. Here are some of m learnings:
1. Skin care is the most important. According to Gregory, he would always spend more time in preparing for skin, than adding pigments or correcting shapes. He stressed the importance of primer and adding back nutrients to skin before putting on colour cosmetics. In the demo, he applied primer plus additional skin care products as you can see below that really made the model's skin reflect a healthier and softer one.
|Bare-faced model, Ana|
I was so intrigued that I bought the MAC Marine Bright Formula Softening Lotion and Fix + (along with other repurchases) which he applied after primer and they're really working good as skin preparing products to achieve healthy-looking (and feeling) skin!
2. Base makeup should be treated like skin care. Always choose the right colour of foundation and concealer by swatching on your jaw line because that's where the separation usually happens (especially when using face whitening products). Blend by working downwards (follow the direction of facial hair) so they won't leave marks. Blend, blend, blend. And on concealing, choose warmer colours (like peach) to be able to hide purplish discolorations and dark under eyes.
BTW, MAC announced that the MAC Face & Body foundation will be launched finally in the Philippines!
3. Make it clean through proper application. Some of the techniques he demonstrated involved how you can perfect how you transfer products from pots and palettes to the face. One of the best things I learned/realized is applying eye makeup with eyes open. I've been doing this for years but it was only when he mentioned that the technique makes you perfect eye makeup, showing the natural lines and bones in the eye area so you know where to highlight/contour. And so you know the final effect, and get to compare.
Also, if you've been seeing my EOTD's, I always transfer a lot of the pigments from the brush to my cheeks and under eye area whenever I apply eye colour (and that usually involves a lot) and that's because I use both sides of the eye shadow brush - and when you come to think of it, the other side's product/pigments will just fall of when doing the strokes. He recommended using only one so it won't get messy when applying. And tap excess before touching skin.
4. Highlight, contour, use complementing shades and remember the focus. In the red carpet, the idea is to enhance and make the star glow. Whether day or night (but the latter requires more intense because of low light), use shimmering shadows that highlight the areas like the brow bone , inner corner of the eye and cheek bones. Use colours that are brightening but matching with tone - peach is a nice colour that stands out. And the same thing applies with lips - lip liners to contour, lip gloss to highlight the inner part. Colour cosmetics doesn't have to completely match the dress or accessories. The goal is to make her inner radiance come out, and make everything whole.
The final look is just natural, healthy-looking and glowing.
With the red gown, the colours on her face didn't steal so much attention and just showed the beautiful face and skin.
Clean make-up always looks amazing!
I definitely learned a lot and added more techniques to the make-up skills.Thank you MAC and Gregory for teaching us these essential steps in achieving not just red carpet looks but also how to achieve a natural-looking and glowing makeup that highlights a our unique features.