Friday Post: Three Takes On Naked

Whoa there, I mean make-up, ‘kay? The naked face. As in nude lipstick, beige eyeshadow, barely-there foundation. Sheesh, I do one tiny post about getting your kit off way back in November and suddenly I’m Linda Lovelace? Not a day goes by without someone reaching Something Purty through search engine terms like ‘black silky thong’, ‘décolleté sexy’ and (my personal favourite) ‘a girl gets slowly slowly naked’ – classy, no? Anyway, now I’ve got that off my chest (whoops, there go my stats all over again) can we get down to some cerebral catwalk analysis or summat?

The Directional Nude…

Alexander Wang

‘I’m so back into neutrals at the moment,’ says Terry Barber, Director Of Make-Up Artistry for MAC Cosmetics. ‘There’s a great strength in the this look – it’s a way to make a statement without using graphics or colour, and has a sensuality that’s not overtly sexy. It’s more of a mood than a make-up, really – contemporary, nuanced and unconventional. Nothing too tricky, just a beautiful face with props and soul’.

To knock the traditional nude look a little off kilter, Terry recommends shades with a hint of grey, olive or rust – what he calls a dirty Marni or Prada palette. ‘Try a simple putty or tobacco stain around the eye – a blown-out shape blended up and out, worn with no mascara, brows combed upwards for a fuller look and a flesh-coloured pencil inside the eye. Or make a statement out of high moisture – scrubbed and dewy skin with appropriately-placed highlights for a 3-D effect (try MAC Cream Colour Base in Shell, £13.50) and a couple of coats of nude lipstick applied with a finger.’

The Expensive Nude…

Stella McCartney

‘Buffed and balmy’ are spring watchwords for Sharon Dowsett, Make-Up Director for Maybelline New York. ‘There was a lot of expensive-looking skin at the shows, with the kind of make-up you don’t notice yet you’d miss if it suddenly wasn’t there.’ The underpinnings of the look, she says, are gleaming textures (gloss, balms, creams – anything but powder), a palette of sheer shades (from biscuit to chocolate and back again) and a lot of skillful brushwork. ‘Skin should look polished, sheer and creamy – like velvet you can see through. Once the first layer of foundation is on I contour and sculpt with a darker shade, using a fan-shaped brush to get underneath the cheekbones and buff the colour into the skin. I mix eyeshadow with Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (£23.49) – it will crease so it’s a high maintenance look but the transparent effect is so worth it (dabbing it on brows and cheekbones makes your bone structure pop, too). Mascara should look shiny – Maybelline Great Lash (£5.19) stays glossy forever. And for lips, a pinky-brown shade is this season’s nude – beige is great in the tube but you need a bit of colour for real life.’

The Pretty Nude…

Michael Kors

Dick Page, Artistic Director of Shiseido Cosmetics fights the corner for doing the ‘flushed and fresh’ thing. ‘I’ll often do next to nothing, a little cream blush or lipstick on the cheeks, lip balm maybe, but my ‘bare’ face isn’t a tone-on-tone one – I usually find it renders the models lifeless and drab-looking.  Of course, as far as the shows go I’m in the service of the designer so if that’s the direction I’ll do my best but I will try to sneak in a bit of blusher or some rose in the lips!’ – try Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Colour (£31), as seen at Michael Kors S/S11. ‘I like nude shades in combination with other colours – as highlights or structural elements but dosed with soft red, pink or coral to give a little more life to the look’.

So what’s in Dick’s dream get-nekkid face painting kit? ‘A creamy highlight the same colour as your skin, a brown/grey pencil to add a little ‘murk’ and definition around the eyes and a warmish brown-red lipstick that can double up as blusher.  Not entirely ‘nude’ shades, but beautiful and easy.’ And his favourite bare face of all time? ‘After a nice long day at the beach or having had great sex’.

Black silky thong, anyone? I’m Linda Lovelace, you’ve been great, see you on Monday.

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