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Posts tagged vogue italia

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People of the Sun; Bronzed and Beautiful Hall of Fame!

I’m not going to lie, the Sun is a-shining outside and as much as I love writing these posts, I want to be out there feeling the warmth on my skin, not sat inside on the laptop.  As I’m sure do you so if you’re inside reading this, GET OUT THERE!!  Just don’t forget the sun protection, thankyou please.

What is it about the sunshine that just makes everyone so beautiful?  Walking home late last night on the warm streets, there were groups of people just hanging out in the balmy evening air, girls in pretty dresses, guys with their shirts thrown over their shoulders.  I felt like I was in Spanish Harlem or something.  HOT.  All that was missing was someone busting open a fire hydrant on some street corner.

I have to say I do love my skin looking bronzed, but I keep it protected these days, if you’re not a fan of your own lily white flesh, get that SPF on and see my St Tropez post for tips on beautiful bronzed flesh.  But it’s not just the tans that looks great, the skin gets this sexy, glowing warmth to it that’s just missing through those long grey days of winter.

Have you ever found that when you get off the plane in a hot country, do the toilet run to freshen up before your bags come in (just me?), you look in the mirror and nothing’s really changed but you just look… better?  It’s that warm weather glow people, I’m telling you, there’s nothing like it.  And if the sun doesn’t have his hat on where you are, there’s always the next best thing, creating it. Glycerin spray, gloss, bronzing powders, and entire bottle of N9 Face and Body… This post is an ode to the work of makeup artists channeling sunshine through their fingertips.

"Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter, 

Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here, 

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun 

And I say

It’s all right…”


Filed under makeup makeup artist lucy gibson sun sunshine suntan tanning fake tan self tan bronzer face and body gucci lady gaga sophia loren isabeli fontana vogue vogue italia harlem spanish harlem new york the beatles here come the sun daphne groeneveld sasha pivovarova armani armani cosmetics abbey lee abbey lee kershaw gisele

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Makeup Artists, Hall of Fame!

I’m really relishing the thought of getting the chance to spill the beans about some of my favourite makeup artists over time, maybe introduce you to the work of some you’ve not seen before, and for purely selfish reasons, to get the time to look back over their work and find inspiration all over again! The temptation is to talk about the more obscure artists, or certainly those that aren’t the MVPs, or perhaps newer artists, to keep things interesting.  

Truthfully though, that would seem to be a case of cutting off my nose to spite my face, as the fact is that while there are a plethora of incredible, inspiring makeup artists at the top of their game right now, one woman always stands out as THE makeup artist. The Queen Bee if you will. And that lady is of course, Miss Pat McGrath.

To 99.999% of society, uttering the name of Pat McGrath would result in a stream of blank faces, and oh what a poor, unenlightened bunch they would be, because to makeup artists, this woman is kind of like our Elvis.  Basically a bit of a legend.  I don’t get starstruck these days when working with celebs, and friends will vouch for the fact that I’m rarely tongue tied, but when I saw Miss McGrath quietly having a mooch around Selfridges beauty hall a few years ago, I was struck by the need to rush up and gush at her like a crazed fan, coupled with a total inability to think of anything to say.  I turned into a total fan girl.  And for that reason alone she has to be be the subject of my first Ode to a Makeup Artist.  Vogue didn’t call her “The most influential makeup artist in the world” for nuthin’.

Originally from the more than slightly unglamorous no man’s land of Northampton, like many other great makeup artists McGrath had no formal training, although she did study basic Art Foundation upon leaving school.  It seems the makeup academies and courses that are so prevalent these days are a modern monster, they didn’t much exist at all a decade ago, and as such most of the makeup artists I hold in great esteem never trained in any official fashion.  Becoming a makeup artist was merely an extension of their already thriving creativity.  Alex Box began as a fine artist, Kay Montano as a club kid, Kabuki as a fabric designer.  People like Pat are part of the reason I believe it’s passion and a love of the arts that make a true makeup artist, not the ability to write a thesis on the various layers of the epidermis, or afford the often astronomical fees.

Pat first came to prominence in the early 90s, working regularly with the then relatively unknown iD magazine, her use of colour, texture and her unique eye for undeniably cool beauty helped raise the magazine to prominence.  She still remains their beauty director to this day and hasn’t looked back since.

Pick your favourite Italian Vogue covers, or American Vogue editorials, big chance that was Pat McGrath.  Love that Steven Meisel shoot?  No doubt Pat McGrath.  Thought Rooney Mara looked like a beautiful badass in “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”?  that was Pat’s doing.  Using a product by Armani, SKII, Max Factor, D&G?  Designed by Pat McGrath.  Wearing an on trend makeup look?  Don’t be surprised if, even without your knowing it, like some sort of Derren Browne of beauty, it was inspired by Pat McGrath.  This is because Pat has, for the last Lord knows how many years, designed more runway looks than any other artist.  She has a crack team of assistants, racing with her around roughly thirty five shows per fashion week, with 2 vans FULL of makeup, tools and references.  Rumour has it her kit consists of roughly 50 hold-alls and suitcases (my heart is all a flutter).  The makeup artist Kenneth Soh, part of Pat’s team, used to regale me with tales of the looks they had created that season, and I absolutely relished hearing about the different products and techniques that had gone into creating each look.

From the decadent, surreal creatures she created for Galliano at Dior, to the understated, polished healthy glow of Stella McCartney, each season Pat creates the looks, that filter through to become the makeup trends, that are sold in the shops and are then worn on the faces of girls in your street.  The prevalence of bleached brows on the braver fashionistas in recent years?  You can thank Pat for that.  And the fact that the red lip, after so, so many years, still remains a classic symbol of glamour and sensuality, season after season?  Don’t be surprised if Pat has something to do with it.

So there you have it, a frankly far too short and not remotely gush-worthy enough profile of my ultimate makeup heroine.  Thankfully it seems Pat shows no sign of putting down her makeup brushes (or fingers, she loves to apply with those fingers!)  any time soon, so we’ll get to enjoy her neverending, always changing creativity for years yet.  And now I’ll leave you to drool over a selection of some of my favourite McGrath creations of recent years.

What a ledge.


Vogue Italia - Nov 09

- Vogue Italia - November 2009 -

Dior - ss09

- Dior - Spring/Summer 2009 -

D&G fw09

- Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics - Autumn/Winter 2009 -

Dior aw08

- Dior - Autumn/Winter 2008 -

Vogue Germany 2010

-Vogue Germany - March 2011 -

Prada Fragrance

- Prada Fragrance - Fall/Winter 2009 -

Gucci aw11

- Gucci - Autumn/Winter 2011 -

Vogue Italia May 2009

- Vogue Italia - May 2009 -

dior haute ss04

- Dior Haute Couture - Spring/Summer 04 -

- V Magazine - July 2009 -


- Louis Vuitton - Spring Summer 2011 -


Filed under makeup makeup artists Lucy Gibson Warpaint pat mcgrath kabuki alex box kay montano max factor sk2 skII sk-II d&g Dolce and gabbana armani vogue italia vogue dior john galliano stella mccartney kay montano id id magazine steven meisel rooney mara girl with the dragon tattoo kenneth soh fashion week fashion week makeup prada