And just like that, exams are done and dusted. My uncomfortable web silence is no longer. Brace yourselves. It has taken me all of 24 hours to happily block out the mental trauma of the past two weeks, and although my body and digestive system have another two weeks to go (it’s amazing how much you shut down after sitting still at a desk for extended periods of time), you have a greater proportion of my attention until next Semester rolls around.
In my mad scramble back into civilisation, there are few things more satisfying than what can only be described as the swoosh of emails flying out of your Outbox, and gleefully crossing out scrap paper to-dos with the largest black marker in sight. Painting over this story I shot almost a month ago has been sitting at the top of my list for just as long – and to date, it is likely the editorial that has ended up closest to what I had envisaged prior to shooting.
I know far more about skincare and fragrance-fiending than I do about painting my face – I will admit that I can barely get my winged eyeliner equal on both sides (indeed, I spent most of my intensive ballet years disguising the fact with Ariana Grande eyelashes). Perhaps, that is the basis for my fascination with artistic make-up, in the same way that my appreciation for everyday styling finds a distant relative in couture and costume design. On a more conceptual editorial front, I want to explore the transformative quality of beauty as mastered by the likes of Pat McGrath, and if he doesn’t mind me saying so, Chris King. And, on the first of several projects she and I have since worked on together, Nicola Johnson.
This woman knows a thing or two about working at a step above mere enhancement of existing facial features. I wasn’t prepared with any real reference images – just grand sweeping hand gestures around about my head, and laughable buzzwords like wet look and subtle drama. And she got it. Even where what what have been a moodboard for this editorial stemmed from the same vein as my layered art studio paint mess with Amy Finlayson, the outcome here turned on a less documentary note, without losing too much of Dior’s fantastical couture roots in its realism.
Not unlike my sentiments over Amy’s story, it’s times like this where I preach to less is more. We rolled these looks out over a half day, just the two of us and my trusty self-timer in the back-half of a beautifully bare bones studio while producers pressed fashion bloggers for the juicier details of life but ten metres away.
Indeed, they were likely more confused at my pitter-patter dashing back and forth between the tripod, the reflector, the window, and Nicola’s expert webbing of my hair about my face – as are most people when they happen upon me self-shooting dangerously close to their driveway. But hopefully, the finished results are well worth asking that I crash around more quietly.
As I’m no make-up expert by any means, here are Nicola’s best tips for the above looks she put together:
Look 1 – SKIN: Diorskin Glow Maximiser, Star Foundation, Star Concealer, Skin flash radiance booster pen. CONTOUR: Diorskin Nude Tan Matte. EYES: Diorshow Fusion Mono Longwear Eyeshadow 661 Meteore. LIPS: Rouge Dior 169 Grege Lipstick.
Look 2 – GRAPHIC EYELINER: DIOR Waterproof Eyeliner 094 Noir with Trinidad and Diormono Eyeshadow IT-Black 087 pressed over the top with an angled brush.
Look 3 – CONTOUR: Diorskin Nude Shimmer 002. HIGHLIGHT: Diorific Golden Shock 001. GRAPHIC BROW: DiorShow Waterproof Liner Mint 468.
Look 4 – LIPS: DIOR Lipliner Pencil Thrilling Plum 943, Rouge Dior Mauve Mystere 786.
Available at DIOR Perfume & Beauty Boutique at Westfield Bondi Junction (02) 9387 8866
Wearing DIOR Double-Breasted Sleeveless Wool Jacket, Cashmere Coat, Silk Dress and Embroidered Wool Quilted Crepe Dress throughout. Available at DIOR Boutique at 65 Castlereagh Street, Sydney (02) 9229 4600