May 17th, 2016
With only a few weeks left to book your slot on a unique evening of make-up mastery, Warpaint caught up with Lan Nguyen-Grealis and her A-lister make-up artist friends to get the lo-down on what to expect from the much anticipated Art of Makeup Seminar at the end of June.
WP: So Lan, what gave you the idea to put this seminar together?
LNG: I wanted to somehow reflect my book and bring it to life. I felt it was important for people to see and be able to learn how I created the looks and more importantly that it wasn’t retouched. Also, by inviting my guest make-up artists to join me we would be able show different aspects of make-up artistry and how it’s important to stay individual in order to succeed. I think the collaboration works in harmony and will be a very interesting story-telling event from all different aspects.
WP: What’s life been like since the release of your book?
LNG: The past few months have been super busy. It’s opened up so many doors which I didn’t really expect and has become a great business tool for me. Also I’m so happy to be able to reach so many people worldwide that I could have never done before.
WP: Can you tell us a little bit about what we will see from you at The Event?
LNG: I will be discussing the looks in detail and highlighting new trends but also the opportunities that led me to where I am today with lots of tricks and ways to make doing make-up a business. I hope to be able to inspire all those who attend and be able to help them on their journey in some way.
Lan will be joined by three amazingly talented make-up artists, First up Daniel Sandler, a true Brit of an artist, who we’ll be talking to in more depth next week, he’ll be bringing beautiful wearable make-up to the stage with a healthy amount of business acumen, as he now heads up his successful eponymous make-up line.
WP: Your make-up range has proved to be hugely popular, what do you think sets it apart from other collections?
DS: I think it’s probably due to the uniqueness of the formulas and modern, cool packaging. For example, my Watercolour liquid blush is the only liquid blush to come in an array of shades that are easy to use, blend easily and are long-wear. The iconic little bottle attracts both the pro and non-pro artist. Another product that stands apart from other brands is my Sculpt and Slim palette, as favoured by Lan. It’s completely fool-proof as the contour colour mimics a realistic, natural-looking shadow.
WP: What are you going to be covering in your seminar?
DS: I’m obsessed with cheeks and blush so I’ll be sharing my way of creating the most flattering cheekbones, but I’ll also be creating a modern smokey eye. I want to share how I create an air-brushed effect using great formulas and brushes for a soft-focus, glamorous finish. The session will be fully interactive and I am going to be welcoming the audience to ask their questions, regarding career advice or anything to do with make-up and setting up a brand that I may be able to provide an insight into. I’ll also be handing out mini Watercolour bottles to anyone who asks a question.
WP: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received about the make-up business, and who gave it to you?
DS: The best piece of advice came from Lesley Chivers, who at the time was the PR for Bourjois. It was she who advised me to start my own range. She really believed in me and persuaded me to take the leap. If it wasn’t for her I would not be where I am today.
Next up, Phyllis Cohen, an artist who knows a thing or two about make-up having been working at the top of the industry for decades. Originally studying fine art, and specialising in faces, it seemed a natural progression for her to take up make up. The creator of the intricate and fabulous Face Lace, Phyllis will also take to the stage at Lan’s event.
WP: What inspired you to create Face Lace?
PC: There were two sources of inspiration in the creation of Face Lace. The first was from the 80s, when I created a series of extreme Make-up looks for a 12 month long Miners Make-up Campaign and a few make-up fans wrote in to say they would love to recreate the Make-up designs on the ads, but felt it was impossible for their level of skill. I had trained and worked as an illustrator before starting to do make-up so I was a little OCD in relation to accurate make-up. When people complained that the make-up looks I created were unachievable for the average consumer, that stayed in my head for a long time, the creation of Face Lace fixed that.
The second was from a contemporary need to create make-up looks that were dramatic, precise, yet long lasting for quick change situations in live performances, film or photo shoots. Face Lace was the perfect answer.
WP: How do you continue to push and innovate and inspire yourself and do you have any advice for those who might be feeling a bit stagnant?
PC: I understand the fear of coming up with new designs, that can really be overwhelming. I start by looking at loads of images, in books, google searching and pinterest and just keeping my eyes open as I walk around, being very receptive to everything. When I hone in on a trend or area of decorative art that intrigues me I will focus more intently on that subject for my research. I usually do a few days of this, my desktop will be filled with dozens of chosen images, then I print them all up. Then, brain goes into sponge mode, I use it to soak up more and more references until it is so sodden with images and designs it has to leak back out. That is when I go to my drawing board and start putting pencil to paper. I expect that the best ideas won’t come for some time and I give myself loads of time to make mistakes. This is absolutely crucial, don’t expect to come up with the best idea quickly. So my advice would be, don’t be hard on yourself, expect that the first ideas will be duds but that this is an important part of the creative process. You have to get to the point where you don’t care and let your guard down, and just completely let yourself play. When you end up making mistakes and doing the unexpected that is when the magic happens.
WP: What will you be discussing in your seminar?
PC: I would like to discuss some of my research on faces and perceptual science that I explored while doing my Masters Degree in Fine Art. I have used this research in many lectures and have written editorial on the perceptions of beauty. I will show how I use it to help me design make-up looks for photo shoots and celebrity work. Then I will do a make-up demo using Face Lace.
The final artist needs no introduction, Ruby Hammer was probably one of the first super artists, a household name and co-founder of the ground-breaking Ruby & Millie brand. Ruby is a true make-up icon.
WP: How did you get your first big break in the make-up industry, and what advice do you have for students/assistants looking to establish themselves?
RH: My first big break came when I was asked to assist at London Fashion Week after I finished university, it was sheer chance. I had no idea what to expect but kept an open mind, kept alert as I knew it was an opportunity I had to pursue. I worked hard and must have done okay as the make-up artist asked for me to come back and I was with her for a year or so. My next huge break was from Karena Callen when she was at Elle Magazine as beauty director. I got to do a Readers’ Event and got my first beauty trip to St. Lucia, the first of many.
WP: What are three products which you would never be without?
RH: My brushes, my Bobbi Brown Professional Palette for skin and lips and a multi – purpose balm like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream.
WP: What will you be covering in your seminar?
RH: I’m under no illusion that I’m maybe not as creative or artistic as my fellow artists on the stage, but I want to stress how important it is to deliver on a brief: good prep; things that work as well as my personal journey in all the different fields I have been lucky enough to cover, from make-up artistry to my own brand, as well as TV, presenting, working for other brands, commercial entrepreneurship to name just a few.
Tickets are priced at £185 click here to purchase.