August 10th, 2016
Lauren Parsons is an exciting artist to watch. Having already booked the hot new Calvin Klein adverts, numerous magazine covers and fashion shows, we knew that her twist on classic make-up would be a signature we will see a lot in the coming years. We spoke to her about what to expect for A/W16, her inspirations and her irreplaceable stash of products.
WP: How did musical theatre shape your love and appreciation of make-up?
LP: I would say the love of make-up came from my mom – even now, I don’t think I could ever love make-up as much as she does. She’s obsessed with beauty! Musical theatre certainly gave me an appreciation for the craft though, we did our own character make-ups, and whilst I was still at school my drama teacher put me forward for a nationwide Grimas make-up competition. I can’t quite remember where I placed (I didn’t win, clearly!) but I do remember thinking ‘I quite like this’.
WP: Were you formally trained? If so, where?
LP: I went to the Glauca Rossi School of Make-up. I found the whole thing such an invaluable experience. I would recommend the course to anyone who wants to be a fashion make-up artist. I also met the person I then became First Assistant to there, Hannah Murray [Topshop Beauty’s Consultant].
WP: What excites you about make-up/the industry?
LP: I can genuinely say I feel so lucky to be a make-up artist in the fashion industry, I LOVE my job. Learning how to properly apply make-up on myself was a game-changer for me; the little things you can do to yourself that are unnoticeable to others but make you look like the best version of yourself is incredible. Make-up is such a powerful tool. What I love about the industry is the variety day to day; the amazing things I see, the brilliant people I work with, the places I visit on trips… Learning everything I can about my profession excites me too – new products, researching, finding new techniques, being inspired… It never stops.
WP: You’ve worked in fashion a lot, covering runway, editorial and adverts. Do you have a favourite medium for make-up?
LP: Not really, I like them all. I’m most at home on set doing editorial and adverts, I’m a very hands-on make-up artist, so I love that if you can see that adding something would make a shot you can jump in and do it. That’s something you could never do with film or [fashion] shows. I’m not a stress-y, shout-y person so I can enjoy the pressure of a show; with a great team behind you, how it all comes together in the midst of chaos is always exciting. Girls can turn up minutes before the show, everyone needs to do their jobs, you’re in a tiny space with backstage photographers everywhere… Actually, thinking about all that, maybe shoots are my favourite!
WP: Is there a look or style that you say you’re particularly known for?
LP: I’d say I’m well known for the skin I do. I’m almost fanatical about flawless skin because with the perfect base any make-up will look great. The Instagram inch-thick, multiple foundations base which seems to be the current favourite look is not my vibe at all. My signature style is “the hot face”. When I do make-up I want to make the person sat in front of me look like the girl that all girls want to be and every guy wants to be with, just intrinsically beautiful.
WP: If your kit got lost in transit, what would be the first products you would re-purchase which you can always rely on?
LP: I’d get MAC Face & Body foundations, Laura Mercier concealers, Garnier micellar water, Clinique chubby sticks, Nuxe lip balm… To be honest, most of my favourite products are things you can no longer buy, they’ve long been discontinued so it would be catastrophic. I’d be looking for a new style ASAP!
WP: What are your thoughts on the rise of social media and how MUAs can use or abuse it?
LP: I totally get social media from a brand perspective, and from a reference point it’s great. I’ve also found out about new products from people posting pictures of them, which is only a good thing. But, on the flipside, MUA’s can just post pictures of anything they’ve been sent rather than things they genuinely love… I’m also a little wary of the reality of some pictures after my friend showed me Facetune the other day and the lengths that someone will go to retouch a spur-of-the-moment image is crazy. I’m very old school, I was taught by Glauca [Rossi] to do make-up as if there was no retouching so that you’re the very best at your job; thankfully, finding your best angle on Instagram will never usurp talent but it could be a problem for the next generation of make-up artists who want fast results without the hard work. But then hey, I might be out of a job because someone with 500K followers can sell a mascara better than me. Who knows what the future holds?
WP: What’s at the top of your dream ‘to do’ list? Are there any particular artists/brands/photographers etc which you’d like to work with?
LP: I’ve ticked a few off the ‘dream list’ this year, working with David Sims and Joe McKenna quite a lot recently has been a make-up dream. You could work with them every day and still do something different which is amazing. I’d love to work with Missy Elliott, Lea Seydoux, Meryl Streep, Kristen Stewart, Joshua Jackson… There’s lots of people actually. In my dreams, I’d love to spend time with the artist Peter Doig, I think his colour palette, touch and work is just incredible!
WP: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received and who gave it to you?
LP: I’ve always been surrounded by kind, interesting and wise people who give out very sage advice but one thing I will always remember is something from when I was younger. My Dad once wrote in a birthday card to me that ‘it’s been great watching you suck the marrow out of life, long may it continue!’ Sounds a bit strange but I’ve always loved life – you should always live life to the fullest, experience everything you possibly can and just hold on tight and enjoy the ride!
WP: Looking ahead to A/W, what it the biggest trend that we’ll be seeing?
LP: MAKE-UP! I did more make-up last season than I’ve ever done. The rawer beauty we’ve seen over the past year is still there but the hot, strong, fully made up woman looks like she’s here to stay for a while. Mega!