The following article was published in the Sunday Times on 22nd August 2006:
Forget Sienna Miller, forget Paris Hilton. These days, the real It girls are make-up artists. Just look at Charlotte Tilbury and Jemma Kidd. Tilbury, with her houses in Notting Hill and Ibiza, her celebrity-studded wedding (Kate Moss was one of the guests) and her nonstop working and partying schedule, and Kidd, with her own starry wedding (Anna Wintour was in attendance), make-up school and beauty range, have an aspirational appeal beyond the beauty pages.
While their lifestyles put them in the spotlight, however, they aren’t the only ones grabbing fashion headlines. There is a whole cluster of British make-up artists — among them Pat McGrath, Dick Page, Linda Cantello, Val Garland and Sharon Dowsett — who are pioneering new looks that women around the world want to copy. Never mind the cover girls — McGrath’s avant-garde work is on the front of American and Italian Vogue almost every month.
And new talent is constantly brushing, blending and painting its way onto the scene. Here, we profile six rising stars of the make-up world. They are already working with top photographers, directing fashion shows and winning high-profile campaigns. It’s surely only a matter of time before they’re on the other side of the lens.
About her: Leonard’s interest in make-up can be traced back to her glamorous Spanish mother, who would wear black mascara and red lipstick even when swimming. After training with the renowned make-up artist Shu Uemura in Japan, the 28-year-old now splits her time between London and New York, trawling flea markets in her spare time for art and photography books to inspire her.
Style Polished: “I love skin to look alabaster pale,” says Leonard. She is also particular about eyebrows (“I like a dark brow”), something she learnt from her experience in Japan. “They teach you to cut the brow — and that it forms the shape of your face.”
Influences Shu Uemura taught her to find inspiration in different things: “He once held a glass up to the light, to show how light affected the way its contents looked.”
Avoid blusher. This look should be anti-establishment, androgynous — PVC trousers, YSL heels, strong lips or great nails, but nothing on the cheeks.
About her Born and bred in Kensington, Graham now lives the cosy Notting Hill life with her film-producer boyfriend. With parents in the shoe trade, it’s no wonder she grew up with a discerning taste in footwear — only Christian Louboutin heels will do — so it’s a good job she’s already scoring campaigns for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Olay and Zandra Rhodes.
Style “Every job is different, so there are no specifics,” says Graham. She does, however, love to do a “sexy, smoky eye”, and cites this as her trademark. “I like girls to look sexy, be strong and have attitude.”
Influences “I’m inspired by cinematic references such as David Lynch’s strong women, and the rawness and fantasy of the video artists Matthew Barney and Bill Viola.” Also, fine art: “I did a shoot with Christoph Stieber for Tush magazine based on Toulouse-Lautrec’s women.”
About him At university, Gallimore was more interested in finding novel ways to decorate faces than the fine-art course he had enrolled on. Using just three face paints, in black, red and white (the only colours he wears), and random objects, he came up with bizarre takes on make-up. His unconventional approach has got him noticed by Sharon Dowsett and the photographer David Bailey, both of whom he has worked with.
Style “A lot of people tell me it’s polished and beautiful — never too raw or edgy,” he says. But there is also the occasional splash of unexpected colour, which gives away the Dowsett background.
Influences Dowsett taught him to break the rules: “The fact that you can put eye shadow on lips,” he says. He’s also inspired by the photographer Guy Bourdin and the painter Jenny Saville. “She makes me think differently, that maybe I could use a thin green to sculpt the cheek, rather than taupe.”
Give skin a snowy winter glow by applying bluish pink blusher. I love Guerlain Bubble Blush in Rose Chamallow (£20) just off the apples of the cheeks, where you would naturally flush. Then apply a cool, pink-hued highlighter along the top of the cheekbones.
About her Cornwell, 28, hails from Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, where she grew up fanatical about horses — she even had a few of her own. After studying make-up at the London College of Fashion, she spent eight years assisting the make-up maestros McGrath, Dowsett, Cantello and Mary Greenwell. Now, she’s being picked up by the photographers David Slijper, David Bailey and Rankin. She has worked on Vogue and avant-garde magazines such as Citizen K and Wonderland. “I was always raiding my mum’s make-up bag from an early age,” she says. She collects bags and shoes, as well as photography and art books.
Style The first thing you notice in the captivatingly beautiful pictures Cornwell has worked on is the models’ flawless, luminous skin: “If I only have 30 minutes, I’d rather spend 20 preparing the skin,” she says.
Influences Photographers such as Bailey, Richard Avedon, Terence Donovan and Barry Lategan. “They make girls look amazing, like women,” she says. “And Barbara Daly was one of the make-up artists who started it all.”
I’m currently using Chanel Teint Compact Crème Universel (£22.50) at every shoot — it gives skin a natural glow.Hannah Murray
About her With her good looks and perfect poise, Cheltenham girl Murray, 26, is often mistaken for a model. Formerly a professional ballerina, she turned to make-up when an ankle injury ended her dancing career and, after a two-year spell as Charlotte Tilbury’s assistant, has notched up campaigns for Armani Jeans and Aquascutum.
Style “I’m obsessed with beautiful skin. That’s where it all starts,” she says. “Sometimes I will do fresh, clean skin, then use a bold, thick, matt lip colour, so there’s a contrasting texture. It has to look simple but bold, in a beautiful way.”
Influences The fashion-photography double act Mert and Marcus: “It’s that kind of woman they love — she’s always glossy and strong.” Also, make-up artists with a strong style, including McGrath, Cantello and Tilbury, and the stylist Katie Grand, with whom Murray often works.
“I love the youthfulness of a brushed brow, like Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby. Brush brows upwards with clear mascara and don’t overpluck.”
About him When he moved to England from his native Thailand at 18, Makky developed a love of fish and chips and apple crumble. He intended to join his father’s construction company after studying interior design, but his passion for make-up, inspired by his “mother’s way with an eyebrow pencil”, proved irresistible. He now works for several editions of Vogue and with photographers such as Peter Lindberg.
Style Understated, but with impact. “Girls glow after he’s worked on them,’” says the photographer Liz Collins. Much of his work has a monochrome, sculpted feel, to itwith an occasional accent of colour. a perfectly painted, yet soft red lip or a swatch of colour on the eyes.
Influences: “Old Vogues, 1970s and 1980s photography books and the 1960s make-up artist Way Bandy. “I like ageless beauty. Pat McGrath inspires with her graphic edge, and Kevin Aucoin for his glamour.’”
This season’s red lips have to be matte. Apply Mac Crimson Lip Mix (£7) to the back of your hand, and transfer it to lips with a rounded brush.