LISA ELDRIDGE THE FACE PAINT GURU

What do Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Elle McPherson, Amber Valetta, Alexa Chung, Doutzen Kroes, Kim Kardashian West, and so many other celebrities, all have in common?

Lisa Eldridge is the makeup artist of women we love and admire. She is also Lancôme’s Global Creative Director and has just launched her book, “Face Paint. The Story of Makeup.”  I have never met her before but having read more than 60.000 words of her tips and knowledge, I can now see why Lisa Eldridge is considered to be a cutting-edge expert.  A beauty guru. The Mona Lisa of the fashion and beauty world.

FAST FACTS
When she was a student, she worked at the Harrods’ Lancôme.
Today, she has over a million followers on YouTube. Her secret? She offers advice as a trusted friend, keeping her passion, enthusiasm, and honesty.
She lives in London.

On a break from working with top fashion photographers, like Paolo Roversi and Mert and Marcus, Lisa Eldridge reveals to the CODE magazine her beauty secrets, her motto, her biggest flaw, her dream dinner guests and much more…

Interview with Lisa Eldridge // Face Paint: The Art of Makeup

“I have a totally emotional relationship with colour, especially when it comes to lipsticks as that’s the first thing that grabs your attention”

What does makeup represent for you?
It’s a wonderful kind of ritual, passed down through the generations. Every woman can remember a lipstick worn by her grandmother or a makeup tip shared by her mother.

How do you see your work as a makeup artist?
Working as a professional make-up artist means being, literally, face to face with another person all the time! So, it’s essential to quickly get an idea of their mood and adapt your approach to suit. My profession involves constantly working and exchanging with another person, so I am always listening. For example, if I am working with an actress for the first time, I talk to her about what she likes and what suits her. She knows her face better than I do! 
How do you approach makeup?
I’m like a master craftsperson observing a piece of wood. There are two options: you can mask its imperfections with a lick of paint, or polish and shine up the wood to bring out the full wealth of its tones. I am really passionate about skin, its appearance, tones and texture, so I’m not such a fan of the complete camouflage approach. I’m more about bringing out the skin’s natural assets.
What is your relationship with colour?
I have a totally emotional relationship with colour, especially when it comes to lipsticks as that’s the first thing that grabs your attention. I often tell women who ask me how to choose a shade, to, first of all, listen to their emotions. There has to be a reason why one colour tempts them more than another. Then you apply it and observe the overall effect. Does this lipstick bring radiance and energy to the face, or does it bring it down?
Today, you have over a million followers on YouTube and 2.5 million monthly visitors to your site, Lisaeldridge.com. Each video receives over 1,500 comments. How do you explain this success?
I think it might be because I don’t take an authoritarian approach to makeup. For me, it’s quite unappealing to try to impose a colour or style on a person or to think in terms of generations.
Why did you start to create and present makeup tutorials?
I wanted my website to be a destination which showed the reality of make-up, not just my creations on glossy paper. Because I have the same problems as every other woman: I have good skin days and bad skin days. I get blemishes, look tired and puffy. As a makeup artist, I know exactly what to do and can fix all these problems convincingly with makeup and this is something I wanted to pass on to other women.. Using a pre-made-up model would not have given the sessions the same authenticity. And, from a technical point of view, you learn and understand the techniques much better when they are performed by someone holding the brush and applying their own make-up.

What would you say is the best makeup investment?
A very good foundation in perfect harmony with your colouring which you can use on any occasion. A bad choice of foundation will do a lot more harm than a mediocre quality lipstick!

LISA’S BEAUTY SECRETS

  • It’s ok to make mistakes: It doesn’t matter if you experiment with your makeup and eventually realise that something simply doesn’t work. You take it off and move onto something else. Or, you improvise: a missed eyeliner stroke can instantly be blended into a smoky look.
  • Think overall effect, not perfection: Nobody is going to examine your eyeliner under a microscope, so the odd mishap won’t spoil your result. If you think everything has to be perfect, you’re at risk of giving up before you even get started!
  • How to achieve a 5-minute makeup look: There’s no universal solution because it all depends on the strong and weak points of the face. If your skin isn’t looking great, spend 4 minutes on your complexion and one applying a hint of mascara and lipstick. If you have perfect skin but small eyes, concentrate on them. Basically, it’s a question of managing your time to minimise flaws and highlight your best points.

CREDITS

Photos:
Courtesy of Lancome