How To – Nude Lips

Oh how I love me some beige – lipstick that is. And it was all over the runways again this season, although most makeup artists used concealer and lip balm to create the perfect nude lip. kgpz9iwmn8

Great! I hear you say. I have concealer. I have lip balm. I can rock this beige lipstick look.

But I have to warn you, there are some questions you have to answer first:

  1. Are you 8 feet tall with legs up to your armpits?
  2. Were you born in Lithuania, Latvia or Russia?
  3. Is your name Svetlana?
  4. Did you stalk the runway for Balenciaga?

No? Well then you are not a model and clearly need to work a little bit harder to get a beige lip that looks gorgeous and not like Wednesday Addams.

If you have a lot of pigmentation in your lips, then you are a good candidate for the concealer, or MAC’s genius concealer lip balm (they really do think of everything, those people!) Lip Erase in Dim or Pale. Again don’t go nuts, a touch is enough. For everyone else, go straight to the lipstick.

Now here comes the tricky part – getting the right beige for your skintone. The secret is to make sure it doesn’t match your skin too closely, because then your lips just disappear into your face and you look like a honeydew melon with eyes – I give you Exhibit A, Antonia Kidman.

You want something with a slight peach or pink effect to it, and as much as I would love to be able to offer you the perfect nude for everyone, this one is one of those trial and error jobs. So get thee to a makeup counter!

Good ones to try:

  • NARS Honolulu Honey, Belle de Jour and Blonde Venus
  • Laura Mercier in Discretion
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle
  • YSL Rouge Volupte in no. 2 Sensual Silk and no. 3 Ultimate Beige
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in Birthday Suit
  • Christian Dior Hi-Shine Addict Lipstick in Nude Silhouette 214 and Casual Beige 222
  • MAC in Myth, Freckletone and Jubilee

Adding a clear or nude colored gloss can help cut the cadaver effect also.

Glosses I like:

  • Dior – Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Linen Beige 317
  • NARS – Chihuaha, Turkish Delight, Chealsea Girls
  • Laura Mercier – Champagne GlaceWe’re looking to do this

Chalize Theron Nude Lips

Kay Montano – The Interview

Kate Moss's iconic Calvin Klein ad
Kate Moss's iconic Calvin Klein ad

When your first job was a Face cover with Ray Petri, legendary creator of the Buffalo style, and you’re only 16 and you’ve never done a makeup job before, well where do you go from there? That’s easy, by the age of 18 you’ve racked up your first British Vogue cover and shows for John Galliano and Jasper Conran (and in those days, there were no assistants – just 15 models needing makeup, and you!) Then you’re doing Kate Moss for the iconic Calvin Klein Obsession ads, after moving to New York for the birth of grunge. You stay there for eight years, working for every major publication, fashion house and photographer, including Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchalier and Helmut Newton.

At the same time you start working with the world’s biggest celebrities, preparing them for red-carpet events and magazine features, including Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman. Moving back to London you become the new consultant to Chanel and combine your red carpet work with Kylie Minogue, Thandie Newton, Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth Paltrow with major campaigns for Chanel and continuing to shoot for British, French and Italian Vogue.

Sound like a crazy dream? Well if you’re Kay Montano, that’s your life. Twenty five years of experience as a makeup artist has made Kay one of the most revered members of the industry, and today we’ve got an interview with her.

1. Favourite makeup job ever?

Toss up between American Vogue in Vietnam with Kate Moss and Bruce Weber, a Prince video (also had the divine Argentinean actress Mia Maestro whose eyes I covered in purple as an homage to Prince) and the two Calvin Klein ads  (Kate Moss in Virgin Islands, Amber Valetta in Panama) I did on paradisiacal beaches.

2. Worst makeup job ever?

Let’s just say there are a lot of people in fashion who need to do a lot of work on themselves, who are not given boundaries because others benefit too much from overlooking their dysfunction.

Daria, Kate Moss and Lara Stone by Bruce Weber
Daria, Kate Moss and Lara Stone by Bruce Weber

3. Top 5 products?

Chanel Vitalumiere foundation, Chanel eye pencil in Ambre, Bobbi Brown Black Gel Eyeliner, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, M Lab moisturiser.

4. If you could tell women to do one thing differently with their makeup, what would it be?

Stop over-plucking your eyebrows, you look really weird. Strictly makeup only? Experiment & have fun for chrissakes!

5. How did you get started in the business?

Via clubbing and meeting pop stars.

6. How is fashion different to when you started out?

It is totally mainstream with none of the sophisticated sub-culture that I was fortunate enough to grow up marinating in. It is also completely cross-referenced now. Before, there were always VERY distinct tribes with distinct differences.

7. Which work are you most proud of?

Strangely, seeing as I’ve done a lot of prestigious and edgy editorial, it’s actually the most classically beautiful work like the covers and my red carpet work as this is where skill, effort and experience come into play and where I feel I can make the biggest difference, the biggest impact.

8. What do you love doing in your spare time?

I love to practice yoga, walk in the park, go to my local and spend time with my new puppy Quincy Jones.

Is there anything else that you’d like to talk about?

I want to bring back subculture and not have everyone feel ‘style-ruled’ by the fashion press. Ignore us! Do your own thing & dance to your own drum.

Paris or Perez? Nail Polish

If you’re minted (like Paris) or just need a cheap guilty little pleasure (like Perez), this section covers both ends of the shopping spectrum.

 For this week’s lovely luxury versus cheap and cheerful, I have commandeered the talents (and knowledge) of major manicurist Sophy Robson who has tended the talons of Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue, not to mention all the biggest models in the world in her editorial career which can be found in the pages of W and French Vogue.

 Pop BeautyIn the quick treat cheap corner, she’s crazy about Revlon nail polishes which have great colours (Sophy is particularly loving the new peach color, Mad About Mango, for summer), last beautifully and don’t cost the earth. When she’s feeling like busting out a fluoro or other seasonal trend color, it’s Pop Beauty for mad colors that cost £6. And let’s face it, when nail trends seem to change quicker than Grazia’s cover star, who wants to fork out £15 for a color you’re going to use twice?

YSL Nail Polishes

Good staying power and even better disposability make this your sweet budget treat.

 If you’re feeling flush Sophy thinks you can’t go past the Rolls Royce of nailpolishes,YSL La Laque, the ultimate in nail luxury. Sumptuous packaging, gorgeous colors and now the expertise of new Yves Saint Laurent Beauté creative director, Val Garland – how can you go wrong? They do fabulous reds, perfect pinks and nudes and the ultimate color for the season, Tuxedo Grey, which for some reason is looking totally right in the sunlight.


 PS For all our American readers, apparently Pop Beauty Nailpolish is available at CVS Drugstores.