Friday, February 12, 2010
Fab Finds Friday: Would You Let This Man Touch Your Face?
Yesterday a makeup artist for Giorgio Armani (GM) came to Little Rock (finally! good product!) for a day to demonstrate the spring line. Keith Cavaleri (hereafter referred to as Cutie-Pie -- or CP for short), is based in LA, and has worked for GM five years, working NY fashion week and for Hollywood stars. In short, he knows his stuff.
My appointment yesterday was for 11:40 a.m. When I got to the department store, right on time, there was a black leather couch and club chair, a plastic ficus tree, and a table set up with bottled water, coffee, and chocolate. Three makeup stations had been lined up and all the 'high chairs' were occupied. Makeup assistants were buzzing around prepping faces before CP stepped in and did his magic.
I sat down, and being the introverted sort I am, immediately struck up a conversation with the two women waiting their turn. Their appointments were scheduled for the same time. Gaaaa! I hate that. Having a fourth of a kidney means I have to carefully calculate my time before having to run back and forth to the bathroom, and I already had my cup of green tea that morning. No more liquids for me as I waited. (I stopped going to a hair stylist for double-booking. I could never understand it -- seems he'd be just as productive concentrating on one client at a time, and no one would be sitting around with wet hair reading an old Vogue waiting for him to put on color or finish a blow-out.....)
One woman waiting was in her 20s, a working mother from Russia. She was pretty in a fresh-faced way, and said she hardly wore makeup at all, having little time for it between caring for a toddler, running a house, and having a full-time job. The other looked to be in her late 50s and well cared for, in that 'ladies-that-lunch' sort of way. Glancing around, all the women in the chairs were between 40 to 60, and I was able to observe before-and-afters on a range of skin types from porcelain to yellow-ivory to the darkest of skin tones. I was able to see how the GA product would work for aging skin and attendant issues of age -- wrinkles, sun spots, redness, capillaries.....
I was called last, which actually worked in my favor, as my BFF M. pointed out, since by the time I took a chair, most of the others were finishing up and there was a gap between appointments. I had CP's pretty much undivided attention for the 15 minutes he concentrated on my makeup application. I learned the poor man was booked with 50 appointments that day! He shrugged and said he liked it that way, saying he'd rather keep busy.
Before he began, however, as he was finishing another, an assistant prepped my face, applying OMC3 moisturizer, crema nera serum/primer, and crema nera eye cream. (I came in bare-faced to make application easier). The moisturizer/serum/primer felt smooth and absorbed quickly -- I firmly believe in a primer to prep your 'canvas' and help makeup 'hold' -- but the revelation was the under-eye cream. It appeared to act as an instant under-eye lift and brightener. She put on one side and then showed me the difference in the hand mirror, and it was pretty amazing. Next came a color corrector under the eyes, which did an outstanding job of brightening and evening out my under-eye issues.*
I use concealer and foundation 'as needed' --not everywhere. I'm pretty much of a "is she wearing any?" kind of girl. For a decade, I've strictly been a Bobbi Brown user for this reason. But seldom wearing any color - and feeling it unsuccessful when I do - I have felt in a bit of a rut lately. So when I started interviewing Mr CP (old journalism habits die hard), I was pleased to learn he had started out working for BB, so he knew where I was coming from and the 'look' I was comfortable with. CP said the main difference between BB and GA was that GA concentrated on a more "sophisticated" palette. "You can see there's more color, more polish...the look is still light, but it's not bare-natural, just more enhanced," he said.
When I asked him what, in his opinion, were the bare-minimum things to apply when one has little time in the morning, he answered without hesitation. "Eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick." The eyeliner part was a surprise but it made sense considering how it defines your eyes. When queried what features he notices he replied good skin and eyebrows. He liked the brows to be rather full and natural with a strong arch. For spring, lips are going to be 'in the pink,' and shades of lilac and plum popular. "We're doing only pink lips for the Oscars," he volunteered. "I don't do anything gimmicky. I like to make up a face you can wear from work out to dinner and feel great about, maybe just reapplying a strong lip and gloss."
As with all good makeup artists, I learned a few tricks of the trade, mostly about what I had been doing that wasn't quite right. But CP doesn't believe in rules (good thing, neither do I), and we both agreed makeup is supposed to be fun. I was pleased with the end result. Nothing looked heavy and there wasn't anything I wanted to wipe away or take down a notch. I looked like a better, more, well, sophisticated (to use his word) version of myself.
There was even a photographer to take photos of the transformation; a nice touch. Unfortunately, I can't post the picture here now -- despite assurances it would be emailed last night it hasn't materialized yet. But I'm sure it will and I'll post it when it does. I had been clearing out my old product and using GA samples for a few months to see how it lasted on my face, so I was ready to buy most of the GA makeup product. (I'm happy with my Dermalogica, Keihls, and Clarisonic skin care). Still, I advise you to chose carefully. GA is an expensive investment. Fortunately, I don't wear makeup every day and I apply it with a light touch, so it lasts forever. Running errands that afternoon, several woman complimented me on the color of my red sweater. I like to think they were noticing my over-all 'new look.' And Excy was approving, that's the main thing. Tossing out my worn-out product and washing my brushes, I felt pleased to be starting fresh in the new year.
*Of course, they were sold out of this product. Annoying! I do wish they would fully stock before having big promotions like this, as it is very disappointing to be excited about something only to find it's not available.....