Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Make up artist Jen Pike lets us in on the secret of applying red lipstick to perfection!

I love makeup, it is all about colour and artistry and the way it can transform people. I had the chance to speak to budding make up artist Jen Pike about the new Spring trends and how to put on red lipstick without looking like a clown! (Which I always do without fail, not so funny).

M: Spring is coming up, what can you tell us about the new Spring trends when it comes to make up?
J: Bold colours.  Colour blocking is back in style, and this year the focus is predominantly on lips.  Red/orange/fuscia are BIG…the brighter the better!  Think Andy Warhol pop classics, with a hint of DISCO sparkle.  I LOVE bright colours, so when they’re in fashion I get excited!
M: oooh, I like the sound of Disco sparkle!
Fashion is full of inspirational people, who inspires you in the make up industry?
J: Pat McGrath.  Alex Box.  Both are constantly pushing the boundaries.  They really are ARTISTS, and I’m continuously amazed by their use of line and colour.  They just go for it!  No fear…just art.  I had the pleasure of watching Alex demonstrate her amazing talents at the IMATS last weekend.  I was blown away. 

M: You must have seen such amazing things at the IMATS (International Make-up Artist Trade Show). What was the weirdest or newest thing you saw?
J: It is hard to comment on what’s ‘weird’ when you’re surrounded by special effects creatures walking around in prosthetics, but the newest trend appears to be the use of strong pigments; and the varying ways to utilize them on the everyday face in an attractive way.  Kind of like the quality vs quantity.  The idea of building from pigments to create your own interesting colours and textures, as opposed to mixing the readily available shades which have been ‘watered down’ with oils, fillers and talc.  Old school art.  I dig it!
M: Alright, to the question I have always wanted to ask a makeup artist...I am so envious of some of the girls I work with who can apply a perfect red lip without it bleeding or cracking or fading away. How on earth do you apply the perfect red lip?
J: Easiest DIY method: 
  1. Line your lip
  2. Fill them in
  3. Set with powder
  4. Add gloss if desired. 
Easy enough, but for perfection follow these detailed application tricks:

1. Put Vaseline or lip balm on the lips while applying foundation etc so they’re nice an soft/moist when you’re ready to apply lip colour.  It’s difficult to get a smooth line if lips are dry or cracked.  You don’t want too much balm, just enough to keep the lips moist. 

2. Break the lips into 4 sections for the liner.  Start by lining the cupid’s bow (ensuring both sides are even) and extend the lines part way down (towards the corners of the mouth).  Open the mouth slightly and draw a line from the corner up towards the cupid’s bow until the two lines meet.  Repeat on the other side.   Do the same for the bottom lip; start by lining the middle, moving outwards towards the corners on each side.  Open mouth slightly, and draw lines from the corners of the mouth towards the centre, until the lines meet.  Fill the lips with pencil and/or lipstick. 

3. To set, hold a piece of tissue over the lips and, using a big powder brush, dust powder onto the tissue over the lip area.  The powder will set the colour so it lasts longer.  The tissue acts as a sieve so you don’t apply too much.  You’re essentially pressing the colour into the lips and setting it at the same time.  Be sure to use gentle circular strokes with the powder brush so as not to disturb the lip lines. 

4. Follow with gloss if desired.  Always best to apply the gloss with your finger so you don’t apply too much or ruin the lip lines.  Dab on gently with finger.  This is a pretty bleed-proof method, but for the more mature ladies who have a lot of wrinkles around the mouth, invest in a lip primer (such as MAC Prep & Prime or Screenface Lip Lock) which essentially add an extra layer/edge to the lip for longevity and to help prevent bleeding.  Another trick is to draw lines slightly above the cupids bow and around the corners of the mouth with a skin coloured matt pencil.  The line acts as a barrier so the lip colour has nowhere to bleed!

M: I love to see what is in everybody's make up bags, especially the professionals. What can't you live without?
J: Concealor.  I can pinch my cheeks and lips to give them colour, wet my lashes to refresh my eyes, but the only thing to fix the under eye circles, blotchiness etc is concealor.  And, add in a bit of moisturizer and you’ve got yourself foundation.  It’s one of those things…if I have concealor with me, I feel like I’m sorted.  My second most important necessity is Embryolisse Crème Lait moisturizer.  It’s amazeballs.

M: Why do you think makeup is so important? 
J: Confidence.  Simply put, if you look good, you feel good.  If you feel good, you exude confidence.  Makeup is a way of enhancing your features, hiding flaws and insecurities, and expressing yourself.  Watching a client look into the mirror and smile is incredibly rewarding.  Making people look great and feel great is why I do what I do.

All the photos above are of Jen's work, you can check out more of her work on her website and contact her here!
Thanks for the interview Jen!

photo: jenpike.com

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