Although our style of clothes and make-up may modify somewhat over the years, I think that our innate style references stem from those who inspired our formative selves.
To my 12 year-old mind that was model Jerry Hall.
It’s no surprise that an only child left in the vicinity of seductive 80’s fashion magazines was going to embed this ‘leggy Texan blonde who rock stars bedded’ into my subconscious so I’m merely ghostwriting this post on behalf of my little self.
She had what I assumed was a decadent, alluring edge on all men, putting them under a sexy woman spell with her high octane tresses and siren model poses. Jerry was the sassy, clubbing, bad girl young auntie I never had, with a talented and naughty gay best friend (Antonio Lopez) who took a lot of hot snaps.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Moving swiftly past the fact that my hair was more like Starsky (as in Hutch) because my Mum insisted on keeping my curly brown hair short, bubbut fr)
Jerry became my ‘person I wanted to be when I grew up’.
Left, Antonio Lopez with Grace Jones and a 16 year old Jerry
It was only a matter of time, dedicated make-up application, the correct electrical tools and I too would be hanging out at Studio 54 with Warhol, Jerry, Margeaux, Michael and Brooke, finding my spot- right on the floor, and dancing to Le Freak by Chic..
……………………………..It lot of w
…knowledge of which was all enticingly supplied on a monthly drip-feed from my favourite glossies, Vogue, Tatler and Cosmopolitan, which I’d find within the stacks of housewife magazines in doctors waiting rooms, dentists and other grown up side tables.
There may have been retouching of sorts, but there was not the kind of pore-less, manipulated digital modifying that un-named retouchers (with what is often a distinct lack of anatomical knowledge) use to change your work- and people’s faces, without consent.
Make-up artists such as Way Bandy and Barbara Daly blended strong pigment with a finesse worthy of fine artists, creating a canvas of airbrushed-by-hand contours that shall forever inform my approach, going as far as to say that I found the perfection hypnotic.
Even my favourite recording artists had this make-up aesthetic, Chic, Debbie Harry, Sister Sedge, Donna Summer and a little later Anabella Luwin (BowWowWow) all wore beautifully blended make-up-with-attitude.
Spellbound, I’d gaze into Jerry’s face, soaking my little mind in ‘glamour’ and use my Mary Quant duos to attempt the ‘half-moon’ eye shape (left) of the late 70′s, early 80’s which I’d call a glam-NY-post-punk, ‘Halston woman’ take on Hollywood’s Golden Age. This era deserves way more than nutshells.
This multi-shaded, heavily contoured aspect of 80’s make-up gave birth to the ‘super-make-up-palette’ and brands like Pupa came in multi-layers of cosmetic possibility and the idea that you at home, could be a pro-make-up artist-come-cover-girl. Or in my case, immensely enjoy pretending to- instead of doing my Math’s homework.
More was more in the 80’s, full-on foundation, powder, blusher eye make-up and lips were the norm, a m-up look that’s only published with a large dose of irony today.
Make-up may be just as bright at times, but today formulas are far more sheer and wearable, so unlike the days of disco, you don’t have to be an experienced artist to enjoy an element or two of late 70′s/early 80′s m-up decadence. Palettes are great to create the multi-dimensional blending mastered in the pre-photoshop era.
Contour and blusher has also come a long way since the exaggerated stripes of 80’s cheekbones but remember; good blending relies on good brushes and they are well-worth the investment. My staples are Mac, Chanel, Charles Fox and Screen Face brushes.
Contouring may be a word you’ve heard bandied about but don’t worry, there’s no 80′s new wave trend pressure coming any time soon, just subtle shaping. Tom Ford’s Contouring Cream has superb ‘blend-ability’ but alas, it is very pricey. The best powder versions, similarly pricey, are by Kevyn Aucoin and the limited edition Chanel contour powder in ‘Notorius‘, used to great effect at the A/W12 show. As with all industry faves, however, it won’t be long before the affordable lines follow. In the meantime, experiment on loose powdered skin (for a smooth application) with a matte compact mineral powder in a tone one or two shades darker than your skin.
As for blusher, I love the easy-to-apply, natural finish of cream blush like Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge; it is a staple in my kit and is suitable for all ages and most skin types (unless you have very oily skin on the cheek area). Apply with a brush, sponge or fingers but if you are using powder contour, I’d suggest using a rose or peach powder blush as powder and cream don’t blend together.
It’s the Antonio Lopez and Warhol Jerry for me, so I have to include the perfectly painted pout-
how about trying the new Rouge Allure shades by Chanel..?
Here is Jerry being HOT in Leopardskin..at 1.55
Here is Jerry Hall demonstrating hair modelling as art form in this Flex Shampoo ad from1984
A version of this piece was filed for getthegloss.com