Face time: why we must celebrate our individuality
The new make-up movement is all about being ready for real life, not selfies.
Our approach to make-up has shifted a lot in recent years. Take bronzer, for example: we used to rely on a little dusting of golden powder for a subtle, sun-kissed glow. Now? “Women are piling it on to change their face shapes and alter their features,” says Peter Philips, creative and image director at Dior. The Belgian make-up dynamo is responsible for every item of Dior make-up that you’ve tried during the past year. (Before that, he was creative director at Chanel.) He puts the change down to Generation Selfie. But, he says, “women need to remember their faces aren’t frozen images. People have lines, they laugh, they have expressions. Consider all these factors when you are applying make-up for everyday.”
Philips wants us to rebel against the painterly, clonelike finish seen on social media. “It’s quality that counts, not quantity,” he says. “You may look great on camera, but how does the make-up live on your face throughout the day?” Instead of frantically layering it on in excess, he advises: “Find out what suits the dimensions of your face, look at the shape of your eyes and understand your proportions. It should never be ‘one look suits all’.” In other words, the way you apply your make-up should be totally different to the person sitting next to you.
The striking images, on the cover and these pages, of the British model Ruth Bell are Philips’s powerful reminder that your own personality, asymmetry and individuality should be celebrated and promoted, not powdered away.
Know your angles
“Remember, people look at you from the side, below and above,” Philips says. “Don’t apply make-up that only looks good from the front.” A common mistake is excess foundation along your jawline. Smooth out sharp edges and make sure your blush blends seamlessly. Finally, placement is key — and it varies depending on face shape.
The more you try to cover wrinkles, the more prominent they’ll be. “Skincare is key,” Philips says. First, apply a hydrating moisturiser to stop foundation sinking into lines, then layer on a primer to help with longevity. “Rely on make-up to soften the appearance of lines, rather than trying to hide them completely,” he says.
“I’m not against highlighting and contouring,” Philips says. “Here, I’m playing with light and shade to accentuate areas.” Bell has a round face, so he contoured under the cheekbones for a more chiselled look. “People are guessing where to contour because of what they see online.” Before you experiment with pro techniques, ask an expert what would work for your proportions — any make-up counter can help with this.
“Choose one feature to bold up,” Philips says. Here, he opted for shocking blue, but don’t copy this look exactly. “Where you apply colour all depends on your eye shape.” For round eyes, wing the colour upwards and outwards to give an extended appearance. Almond-shaped eyes are universally flattering, so follow the natural shape. If your eyes are angled downwards at the outer corners, avoid dark shades at the edges and rely on extra lashings of mascara for lift.