It was a foregone conclusion what my answer would be when I received an email asking whether I would like to experience a Giorgio Armani make-up masterclass with their international face designer Cesar Santos. The opportunity to drink Champagne, be treated to a wonderful make-over and experience the benefit of Cesar’s expert knowledge was a chance far too good to pass up.
So last Thursday I travelled into Birmingham for a lesson in creating the perfect face. And I was placed firmly into the hands of a master. Cesar Santos has created looks for some of the World’s most famous faces, including Penelope Cruz and Kim Cattrell. More recently, he did Lady Helen Taylor’s make up for William and Kate’s wedding. But today he faced a bigger challenge, Fashion-Mommy, with quite a few spots, a cold sore scar and deep circles under the eyes for lack of sleep. Could he give me the sort of dewy look that only airbrushing usually achieves? The answer was a resounding yes!
But first I got the opportunity to see all the Armani cosmetics and beauty products. I totally fell in love with the Christmas 2011 collection. Called Madre Perla, this is a stunning collection inspired by vintage 1930s Hollywood. The range comes in beautiful Art Deco packaging featuring the Madre Perla – Mother of Pearl. Linda Cantello summed up this collection beautifully when she said “…Like a 30s boudoir…a touch of lacquer and patinated metals add a sophisticated feel to satiny, pearlescent tones. Delicate shades reminiscent of the silk lingerie of the time…”
Then it was my turn to be transformed. As previously mentioned my skin was not at it’s best, but Cesar had all the lotions and potions needed to make it flawless. Regenessence Serum, Crema Nera Cream, Light Master Primer, High Precision Retouch 3 and Designer Lift 5.5 were applied to my skin. These products were amazing in that they helped to mask my skin imperfections without actually feeling like I was wearing a mask. Cesar explained that the secret of the products, particularly the fabulous Designer Lift foundation, is that they employ microfil technology that gave my skin even tone and surface. What really surprised me was how the make-up was lightly brushed on and yet the coverage was total,Cesar explained that by using a brush you get coverage exactly, and only, where you need it.
With the skin sorted, it was time to add colour. I’ve always adored metallics on my eyes, but never really considered them to be a daytime look, Cesar showed me that they can be amazing for daytime. The shades used were Eyes To Kill Madreperla Eye shadow 19, Maestro Eye shadow 33 and Eyes to Kill Stretch. The Madreperla shadow is so striking, with its mixture of gold and silver shades. My eye lashes were also curled and looked longer than ever after Eyes to kill lash stretching mascara, whilst my brows were defined with brow defining pencil.
With my skin and eyes looking fabulous, Cesar now turned to sorting out my lips. I’m not always a huge fan of lipstick, I adore Kate Moss’s hot London look, but often feel I end up with a clown mouth. So Cesar looked for more neutral shades that could contrast with the strong eyed look. The shade of gloss that Cesar chose was just perfect, combined with the warm rouge shade that gave a strong, yet natural look.
And then I was finished, and was completely overjoyed with the results – a sophisticated, flawless look that was perfect for daytime, with make-up that felt neither cloying nor heavy. It was also still in place that evening, before I went to bed. I sent Cesar a message telling him this. ” As I told you, there’s nothing like micro-fil technology and I’m glad you liked it!”
Look out for an interview with Cesar Santos coming up in future posts.
With thanks to Jennifer Hale, Selfridges Birmingham, and of course Cesar Santos.