Lucky me got to finally work with the divine Kerry Washington recently while she was in London to pick up her ‘Woman of the year’ Glamour award. Her role as crisis management’ lady boss Olivia Pope has ensured Kerry a firm foot in the door of many a home’s consciousness and making her up got a chorus of ‘Ooh I love her‘-s from women I mentioned it to.
Loosely based on Judy Smith (George W Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary), Shonda Rhimes created the first lead role for an African American woman on a primetime network drama since Diahann Carroll in 1968’s ‘Julia’ and Teresa Graves starred in ‘Get Christy Love’ in the early 70s.
Olivia Pope must have been the woman Giorgio Armani imagined when he designed what came to be known as ‘the power suit’ for women in the 80’s and she wears the modern (waaaayyy less shoulder-padded!) version in the show as the ultimate in sartorial armour.
So let me get back to the getting of Kerry’s ‘woman of the year’ look…
A knockout 2 piece outfit by David Koma mixed simplicity with red carpet glamour perfectly, which also meant that I could really play her eyes up without getting into overload.
Kerry has enviably perfect skin, which I merely subtly ‘brightened’ with a sheer veil of Laura Mercier’s Silk Creme Foundation (cleverly, it now comes in both oil-free and ‘moisturising photo edition’ formulas) in Pecan. I then powdered Kerry’s ‘T Zone’ with Bobbi Brown’s Loose Powder in Soft Honey.
I’m not a fan of matte blusher because I like cheeks and cheekbones to look vibrant and high.
Mattening the cheeks has a flattening effect which works great around nose, foreheads and chins, but can make the overall complexion appear a little dull.
Thandie and I often use cream blusher but I wanted to make sure that Kerry’s make-up would be long lasting (I knew she’s have a long night of celebrating ahead!) so I used Clinique’s new Cheek Pop powder blusher in Peach Pop, this range has that modern, oh-so-subtle shimmer that is essential to giving strong make-up a fresh bounce. I also applied this onto Kerry’s browbone as a ‘warm up’ base for the dark eye make-up.
I wanted to give Kerry big smouldering eyes, so I began by lining the roots of her entire upper lashes with Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner in Black and softening up the line with my fingertip. I did a finer line on the root of her lower lashes too, being careful to really blend in to avoid a hard line. Then using myfinger again, I applied Chanel Illusion D’ Ombres in Illusoire over Kerry’s entire lid and socket lines. The beauty of this new generation of ‘cream/powder’ eyeshadows is that they blend so easily- so long as you place it in the right shape for your eyes (experiment and practice), you too can become an expert blender!
To add depth to Kerry’s eyes, I applied Cover Girl Eyeshadow in Black Tie to the outer edge of her lashes and accentuate the socket lines using a small brush and finally completing the eyes with L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim in Intense Black and Maybelline Lash Sensational Black Pearl Washable Mascara.
Finally I applied Benefit’s ‘Cha Cha Balm’ to her killer pout.
Post by Thandie.
Here’s a look I put together for a red carpet event last year. I wore a black 50s style vintage cocktail dress from The Gathering Goddess.
I wanted to accent the refined, understated glamour with something modern. Lips seemed the way to go. Red would have been predictable, and might have made the look austere. Pink was the answer – and not any shade – I wanted garish, electric and unnatural!
I wore my hair blow dried straight with a deep side part – it could just as easily been pulled back and sleek. What mattered most was the pink mouth. And People magazine agreed, as they featured it as their ‘Look of the Week’.
kerry washington sag awards
kerry washington sag awards
ELECTRIC PINK LIPSTICK
Thandie newton’s step by steps
As well as my usual base (see any number of other Posts) I added a bronzing element.
I pretty much use a bronzer 9 months of the year – because if I’m in a cold climate my skin tends to settle into a bloodless ‘mushroom’ shade… A CC cream (currently I’m using Olay) is a good quick fix on a daily basis – but if I need more warmth I use a bronzer.
My all-time favourite for years has been Giorgio Armani’s Bronze Mania gel. I apply it with a damp make up sponge – around the edge of my face, neck and on the top of my nose (never around the eye, nose or mouth – that way fake tan horror story lies). The dampness of the sponge helps move the colour around (and be quick with application as the gel consistency dries fairly quickly). If it’s daytime that’s all I’ll use, but for a red carpet event like this one I’ll apply a light coat of foundation on top of the bronzer and then complete the base with concealer etc.
I used Chanel‘s eyeshadow pallet Les 4 Ombres in 36 INTUITION.
Using a smaller sized fluffy eye shadow brush I applied the darkest brown shade deep in the eye socket line, and
Next I used Mac‘s Powder Blush in FEVER (that I’d also be using on my cheeks later) and gave the deep brown a rich pink accent over the top, and blended this down onto my top lids. Subtle, but works really well bringing the tones of cheek and eye together.
Using Estee Lauder‘s Double Wear eye pencil in ONYX, I lined along my top lid right into the top lashes, and from my outer lower lash halfway along into my pupil.
I then used the pencil’s blending tool to gently smudge the creamy rich black into the existing brown shadow – gorgeous.
I curled my lashes, then used the fabulous Mac Haute and Naughty Too Black Lash mascara. The two wand ‘strengths’ are a great invention. For this look I used the thicker application first, quickly followed by the finer application to even out any globs.
Kay introduced me to an eyebrow pen to rival my favourite SUQQU brand.
This time I used the more widely available Stila Stay All Day Waterproof brow colour in MEDIUM. I do love a liquid brow liner – it allows me to create brow hairs rather than the heavier block of colour which a pencil creates. It gives a finer, more subtle finish.
Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
This lip colour was going to be bright so I could afford to punch up my cheeks – so I used Julie Hewett‘s Cheekie Palette in ROSIE, and then once I’d powdered my face using Jurlique‘s translucent powder (the Rose smell is DIVINE, every time I use it) I added more colour with Mac‘s Powder Blush in FEVER (as in step 2).
Nearly there! I lined just outside my top lip with Chanel‘s Precision Lip Definer in FUSCHIA. I kept true to my lip line around the bottom lip.
Finally, using a lip brush I applied the lip colour. For the event I actually used two shades from Chanel, one of which is no longer available ( you gotta love how Chanel do that with seasonal shades. It makes their colours even more coveted and exclusive; as you use them down to the nub and arrange a funeral for the empty container once you’ve said your last goodbye). Happily though, I’ve found a colour by Urban Decay called CRUSH for you guys, which I used for this final step.
All illustrations by Thandie, picture fixing & placing by Kay.