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All-American Makeup – Allure, March 2011

Written By: Brigitte on March 3, 2011 Comments Off on All-American Makeup – Allure, March 2011

The concept for this Allure story shot by Patrick Demarchelier with Karlie Kloss was “All American”. For the makeup, I tapped into what defined American makeup-fashion when I moved to New York in the late 80’s. At the time, I arrived with a book full of sophisticated images by Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and David Seidner (lots of smoky eyes and red lips) and “raw”, no-makeup shots by Hans Feurer. And that was it! I didn’t get a single booking for three months!

After having a bit of a freak out, I thought that I’d better take a close look at what the American market of the time was all about. While Paris had a very elegant and sophisticated approach determined by designers Yves St Laurent, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler, the US put forward the sporty, casual simplicity represented by Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The models who graced the covers of Mademoiselle, Bazaar and Vogue looked sun-kissed, golden and “natural”, yet fully made up with monochromatic palettes of earthy tones and soft pinks. The photographers I eventually encountered – Albert Watson, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts – had a preference for a youthful, athletic and sporty type rather than the distant, red-lipped “femme fatale” pursued by the French. The healthy, commercial type dominated the marketplace. Once the penny dropped and I made the necessary adjustments in my work, I got booked.

It has since dawned on me that in the 80’s there was a distinctive look that defined each of the fashion capitals of the world: London, Paris, New York. But, then, the early 90’s saw major talent migrations across the Atlantic by influential fashion personalities, the era of the super models, corporate takeovers of once independent fashion houses, and the beginning of international editions of Vogue, Elle, Marie-Claire and other major publications. In a few short years fashion became the global universe it is today, with a lot of similarity market to market.

I’m glad I had the chance to re-interpret on Karlie a uniquely American look.


– Keep the foundation sheer and on the warm side.
If you are fair, try a tinted moisturizer with a hint of tan in it.

– Add a touch of cream blush in terracotta on the cheek bones, in the middle of the forehead, a touch on the tip of the nose and on the chin. We’re talking subtle touches here, no globs of color. Blend well. If you prefer more of a statement use a powder bronzer in the same spots. For evening wear you can even layer by applying the cream first followed by the powder. It packs more punch but it’s less subtle.

– Add a gold luminizer on apple of the cheeks, and the eyelids (all the way up to the eyebrows).

– Brush a touch of gold on the eyebrows.

– Sweep a bronze shade of eye shadow on the eyelids (upper and under).

– Curl the eye lashes and coat them with dark brown or black mascara.

– Line the lash lines with a brown eye liner pencil.

– Choose a lip color within the family of gold, beige, soft pink to copper shades.



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