Makeup, how and why we wear it, and what cosmetics we choose, is so personal. Do you remember when you learnt to apply your makeup, and who taught you? Has your makeup style changed since then? Thomasin Bailey, our marketing assistant, tells her makeup story.
My makeup story starts when I was about ten. I remember being at a sleepover at a friend’s house, when her mum, Jane, showed us how she applied her makeup. She had a brown palette with three different colours. It was like watching a high priestess reveal the secret mysteries of adult life! We looked on with bated breath and sense of awe. She showed us how she applied the lightest on the brow bone, the darkest in the crease, and the medium colour on the lid. It was a revelation. It’s a great formula, unfortunately, though, my make-up style hasn’t changed since.
My second formative makeup experience came courtesy of 90s sketch show Smack The Pony. In one sketch a woman turns up at a party wearing red lipstick. As she greets people her red lipstick smears onto their faces. With typical Smack The Pony absurdity the situation quickly escalates. Soon the lipstick is everywhere: there are even red hand prints on the walls. Although the scene was hilarious, it also had a nightmare quality, and touched on a massive anxiety lots of women have about highly pigmented lip colour. The thought of lipstick on your teeth, or smudged over your chin, is enough to put a lot of people off. I for one have had a stash of beautiful lipsticks in bright reds and deep maroons in my makeup draw that I never wear. The furthest I get is carefully putting on the lipstick, but then, on getting to the mirror by the front door, chicken out, and wipe it off. The fear of red lipstick has gripped me since the 90s, and now it’s 2017!
Suffice to say, my cautious and conservative makeup has needed an update for quite a long time. I have loved retro style all my life. I spent my childhood and teenage years watching old films and collecting retro clothing. I bought my first true vintage item when I was nine, a 40s grey wool suit, that fits now, but didn’t then. In all that time, I never conquered retro makeup. I tried eyeliner flicks oh so many times, but as they always ended up half way down my face by the end of the day, they went the same way as the red lipstick, consigned to the drawer. One of the lipsticks in my treasure trove was the Le Keux Costmetics Cherry Bomb Lip Paint. I loved the colour, it smelled so good, and the little pot looked great on my dressing table, but I never actually put it on my face. So, last year when I saw an advert for an event at Le Keux Vintage Salon which featured a retro hair and makeup tutorial with Lynsey Le Keux, I booked in for me and a friend, and hoped it was a good idea.
Not since I watched Jane reveal the mysteries of graduated brown eyeshadow in her family bathroom have I witnessed such makeup revelations! My friend and I came in late, but Lynsey waved us in with a friendly smile and made us feel really comfortable. Lynsey showed us how to use the Le Keux Cosmetics products, but also explained wider makeup principles and techniques. She talked about why some things work, and how. Most importantly for me, she showed me how to fix my makeup so that it stays where it should be. I can’t give away all their trade secrets, but did you know, that you can fix your eyeliner with translucent powder? Maybe you knew that, but I didn’t. I’m telling you: revelations! From the basics to the finer points of vintage styling, Lynsey knows her stuff. I’m now confident wearing lovely vintage makeup, and now have the skills to do the looks I’ve always wanted to achieve. Retro style makeup makes me feel so glamorous, confident, and I get lots of compliments. Don’t get me wrong, I still use Jane’s eye shadow method, but now I add a fierce flick and attitude to match.