Monday, 31 January 2011

MAC at IMATS: Terry Barber's Editorial Makeup Tutorial

Once again this year, IMATS visitors were treated to a makeup demonstration from MAC's European  makeup director Terry Barber. After last year's breathtaking demo (a look for film and video), our expectations were high, and Terry didn't disappoint.

The theme this time around was editorial and trend makeup - the kind of statement looks you see in glossy magazines and on catwalks. He gave us a little background about updating hallmark 60s, 70s and 80s looks with a modern twist, and explained that a successful editorial look needed to be beautiful as well as edgy and distinctive. Achieving both is a delicate balancing act.

Once again Terry's products of choice were predominantly multi-purpose formats from the MAC Pro range. He used orange, coral and red tones to create a Bowie-esque elongated eye shape accompanied by a bold red lip. That's a Creme Color Base in the picture above. (And look, he organises his palettes with sticky labels just like us mortals.)

Foundation and concealer had already been applied when the demo began. Terry emphasised the importance of using different shades to contour and define the angles of the face - the model had darker foundation under her cheekbones. He set the base with loose powder, which he applied using a powder puff. "I'm quite old-school," he said "and the puff is still my favourite way of applying loose powder". He stressed that bright colour should always be applied to powdered skin to prevent it adhering to the base and becoming impossible to blend.

The next step was brows. Because the eyes would be strongly defined, Terry opted for a bare but groomed brow. He spent quite some time combing and gelling the brows into place, and explained that brow grooming was essential for editorial work. One stray hair could ruin an entire shoot once the close up photos were taken. He used MAC's Brow Set to keep each strand in order.

The shape of the eye makeup was roughly sketched in with an orange Chromagraphic pencil. He explained that because of the choice of colour, a traditional eye-makeup shape would look too strange; familiar shape and unfamiliar colours would confuse an onlooker. The unusual colour needed to be applied in an unusual shape in order to work. Colour was taken all the way to the brow at the inner corner and far down under the lower lashline too. The lines were stark, but as he blended the edges with a fluffy brush we could see the look he was going for beginning to take shape.

A second shade of Chromagraphic pencil was applied on the mobile lid and under the eyes. Again, it was very sketchily applied but carefully blended. Terry added a layer of red eyeshadow (pro pigment, I'm not sure what shade) over the top of it with a brush. He used the trusty "powder under the eyes to catch fall-out" technique:

To avoid the "sore eyes" look that can happen with red eyeshadow, Terry announced his intention to use lots of black mascara. When he said "lots", we didn't know how serious he was...

This was just the start. He went for a deliberately clumpy lash look ("the art of elegant clumping", he said) with many layers of mascara. He even powdered over the wet mascara and then layered more on top of it for extra clumpy impact.

However, it wasn't a total mascara free-for-all; to make this work, every lash should be coated from base to tip, including the lashes at the very inner corner which frequently get missed in day-to-day application.

The eyes, cheeks and browbones were treated as one area, and contoured with a Creme Color Base and coral pigment used like blush. You can see that Terry's using one of his beloved duofibre brushes to blend the pigment here.

Finally, the lips. A third shade of Chromagraphic pencil was used to block out a strong red lip. The dense, demi-matte texture of the pencil worked really well and created a nice velvety finish - I'd be interested to try these pencils on the lips myself. A layer of Lipmix over the top added some shine and stickiness.

Finally, preparing for a finishing touch - this tissue was used to prevent fall-out on the chin as he dabbed on a layer of red glitter to the lips.

Here's the finished look:

And finally... just to prove that even models have this problem...

Lipstick on teeth!


  1. Those colours are gorgeous. He's right about the "elegant clumping" the mascara looks really nice.

    Ew at the lipstick on teeth, though :P

  2. Oh wow it looks amazing! I can definately see the 70s and 80s influences! heh heh the last photo made me giggle.


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