Last week in Paris, in the middle of shows, backstage appointments, shoots, dinners, and shopping, a group of very busy girls skipped into room 461 at the Ritz for the best kind of party (in my mind): one that involves changing into a fluffy pink robe at the door, singing along to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, flipping through magazines, and playing with makeup. Anya Ziourova—Russian Tatler’s Fashion Director—greeted Gaia Repossi, Natalie Joos, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Vika Gazinskaya and Stephanie LaCava with flutes of champagne and slippers before settling into the middle of the room to sort through a huge pile of goodies that NARS, MAC and Aesop sent over for the evening. The bubbly spilled all over the carpet, but no matter—after all, the famed hotel is closing for two and a half years of renovations. We were set on bidding it adieu in style.
I guess now is the time to admit that I traveled with an entire suitcase just for beauty products on this trip. One whole Tumi wheelie, filled with nearly-exploding Ziploc baggies. At Charles de Gaulle check-in, when my pal Susan saw my luggage and said, “…Why? You don’t even use half of it!” I was happy to report that I’d brought the loot on the off chance there’d be evening like the one at the Ritz. On that fateful night, I had all my friends with me: Tom Ford brushes, Sunday Riley skincare (the Bionic cream is a perfect primer)…all kinds of bits and bobs that any good pro-amateur makeup artist wouldn’t leave home without.
It felt like 9th grade all over again, except we weren’t getting ready for a dance and nobody left crying. Anya wanted a subtle “smoky eye” so we zeroed in on NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Rue Saint-Honoré, smudging it and flicking it up at the outer corners, and finished the look off with the “Haute” side of MAC Haute & Naughty mascara, for feathery lashes. Stephanie and Vika got precise, dramatic cat eyes courtesy of NARS’ black Eyeliner Stylo pen, and Natalie paired her navy and white Stella McCartney dress with a bold matte red lip (Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl) and a hint of glimmer on the eyelids from hot-off-the-runway (literally…see Rochas) Clé de Peau champagne and russet cream shadows, due out in the fall. Gaia, on the other hand, immediately reached for Aesop’s Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser—not surprising for the girl who’s rarely seen wearing makeup. Her eyes lit up, though, at the sight of a hot pink MAC lipstick (Viva Glam Nicki), which she tucked into her bag. She grinned and quietly said, “Who knows, maybe I’ll wear it to Chanel in the morning.”
Photos by Emerald Caroll.