Several people have mentioned from time to time, in the comments here, that as nice as it sounds when so-and-so chic-y-chicster says, “Oh, I don’t wear any makeup—I prefer the natural look,” it’s a long shot for them, personally. Well sure, if I looked like that it’d be a different story! seems to be the sentiment. And I totally get it. I’m pretty sure it’s scientific fact—and maybe I’ve thought so since devouring Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty in 10th grade—that every woman looks better with a little somethin'-somethin' on their faces... Whether or not you want to look a little ‘better’ (and what that means) is a different story. Even though I get the appeal of makeup for someone like Dita Von Teese, who relishes the transformative ritual of gussying up (despite the fact that people have told her the effect makes her look older than she is), there’s also something about doing very little—or nothing at all—that says, I’m cool. I’m chilling. Yeah, I could look better with some undereye concealer and mascara, that discoloration in my skin could stand to be covered up, some lip gloss would do wonders for this mug, but it’s me.
What’s also cool is being 16 years old and insanely gorgeous without a lick of makeup, like Esther Heesch (NEXT). The wide-eyed, bushy-tailed German teen just finished her first round of runway shows (Balenciaga, Céline, Prada, Jil Sander, check, check, check) and landed in the Big Apple for a few days last week. So, here sitting in front of me is this baby, basically, with amazing skin, bright eyes, the whole lot, but that doesn’t mean she can’t look totally different with five minutes worth of strategic makeup. So I got all Bobbi Brown on her with a handful of items that, in my opinion, are ‘look changers': Clé de Peau Concealer (around the nostrils, under the eyes, and on little spots), Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (on eyelids and tapped onto cheekbones), black mascara (Lancôme Definicils) on top lashes only, black eye pencil (Estée Lauder) in a thin line on the bottom only, and a BRM—Bold Red Mouth—courtesy of Giorgio Armani’s new Lip Maestro liquid lipstick in the brand’s famous rouge, 400. At some point, I had asked Esther, “Do you wear makeup?” She said no. But before she left, I held up the shiny red tube of Lip Maestro and offered it to her. “Do you want it? You can take it.” A humongous smile spread across her face—Sure!!! Ah, makeup. Brown doesn’t call it “pretty powerful” for nothing.
Photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on October 17th, 2012.