Tuesday, 3 February 2009


My Dearest Darlings, The jaw dropping and dramatic snowfall that has beset most of the UK has caused a bit of a rumpus. Transport has drawn to a virtual halt, airports are shut-down and schools, colleges and universities have been forced to close, all a bit of fuss and nonsense over a little snowfall though the joy and wonder this unexpected weather encourages is understandable as it has the magical and awe inspiring ability to turn the most down trodden and neglected neighbourhoods into a Dickensian winter wonderland. A vandalised and burnt out car becomes a frosty igloo, a barren and abandoned wasteland is transformed into a white canvas capturing a multitude of imprints of fox, bird and human wanderer, momentarily the ground becomes a method of recording the fleeting movements of a population. From Eton quadrangle to inner-city playground your whole country is suddenly democratised by a white blanket of tiny six pronged ice crystals.

If ever proof were needed that a light sprinkling of powder had the ability to transform it is now, when your grubby streets are metamorphosed into an arctic vision of twinkling white. And so with this meteorological enhancement as example, I turn to imparting you with some much needed knowledge of cosmetic trickery so you too can enjoy the ability to transform not your streets but yourselves.

It may surprise you that despite evidence to the contrary I too was once seduced by the vast array and quantity of make-up choices, I frequently selected the most inappropriate colours and textures to adorn my wonderfully refined features. It was only with much trial and error and an obvious aptitude that I became attuned with the full and unending power of Estee Lauder and Max Factor. So it is for this reason I am qualified to distribute my bronzing pearls of wisdom to you, Dearest Reader.

Preparation: I have before enlightened you on this subject so I refer you to this post. When one has exfoliated, buffed and moisturised a good product is useful. For any enhancement to begin one needs a sturdy ground using a base or foundation. If you’re blessed with flawless skin tone and are free from blemish then be sure to use a light base that coheres your face. If the surface of your skin resembles a pot holed country lane then you may need more substantial help from Chanel. It does help to source a good product and take care to match your skin tone if you spend a little more on the base it is easier to scrimp on the more frivolous products, such as moderately priced eye shadow. I find it helps to apply in the harshest of light, as if you can create a pleasing look there it will work absolutely anywhere!

Once a flawless base is achieved your goal is to soften harsh and irregular angles and emphasise the very few attributes you possess. General beauty philosophy suggests that even features, bright eyes and plump full lips are the main components of a beautiful face. Your arduous journey to beauty is sure to have many pitfalls and obstacles though my Dearest Darlings I am here to help.

In order to begin you must first understand the architecture of your face, you must learn to fully appreciate the many jarring angles that litter your dowdy little expressions. For the simple minded this task is challenging so I have designed a simple trick that will enable you to ascertain the defects that may in most cases be rectified with make-up. This task not only assists in the evaluation of your face but also helps with the assessment of your present make up skills which will more than likely be poor.

Insert a picture of your self into your computer and rotate, flip, and reverse it, take the opportunity to examine your face from all angles. You will be able to see the obvious blunders made by Mother Nature afresh; with new eyes! Your upper and lower lip size will seem different and less even, your eyebrows will seem odd and misshapen, your nose will appear to bend in a different direction, this is all completely normal. No human face is totally symmetrical, if it were it would look offensive! When flipping and reversing your face on the computer you will learn which areas need some augmentation.

Technique: ‘Chiaroscuro’ is a term used in fine art to refer to high definition blending that has the remarkable ability to evoke a sense of highlight and depth often on a two dimensional ground. It is this technique you must become adept in to shade your eyes, to suggest your brows are raised and free from wrinkle, it is this skill of highlighting and shade that will enable you to accentuate your cheek bones and emphasise your piggy little eyes. Like great artists before you, you must invest in quality set of brushes in a variety of sizes from small to medium to large. The smaller brushes are designed for you to place any pigment in the desired area the larger help you blend the line to create the illusion of natural shade. Remember at all times that each application of tone must have a purpose, be it to highlight or shade. The more natural the look you desire the less contrast is needed, so rather than black to white use a taupe to pearl tone.

A darker line above the upper lid will have the ability to create a hooded seductive lid and raise the brow in a cool and aloof arch. A peach blush dusted on the apple of your cheek bone will warm your face and help create a suggestion of bone structure even on the most flabby of faces.

So ends your introductory lesson into the fine art of make-up application. Your first mission should you choose to accept it is to purchase an array of brushes and practice your blending skills. I will endeavour to guide you through the execution of specific looks in my next lesson.

With Love your Teacher Ms Coco LaVerne x