Peter Philips has been at the helm of Chanel Makeup since January 2008 and is responsible for buzz-worthy nail and face colors such as the jade green nail polish that debuted on the runway earlier this year, the glossy black eyes at the 2009 cruise show in Venice, and the ornately embroidered false lashes at fall/winter 2009 RTW.
Peter Philips is also known for balancing his fashion-forward looks with timeless beauty classics such as flawless skin or perfectly arched eyebrows.
Elle.com talks to Chanel’s makeup master regarding our makeup woes and what we can do about them
Messy eye gloss
Messy eye gloss is a common makeup problem which most women still do not know how to fix.
Q: How do you keep eye gloss from looking messy?
A: You don’t. It’s meant to crease and move around. It’s like wearing a designer jacket with exposed seams-some people are comfortable with that, some aren’t. Dark eye gloss is a statement: It’s a little trashy, a little rock ‘n’ roll. If you want to go for a sort of Kurt Cobain look, lay it on thick, and don’t use a base with it or you’ll dilute the strength of the color. That way it looks decadent, like you’ve been to a party or you’ve been onstage. If you want it more subtle, you can apply it sheer with your finger and then blend it out with a brush.
Most universally flattering eye shadow and lipstick shades
While there is no such as thing as a one-shade-fits-all eye shadow and lipstick color, there must be a shade that works on most complexions, especially if you are makeup newbie who does not know yet which hues work best for you.
Q: What eye shadow and lipstick hues are most universally flattering?
A: Natural shades like brown and beige work on most complexions, and I like gold tones because they make the skin look warmer. If you have blue eyes, try a bit of red somewhere-a lipstick, or a reddish-brown eye shadow; the contrast will bring out the color of your eyes. Intense purples look great on brown-skinned girls-they blend into the skin tone but still stand out.
Prepping your skin
You can’t just put on makeup without preparing your skin. Prepping your skin is important because it sets the stage for your whole look – and it may help prevent skin damage.
Q: What’s the best way to prep skin for makeup?
A: I clean the face, spray it with Evian,and then apply Crème de la Mer. It’s a very neutral moisturizer that works on everyone: If you have dry skin, use a bit more; if you tend to be oily, just use a small amount. It works better than a primer.
Perfect runway skin
Rocking the runway requires having perfect skin. The skin is the canvass that you work on to create a makeup masterpiece that will complement the clothes. Of course we can’t all have perfect complexions. Even runway models don’t. The key is to create a perfect-"looking" skin.
Q: Perfect skin is the starting point for all of your runway looks. What’s your secret?
A: I like to blend different shades of foundation to subtly sculpt the face. I use lighter shades on the places that catch the light-the bridge of the nose, the chin, the top of the cheeks-and then a shade or two darker on the sides of the face and the forehead. Then I finish with Chanel Poudre Libre, which isn’t too matte. And depending on the effect I’m after, I’ll use either a cotton or silk puff.
Cotton or silk puff
Q: What’s the difference?
A: A silk puff gives a glowy finish, and a cotton puff gives a matte finish. If I haven’t already sculpted the face with foundation, I like to set the makeup with a silk puff, except under the eyes, where I use cotton. If you keep the under eye area a bit matte, the rest of the face will appear more luminous-and you can create even more contrast by tapping a pearly highlighter onto the tops of your cheeks with your fingers. That really brings out the cheekbones. It’s not only a game of different shades; it’s a game of different textures.