“You can use colour any time, at any age, in any country. It’s just a matter of what and where and how,” encourages Blair Patterson, director of global makeup artistry for Estée Lauder. For years, skin care has been the beauty brand’s best-selling category—Advanced Night Repair flies off the shelves—but 2014 kicked off a shift in focus to a colour story for makeup. Earlier this year, Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick launched, available in 30 different shades, and the brand will focus exclusively on colour for the next two years.
For those who shy away from bold hues, Patterson has an arsenal of helpful tips at his disposal, having been responsible for the faces of some of the most beautiful women in the beauty and fashion industries, including spokesmodels Joan Smalls, Carolyn Murphy, and Arizona Muse. (Recently announced, the newest addition to the family is reality daughter-turned-runway model Kendall Jenner.)
For starters, use Advanced Night Repair for everything. “Mix it with foundation or concealer, add it to your cheek bones for that red carpet glow. Literally, I can’t stop finding new ways to use it and I’ve been using it for 10 years,” he says. “When your skin gets fatigued at three o’clock in the afternoon at the office, take a little bit and put it right over your foundation. Everything gets refreshed.”
Once foundation is set, use bright colours as a power tool. “When you have a date, a blind one, you have a job interview you weren’t expecting. You have to become super human,” Patterson says. “In the business world of men’s fashion there’s a power tie. A power lipstick is that for women. It’s a way of saying to people, ‘look here’.”
When experimenting with makeup, however, Patterson advises to invest in lighting, or to make sure you apply your makeup in a setting with lighting that matches wherever you spend more of your time. “When I work I have a makeup light that has 50 different settings on it for whatever we’re shooting that day,” he explains. “If you work in an office environment look at the lighting and try and find it in your home. It might be in the garage… If you spend your time outside running around, try and set up a boudoir area right near a window. Lighting is probably one of the most important parts of application.” Colourful insight, from the experts.