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Lisa Eldridge, the British make-up artist and Creative Director of Lancôme, launched her beauty book “FACE PAINT: A History of Make-up” in Germany this week, just redesigned a classic range of the Lancôme legendary lipstick L’Absolu Rouge and cooperated with Sonia Rykiel on a new make-up line. She is well known for her tutorials which made her famous for making make-up fun and authentic.
We met her and wanted to find out how she came to work with Sonia Rykiel, how she came to do her make-up tutorials and what is her take on the beauty business.
IRMA: How did the cooperation with Sonia Rykiel start?
LISA ELDRIDGE: I met Sonia a couple of years ago and back then I got her book which always inspired me on her very French attitude towards fashion and style. Now a couple of years later when we started to talk about a coop, I had another look into her book and was taken again by her playful style.
The colours she used like dark purple, navy and silver made it easy for me to come up with a modernized version of a Sonia Rykiel make-up line for Lancôme. For example, Sonia is known for wearing red lipstick, so we had to add a modern twist to that and I created a red lip crayon which is matte on one side and glossy on the other.
IRMA: Your book is out today in German language and you focus a lot on the history of make-up. You are known for your collection of different make-up pots and tins and vintage perfume bottles. Has this all something to do with your love for make-up while playing with your mother’s beauty pouch?
LISA ELDRIDGE: I am interested in vintage things and the history, cultural and social aspects of make-up and at the same time I am fascinated by the technology and science of make-up today. Make-up is a playful thing and at the same time it has an authenticity, it can tell you about political situations in a certain area and it can make you creative. Just think of the time when women were drawing stocking lines with black eyeliner along the back of their legs because they did not find silk stockings after the Second World War.
IRMA: How did make-up change in the last years?
LISA ELDRIDGE: I am lucky to have been in the business for a very long time and if you think about it, make-up was pretty much the same thing for years and years. Only for about 15 years has there been a strong evolution in the technology and science of making make-up.
When I started, we did not have for example long lasting make-up, the introduction of silicone changed quite a lot.
IRMA: What was your initial inspiration to start doing the tutorials you became very famous for?
LISA ELDRIGE: I have done make-up for years, I designed a make-up line for Shiseido and I got a TV show about make-up. On that show the producers always cut off the most interesting parts of my make-up sessions. I thought that was because they were all guys and were not as passionate about make-up.
They were not editing the shows from the point of a make-up artist. At the same time I started to look into the very first make-up tutorials and I thought this is fascinating, I could use that. It was very voyeuristic, just imagine, people were sharing make-up tips out of their own bathroom.
All this was so different to my job as a make-up artist working on Vogue covers and productions, where the readers never really got the inside story. Around 2007 the business was still fresh and unspoiled, people were not getting paid to talk about a product, so everything was very authentic. I loved that and I wanted to do the same.
IRMA: How did you start?
LISA ELDRIGE: I just started doing the tutorials, very amateur and I did not tell anybody about it. I kind of wanted to keep it a secret, I especially did not want the editors to know what I was doing there. I was worried they would not book me anymore at Vogue to do their covers, as it was very exposed and personal what I was doing. Nobody in the industry noticed anything and I just thought, okay, I do three or five tutorials and see what happens.
IRMA: But you did many more….
LISA ELDRIGE: There was no plan but the audience kept me going. It grew very organically, I told my friends and sister about it and they started to talk about it, forwarded it to their friends and so on and people asked me, Oh, could you do something on this and that topic, etc?
IRMA: Obviously you did the right thing at the right time. Is there a trick of the trade you could give us on how to do a perfect make-up for a selfie or an appearance on social media if you want to start doing beauty tutorials?
LISA ELDRIGE: Nowadays there are so many apps that can change or even make a look as you wish. This has no longer to do with the original make-up. Now it is all about tribal allegiance, it is about who you want to be, how you want to be seen. Be authentic, do not copy another blogger, be your best self.