Carola Long: 'The make-up in Mad Men is so well observed that you can practically smell the powdery retro lipstick'
Saturday 30 January 2010
Thank goodness for the return of 'Mad Men'. Just when I thought I might have to drag myself off the sofa in search of some real-life glamour, along comes the vicarious version. Series 3 of the most visually seductive programme on TV has the usual cocktail of, well, cocktails, alpha males, case studies in how to wear, walk and wiggle in a pencil skirt and, of course, perfectly applied make-up.
The costumes and cosmetics are so well observed that you can practically smell the nostalgic, powdery scent of retro gold-cased lipstick. Just as the macho world of advertising in the early Sixties was all about creating and perpetuating perfect illusions, so was the make-up. The 'Mad Men' maquillage might not be the ultimate in self-expression and experimentation, but its combination of fresh prettiness with a hint of drama is still as seductive as Sterling Cooper's answer to Jessica Rabbit – Joan Holloway (below). To emulate her look, Katy Messer, Laura Mercier UK National Artist, suggests, "heavily lining top lashes with Black Caviar and enhancing with individual falsh lashes at the outer corners of the eye, followed by mascara. Sweep Sesame eye-colour from lash to brows, then press on Maple Brown lip colour with fingers for a softer look."
To emulate Hitchcock blonde Betty Draper, Messer says, "fill in brows with Laura Mercier's Brow Powder Duo and sweep a dark Kohl Pencil in Stormy Grey along your top lash-line. Pop Oleander Creme Cheek colour on cheek bones and Mistress or Tangerine Creme Lip Colour on Lips (either would work)."
Debbie Zoller, who is a make-up artist on the show, has described the look as, "very peaches and cream and very matt," and the essential starting point before applying colour is a matt foundation and very fine powder. A good matt foundation should look fresh rather than chalky, and blend smoothly. Chanel's Mat Lumière gives a very polished finish, especially when applied with a brush, while Chantecaille's Poudre Delicate powder removes shine and looks feather-light.
After all, you are more likely to see a copy of 'A Vindication of the Rights of Women' on womaniser Don Draper's desk than a shiny nose among the secretaries in the office.
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