Style Police: Face facts: the beautiful game sucks

For every mouthy actress who wins a contract to represent a cosmetic giant, a supermodel goes hungry... James Sherwood advises Emmanuelle Beart to leave it to the professionals

Imagine the uproar in the movie industry if Anthony Minghella cast Kate Moss instead of Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient. It's bad enough if you're a singer trying to break into acting - ask Madonna - but models making the crossover are doomed to failure. So it must be so galling for the "Supers" to see The English Patient's Juliette Binoche as the face of cosmetics giant Lancome, Liz Hurley at Estee Lauder, Emmanuelle Beart at Dior, Andie McDowell at L'Oreal and Carole Bouquet at Chanel.

"The big cosmetic houses did their market research and concluded that women are less intimidated by actresses than models," says Elle beauty director Charlotte-Anne Fidler. But actresses, it seems, are less intimidated by the cosmetics houses. It was reported this week that Beart was close to losing her contract as the face of Dior. Last August, she was caught in a Princess Diana-style scuffle while protesting for rights for immigrants in Paris. In February this year, she was photographed on an anti-government march without make-up (quel horreur!), hair unwashed and wearing Swampy- style attire.

Dior deemed it "not appropriate behaviour" for their ambassadress. A spokesperson for Dior would not confirm whether it would renew Beart's contract and would only say, "Contracts don't last forever." Like all billion-dollar industries, the beauty business can turn ugly.

When it comes to professional integrity, the beauty industry could give Piers Merchant a run for his money. The latest anti-ageing creams are advertised by girls who won't experience HRT for at least 40 years. "They are blank canvases," says Fidler. "I don't use girls over 25 for make- up shoots. You need incredibly fresh, young complexions to carry off close-up, beauty-page shots. The trouble with actresses is that they won't see 30 again and the cosmetics companies have to use all the tricks of the trade to make the pictures work."

Some models obviously don't fit these criteria. However, another beauty journalist says of Liz Hurley, "She may be paid $2 million to model for Estee Lauder, but it's got to the point where all that's left is a pair of lips, nostrils and eyebrows. They have bleached the photos so much poor Liz looks like Jack Nicholson as The Joker."

The same source also believes the industry first questioned the wisdom of using actress/models after the Hugh Grant debacle threw Hurley into the spotlight. Before the ink was dry on her Lauder contract, Hugh Grant was caught with Divine. Inappropriate behaviour, even by proxy, is seen to be damaging to the image of the cosmetics house.

To a layman, Emmanuelle Beart's political beliefs and personal statements may seem refreshingly honest. When asked if she wore perfume, Beart replied: "Very rarely. I like to be natural. I like the smell of skin." It's the equivalent of Jennifer Aniston telling you Pantene isn't a patch on Vidal Sassoon. Cosmetics houses pay their "face" fees beyond the dreams of avarice. In Faustian return, they expect total control. If actresses like Beart aren't prepared to sell their body and soul to a cosmetics house, then they can be replaced. Ironically, Dior is rumoured to be looking at actress Isabelle Adjani.

The beauty press is 100 per cent behind models reclaiming their rightful place. "Take Cindy Crawford," says Fidler, "now there's a pro. As the face of Revlon, she is primed to answer every journalist's question. She will not only tell you she wears Revlon but also recommend specific products. She is their ambassador, she is paid well to do it and she does her job brilliantly." She may also privately swear by Lancome, but the beauty industry is all about appearances.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

    £23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

    Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

    £14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower